from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Civil 3D – SAP Point Clouds

image Autodesk released the Subscription Advantage Pack recently, and can be downloaded at he subscription site.  I’ll summarize some of the items that we were shown during the preview.

Point Cloud support

  • New point cloud objects
  • Control display density, thematic display control
  • Ability to snap to points in object

The point cloud utility is included in this SAP to prepare the market, and to stage future integrations into other applications.

Dana Probert added a 1 gig dataset of the Manchester office, and showed us some properties that included dataset count limitation (she was at 500K), and styling (which included display size and categorical coloring by elevation range). While the main dialog was up, I noticed that multiple sources can be used to create the cloud.

It looked awesome.  You could see every detail.  Imagine being able to walk the site, preplan your storage and parking, and see vertical problems that might not have been noted on a survey.

I am concerned about the impact the dataset will have on a processor and RAM.  There is no way currently to thin the cloud density.  Subsequent discussions with co-workers has brought up various scenarios for the use of the tool, but also many reasons not to.

I think that as Autodesk enhances the toolset, and broadens the scope of it’s adaptation, we will see many more demands for this type of data, and many uses we have not yet conceived.

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Next is Roundabouts!

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October 30, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, SAP | , , , , | Leave a comment

Autodesk University – LinkedIn

Are you going to AU this year? Stop by the LinkedIn AU group and tell us what you have planned, and what you are looking forward to. 

Come join he discussion and help me figure out who is going where and when ( and where I am supposed to be next). 

Autodesk University LinkedIn Group

October 29, 2009 Posted by | Autodesk University | , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Subscription Advantage Pack

Recently Autodesk hosted a blogger day invitation to preview the new Civil 3D subscription advantage pack.

I missed the meeting.  I had formatted my machine, and had no updates or email for a few days.  David Mills was kind enough to get me up to speed.

image The SAP contains numerous tools, but here are the highlights:

  • Point Cloud support
  • Roundabout layout
  • Visualization and Analysis tools
  • Transportation productivity tools
  • Survey productivity tools

Dana showed us the layout of the SAP, which shows up in your toolbox located in the Toolspace.  Each category is contained in the familiar tree view containing Alignment, inquiry, Point Clouds, Points, profile, Roundabaouts, Surface, and Visibility Checks.

I’ll cover various topics on this over the next few days, and add some screenshots as well.

You can download this from the subscription site.  You must have Civil 3D SP2 installed before attempting this addon.

October 29, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk | , , , , | Leave a comment

Vault – Renaming Computer hazard

Ok, I blew it.  I recently had a fight with my domain server, and lost.  I ended up renaming my computer to work around it.  It’s never been a problem in the past.  Well, at least I didn’t realize it was.

ADMS is getting its content from an SQL server on a site.  That site is my computer, and when renamed, it was lost.  My entire ADMS and Vault was gone for all applications.

Autodesk had this to say about the errors

Issue

During the installation of Vault or Productstream Server (ADMS), you received the following pre-check error message:

The SQL Server instance you have selected is not enabled with Autodesk Productstream Replicator. To enable it, upgrade site '<computername>'. Contact your reseller for Autodesk Producstream Replicator.

Solution

This error is the result of renaming the computer or adding it to a domain while the previous version of ADMS was installed even though replication has never been enabled on this particular computer.

This can be resolved by uninstalling SQL 2005, using Add or Remove Programs (Windows), and then reinstalling it either manually or automatically using the Vault/Productstream Server installation.

Alternatively, you can run the ADMS Console in command line mode and use the -OSiteRename switch. For detailed instructions, refer to the ADMS Console Help menu (available by pressing the F1 function key).

oSiteRename

 

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October 26, 2009 Posted by | 2010, Content Center, Inventor, Vault | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inventor – Weld Gap nominal parameter

I’d like to see a way to get the Frame Generator tools to access the parameters.  I am a top down kind of guy, and like using extrusions and dependent sketches for my frame skeletons.  I derive almost everything to keep all my parameters centrally located. 

image The design I am currently engaged in was started without some specs, and after receiving them I find that he builder does not want any weld gapping.  So I have to run through every weld and remove the gaps.

