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Exporting a HEC‑RAS Model to AutoCAD or MicroStation

It is quite easy to export a HEC-RAS model to an AutoCAD or MicroStation drawing file, allowing the HEC‑RAS model data to be shared with CAD and other software.

Follow the steps below to export the HEC-RAS model to AutoCAD or MicroStation:

  1. From the Input ribbon menu, select Export Data menu item and then Export HEC-RAS to CAD command.
  2. The Export HEC-RAS to CAD dialog box will be displayed.

The following sections describe the Export HEC-RAS to CAD command and how to interact with the above dialog box.

General Options

This tabbed panel is used to specify the HEC-RAS input and output data to be exported to CAD.

CAD Drawing File

This section is used to define where the exported results are to be saved.

Click the […] button for the File name entry to specify the directory location and the drawing file name to save the exported results. Make certain to select the file type, which includes whether to save the file as an AutoCAD or MicroStation drawing file, as well as what drawing file version.

HEC-RAS Input Data

This section allows the user to select what HEC‑RAS input data should be exported.

Each HEC‑RAS element type is placed in its own layer. For example, cross sections are placed in a cross-section layer, whereas river reaches are placed in a river reach layer. Also, 3D polyline elements, such as cross sections, are written out as 3D polylines. Additionally, profile lines and time series nodes can also be exported to plot results from a 2D flow area and generate a time series plot at node, respectively.

HEC-RAS Output Data

This section allows the user to select which flood map profiles to export. In addition, it provides the user with options to remove ponded areas and holes as well as display flood result contours, water edge points, and velocity vectors.

Other Options

This section allows the user to include the base map image with a choice of imagery resolution. In addition, the Overwriting existing CAD drawing file checkbox option allows the software to overwrite an existing CAD file with the same file name.

Spatial Reference

This tabbed panel allows the user to specify the Coordinate Reference System (CRS) for the CAD drawing.

Exported Coordinate Reference System

This section allows the user to select the CRS for the CAD drawing. The user can choose between the following options:

  • Use project CRS: When this option is selected, the project’s CRS is assigned to the CAD drawing.
  • Use local CRS: This option can be used when the project does not have its own CRS defined. When this option is selected, the local CRS of the data layer is assigned to the CAD drawing.
  • Select different CRS: When this option is selected, the Select Coordinate Reference System section gets enabled. From this section, the user can browse through all the supported CRS contained within the software and select the desired CRS.

Coordinate Reference System Information

This section displays information related to the selected CRS.

Select Coordinate Reference System

This section is used to define a custom CRS. This section gets enabled when the user has selected the Select different CRS option from the Exported Coordinate Reference System section.

  • Projected CRS Regions: Using this tab, the user can browse to the supported CRS for the location of interest by expanding the continent, country, and then local region.
  • Projected CRS Listings: Using this tab, the user can browse through all the supported CRS pertaining to a selected projection.

To learn more about coordinate reference systems, refer to this article in our knowledge base.

Exporting the HEC-RAS Model

After the options have been defined, click the [Export] button and the software will export the HEC‑RAS model to CAD.

Only the current scenario (or plan) will be written out to the CAD drawing file. Separate drawing files will need to be created if multiple scenarios are to be exported to AutoCAD.

About the Author Chris Maeder

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