Friday, March 12, 2010

Will it Clear?

Occasionally I’ve been tasked with seeing if a car, truck or aircraft engine cart will make it over a vertical curve without scraping on the pavement. In the past I’ve used a template over a paper set of plans. Today I had some time to see if I could automate the task to not have to create a paper template. I think I came up with a pretty good way of doing it.
The quick method I’m utilizing is drawing a polyline along the profile in a profile view. I’ve hard coded the values I need, but also added the code to prompt the user for the information.
   1:  Sub PerformProfileDemonstration()
   3:      ' Always get the objects again since MDI is supported.
   4:      If (GetBaseCivilObjects() = False) Then
   5:          MsgBox "Error accessing top civil objects."
   6:          Exit Sub
   7:      End If
   9:      Dim oAcadObj As AcadObject
  10:      Dim vPt As Variant
  12:      ThisDrawing.Utility.GetEntity oAcadObj, vPt, "Pick Profile: "
  14:      Dim dAxelHt As Double
  15:      dAxelHt = 1.5 ' ThisDrawing.Utility.GetReal("Enter Axel Height: ")
  17:      Dim dLength As Double
  18:      dLength = 35 ' ThisDrawing.Utility.GetReal("Enter Length between Axels: ")
  20:      If (TypeOf oAcadObj Is AeccProfile) Then
  22:          Dim oProfile As AeccProfile
  23:          Set oProfile = oAcadObj
  25:          ThisDrawing.Utility.GetEntity oAcadObj, vPt, "Pick Profile View: "
  26:          Dim oProfileView As AeccProfileView
  27:          If (TypeOf oAcadObj Is AeccProfileView) Then
  28:              Set oProfileView = oAcadObj
  29:          Else
  30:              Exit Sub
  31:          End If
  33:          Dim dStartSta As Double
  34:          Dim dStaInt As Double
  35:          Dim dEndSta As Double
  37:          dStartSta = 250 ' ThisDrawing.Utility.GetReal("Enter starting Station: ")
  38:          dEndSta = 400 'ThisDrawing.Utility.GetReal("Enter Ending Station: ")
  39:          dStaInt = 2 ' ThisDrawing.Utility.GetReal("Enter Station interval: ")
  41:          Dim oPoly As AcadLWPolyline
  42:          Dim dPoints(0 To 7) As Double
  43:          Dim dStartElev As Double
  44:          Dim dEndElev As Double
  45:          Do Until dStartSta > dEndSta
  47:              dStartElev = oProfile.ElevationAt(dStartSta)
  48:              dEndElev = oProfile.ElevationAt(dStartSta + dLength)
  50:              ' Get the points on the profile view, it will account for vertical exageration.
  51:              oProfileView.FindXYAtStationAndElevation dStartSta, dStartElev, dPoints(0), dPoints(1)
  52:              oProfileView.FindXYAtStationAndElevation dStartSta, dStartElev + dAxelHt, dPoints(2), dPoints(3)
  53:              oProfileView.FindXYAtStationAndElevation dStartSta + dLength, dEndElev + dAxelHt, dPoints(4), dPoints(5)
  54:              oProfileView.FindXYAtStationAndElevation dStartSta + dLength, dEndElev, dPoints(6), dPoints(7)
  56:              ThisDrawing.ModelSpace.AddLightWeightPolyline dPoints
  58:              dStartSta = dStartSta + dStaInt
  59:          Loop
  61:      End If
  63:  End Sub

The output looks something like this:
As you can see my vertical curve is too steep for the vehicle. You’ll also notice that I haven’t written the code for the tires to be perpendicular to the profile. In order to get realistic values I probably should revise the code to account for this. Since I don’t have that much time available to day I might leave that for another post or maybe you can come up with a way to do it. The hard part isn’t getting the first tire to be perpendicular, but finding out where the other other tire should sit and be perpendicular to the surface. Fortunately the difference isn’t that much so this method should give a close enough answer. In the picture above the difference was 0.097’.

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