It would be nice to set the gaps a local parameter that is factored from a derived parameter, like ‘NomWeldGap = MatThickness * NomWeldGapFactorl’ or something similar.  This way I can change the NomWeldGapFactor in the skeleton, and all the gap would alter in relation to their individual material thicknesses. 

October 19, 2009 Posted by | 2010, Design Accelerator, Frame Generator | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civil 3D – Lost Corridor Targets

Recently I was trying to work around more an more missing EG data, and trying to retune my corridor to get a early preliminary plan out.  I was so in such a hurry to get thing out, and so frustrated in how things were going, that I failed to retune my corridor after adjusting the assemblies.  I thought it might be a good post.

I am using some lame cross section colors; EG ad FG are the same red.  Sorry.

Notice below that the daylight in the template really isn’t trying.  Where it does cross the FG, the telltale intersection marker is not there.

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Think methodically.  The daylight is carried out by following the instructions in the assembly.  Double check the assembly, and we find everything is ok.  We just changed it.

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Then the daylight instructions are carried out in accordance with the targets passed down by the corridor.  Check the corridor.

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A review the target assignments leads us to the problem.  It can’t daylight if it is blind. 

When we remove and replace an assembly daylight, that old corridor component link is gone, and with it the instructions of what to target.  When the new link comes in, there are no target instructions either since it’s new to the corridor.  So we reassign the targets and rebuild the corridor.

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Now the corridor responds properly.

October 12, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Corridor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inventor – iFeatures provide a quick fix

This weekend I was up to my neck in a problem with having to rebuild a fast and dirty project.  It was built for pretty only.  The problem was that a weekend build did not cover enough time to do the job right. Shortcuts lead to failures in Inventor.

I had constrained latches of a door in the door assembly, and then reversed my build and snapped the cut edges off the latch in the door part, and cut out the hole.  It was fast and I didn’t need solid build, just fast.  Hmmm, sounds familiar.  Don’t have time to do it right, but always have time to do it over….  And do it over you will.

I started the job with a skeleton containing the global resources, and the overall shell.  This worked like  champ.  Eventually as I began to run out of time, I started to cut corners.  Portions of the projected geometry began to fail for one reason or another (because of the shortcuts).  Everything was fine until I had to make a change.

So was tired of recreating my ‘shortcut’ doors, and decided to get a better shortcut.  The latch plate had to recut for each change. 

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Use the iFeature to reduce repetitive steps

Rather than create it for the third time (eventually even I learn from my mistakes), I created an iFeature.  This part however had no geometry and was just the solid model.  Fine.  I created a cut extrusion from sketched cut edges, an sent it out in all directions.

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October 7, 2009 Posted by | 2010, iFeatures, Inventor | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – FileDia Switch

image A buddy of mine took 2 subscriptions of Civil 3D home, while brooding over the need to reinstall his Civil application.  2009 or upgrade…. The rest of his project team are on 2009.

It appears as though the whole platform was fouled, because every time he tried to open the non-default drawing, Civil 3D would crash.  I was neck deep in an overdue project, so he went on his way.

This morning he reported to me that before wiping everything, he set his FileDia switch back to 1.  That’s the switch that initiates a dialog for file operation such as Open, Save, etc.  Without the switch, you just get command line options.

I like command line, but not that much…

Lo and behold, everything perked right up.  He was able to recover his drawings, and open anything from Civil, inside or out.

The moral to this story is before you reinstall due to crashing while opening a DWG, try checking your FileDia switch first.  Just type “filedia” at the command line, and set it to1.

October 5, 2009 Posted by | 2009, 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, Bug Report | , , , , , , | Leave a comment