SUDA Tip: Units Confusion

There is a problem in the SUDA tools, which is not widely known, that can lead to issues with units.  The problem leads to the units in the SUDA data being stored as Imperial Feet even though the SUDA seed file is defined with Survey Feet.

In your SUDA seed file, you can confirm the units by clicking on the Project Defaults icon in tasks.

In the course of designing projects with SUDA, you will create various project DGN files.  Upon initiating any SUDA command, the SUDA database is created in the DGN file.

But then when you inspect the units in the new DGN, you will find that the units have been set to international feet.

The fix is pretty simple but easy to forget. From the SUDA seed file, use the Save As button to save a copy of the settings.  The file created is an XML file format.  Then every time you make a new SUDA dgn file, load the XML file with the LOAD button.

IMPORTANT: You must load the settings before creating any SUDA data to avoid potential errors in the data.

What if I forget:  In some instances, I have seen the SUDA graphics misbehave by incorrect positioning of the SUDA nodes. This misbehavior has thus far been encountered in only a single workspace in Nebraska.  However, the confusion of seeing different units in the DGN properties as compared to the Utility properties will be annoying and confusing.

Robert Garrett

Robert Garrett

Robert has over 25 years experience as a practicing engineer and is licensed in the State of Tennessee. After graduating from Tennessee Technological University, Robert worked for the Mississippi State Highway Department, Bridge Design Division. Then he spent 12 years with the Tennessee Department of Transportation in the Roadway Design Office and later served as Regional Manager in the Design Survey Office. From 2000 to 2006, Robert worked for Robert G Campbell and Associates in Knoxville, TN where responsibilities included roadway, site, and utilities design projects. Joining Bentley Systems in March 2006, Robert wrote specifications & documentation for software development. Duties included testing, customer feedback and ensuring the products met the needs of the civil engineering user base. He also developed training material for education both internally to Bentley and for outside organizations. He served as Product Manager for Utilities Products, including the new OpenRoads Subsurface Utilities Design and Analysis software. Robert also provided guidance and implementation services for new technologies. He is a frequent presenter and trainer at user conferences.

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