Explode Lines Command

D_ExplodeLines_600ppi   Explode Lines

Command Licensing and Default Menu Location

  • The Explode Lines command is part of the RPS Modeling Toolbox
  • The command is located on the Modeling macros menu ribbon
  • The command is located in the Sections menu group

Latest Updates

November 29 2022

  • Added the ability to add a numerical suffix to the lines after exploding. The exploded lines take the name of the source line with 001 etc. as a suffix to the source line name(s) i.e. if the Source line was called End of Lot then the exploded lines will be called End of Lot1001, 002, 003 etc.
  • Added the ability to trim back the inbound line at each corner by a user defined amount. Note inbound line is defined by the line direction i.e. the line before the corner gets trimmed back by the defined amount. This leaves a small gap between the ends of the lines which stops the Trimble Machine Control System from changing the exploded lines back into a continuous line because the end points are touching.

Command Description

Provides the ability to explode any linework into ether all segment elements or into top, bottom and side elements on separated layers (with a break angle control). Perfect for cross section takeoff from CAD or PDF files where e.g. material layers are drawn as closed polygon areas and you need to extract top or bottom of the layer onto separate layers to create models after section conversion.

Command Interface Description

The Explode Lines command dialog looks as follows

Lines to explode:
Select the lines that you wish to explode

Delete existing checkbox:
Check the checkbox if you wish to delete the source lines after exploding them.

Add numeric suffix checkbox:
Check the checkbox if you wish to uniquely name the exploded lines using the source line name(s) with an added 3 digit suffix. i.e. If the source line is called End of Lot then the exploded lines will be called End of Lot001, End of Lot 002 etc.

Explode Option:

  • Every Segment - Select this option if you want to convert the selected lines into a separate line for every segment of the line.
  • Large Deflections - Select this option to convert the lines into a Top, Bottom and Vertical Lines component on 3 separate layers, or if you only want to explode lines where there are large deflections in the line e.g at 90 degree or similar corners.

In imported cross sections, it is extremely common to find material layers of corridor models that are defined either as closed polygon areas or as lines with vertical ends around the edges of material layers.

To make these lines usable for 3D surface modeling after conversion to 3D linework, you will use the Large deflections method with a Max deflection angle value (see below) of e.g. 45 degrees. The 45 degree angle, will leave line segments that deflect at e.g. road crowns or at edge of pave / shoulder lines as single lines, but will explode the vertical segments and “Top and Bottom” of the material layer onto two separate layers, so that once converted to 3D they are easy to select and create surface models from.

It is easier to explode linework for cross sections in the Plan or Sheet View prior to conversion to 3D, because once converted to 3D the vertical edges of material layers become truly vertical, and the tops and bottoms of material layers will lie 100% on top of each other making them harder to edit or manipulate.

Be aware that cross sections are typically derived by slicing through TIN surface models. When you slice a TIN, some software products slice all triangle sides in the surface models, others slice the strings / breaklines that make up the surface models. Depending on how your sections were created, exploding “every segment” may create more segments than you expected to get and likely more than you want, depending on the source data models being used.

Max deflection:
Enter the maximum deflection angle that you will allow a line to retain after the explode process has been executed. The deflection angle is the difference between the angle of the inbound and outbound line segments at a node of the source line, computed in a clockwise direction.

Trim inbound segments checkbox:
Trimble machine control systems, when they encounter two unique line segments that are touching at their end points will incorporate the two or more lines into a single line for guidance purposes. For slipform paving operations you do not want lines to continue around angle corners. When you check this checkbox, the inbound line segment at a corner (large deflection) will be trimmed back by the defined amount leaving a short gap between the end points, sufficient to stop the machine system from creating a continuous line out of the adjacent lines.

Trim amount:
Enter the amount of trim back required e.g. 0.02’

Relayer ‘Closed’ lines checkbox
Check this checkbox (most common use case) if you want to split the exploded elements of a closed polygon (e.g. a Material Layer polygon) into separate layers for Top, Bottom and Vertical Lines.

If you check the checkbox you can define a Layer Name mask for each of the Top, Bottom and Vertical layers that you will use for the exploded line segments.

In the layer mask, {L} means the source layer name and that can be prefixed or suffixed with additional name elements e.g. -Top or -Bottom or -Vert. If you use the {L}-Top approach, all of the created layers for the components and the source layer name should reside in sequence in the Layer List. The Layer Group of the parent Layer is also adopted for the created layers.

When you tap apply, the lines will be exploded and the segments placed on the appropriate layers and the command will ready itself for another selection set and repeat process execution. If you do not want to make a second selection and repeat the process tap Close to finish the process.

Closes the command without further execution.

Video Demonstration

The following video shows how to utilize the Explode Lines command

Use Case Videos

The following videos show the use of the Explode Lines command in a work process context

Feedback and Enhancement Requests

If you would like to provide feedback on the use of the Explode Lines command or to request enhancements or improvements to the command please Click Here