from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

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.

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

Civil 3D – Export Group for CSO

6/25/2009

This is just an organization idea, not a revelation.  I was tired of posting problems, and wanted to post something useful.

Problem with exchanging construction data

I used to rewrite all the data out to the crews, and give them a new file.  I had to bring in the old file each time, recover all the check data for review, as well as any new control.  A genuine PITA.  I did not mind so much, but once in a while the crews would level through horizontal control, and revised elevations.  I’d miss those.  The next day was quite frustrating if they did not notice my mistake.

I decided to stop the madness by exporting only new data, and merging the data into their files.  They have 2 free ranges; 1 for control, and 1 for recollect checks.  I have 1 free range for calcs.  This way I can merge the points without worry of overwrite.  When I need the recollects, I pickup new control at the same time, so those control points show up on the calc plots.

Export Group

Each time I export the NEW data, I assign the NEW point to an export group, from which I export out of.  The trick is to use this as an organizational tool.  I have assigned sort point and label styles, and the group lies below the All Points group.

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June 25, 2009 Posted by | 2009, 2010, Points | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Point Style File Size Issue

If you hadn’t noticed (I didn’t), the size of your Civil 3D 2009 drawing will change depending on style factors. 

A buddy of mine questioned me yesterday about some substantial differences related to the size of the drawing he was using, and noted that while he saved his site plan with trees (point styles) on, the drawing was twice the size.

I just tested it.  I took a huge site plan, and saved it with trees on, and saved it with all point styles overridden to standard.  Sure enough, I got a 30% reduction in size.

It appears that the application does not treat the Point style blocks as it treats normal blocks.  Normal blocks are place holders, an entity shell that contains the standard DXF table entries for location, scale…….etc, and then upon regen, it goes to the block table, and pulls the information to display it, where the place holder says it should be.  Instead of saving 40k 1000 times over, it stores 1 40k reference, and stores 1k 1000 times. 

However, for point styles, it appears as though the application is treating the drawing as if it had 1000 different entities, and is storing all the reference information at each point location.

If anyone has additional input, please comment. Christopher, James, Dana, that means you!

April 27, 2009 Posted by | 2009, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Points | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civil 3D – Clearing Object Dependencies

I was adding a large XML EG surface to a quick job, and noticed the usual XML garb brought in.  After deleting some of them I ran into Object Dependencies (because I approached it in the wrong order), and thought I’d write this for the newbies.

Various objects in Civil 3D are dependent on others.  Styles are included in this scenario as well.  This is a good thing.  These dependencies make the world go round.  Surfaces are dependent on Point data and Feature lines.  Profiles are dependent on Alignments, and The alignment is dependent on the Visual Alignment style.  It makes the object oriented world go round.

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The downside is when you need to delete something, and it just won’t go, in fact, the option to delete is just not there.   Like below:

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There is no delete options.  The reason is that this Object is being referenced by another.  In this case we’d need to know what that is.  unfortunately, there is no good way to determine that except to plow through the design in the Prospector.

Hey Autodesk, how about “Go To Dependency” or similar type function!

Anyhow, in this case a surface is using the object.

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Here, once we delete the Point Group from the Surface Definitions, the Dependency will clear, and I can delete the group.

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April 15, 2009 Posted by | 2009, AutoCAD Civil 3D | , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Point Style Default

I thought I had something on this, but I couldn’t find it.

One reader was having trouble with the default points.  He wanted to do some specific point styling for a specific purpose, but regularly, and to that I offer to following possibilities:

Best Solution –> Description Keys!

Set a permanent Key and use FG perhaps as the description code, and the application will assign the Point Style and Point Label Style as specified in the keys.  This is hard coded to the point.

Next –> Point Groups

Us FG as the description code and crate a Group up at the top to trap all FG codes, and specify the Style and Label Style there.  This is only as permanent as the group remains at the top of the list.

Lastly –> Point Defaults

Set the current default Point and Label style to what you want in the Create Point command settings.  Then all the points you set will default to the FG style.

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April 13, 2009 Posted by | 2009, Points | , , , | 1 Comment

Civil 3D – Data References

I wrote this some time ago, and figured I’d better get it out here before 2010.

Data Shortcuts are Cool. The list of reasons to use these is growing. One such reason is a small amount of companies have shunned Vault for varying reasons, including the learning curve involved. I have repeatedly been tasked to produce methods that would allow the greatest flexibility in sharing, with the least amount of interruption to workflow. In earlier versions, Land XML had always been my preferred method of transfer, allowing some anonymity of the data origin. When the origin has been updated, the XML is overwritten and the definitions would recreate themselves like a data XREF, only more stable.

In the past I have reserved certain procedures away from Data references, however since 2009 issued, these reservations are almost gone.

Data shortcuts provide references to objects that can be inserted into other drawings. These references are like the best combination of a MAP queried object, LandXML data, and an XREF all in 1. They lie in the drawing, and distribute information, in the form of the original object, as an uneditable shell. Labels can be applied, and objects can be derived from the reference. These limitation are that only surfaces, alignments, profiles, pipe networks, and view frame groups can be referenced. They provide a nice alternative to vault.

The Working Folder

The working folder encapsulates a work environment much like a Land Desktop project did, and will contain the shortcut information. It may include the related drawings and data shortcuts for a project. The Data Shortcuts node on the Prospector Tab shows the shortcuts in the current working folder. When an object is updated in the source drawing, notification appears in the main application window and in Toolspace Prospector.

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March 24, 2009 Posted by | 2009, Data References | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Parcel segment bug again

This is an oldie but a goodie.

I get this about once per year, when I have to do some survey drafting. The last time it occurred on 2007 and I had some seriously wigged out geometry. No one could say why (not the big dogs either).

It happened again, and with brutally simple geometry; no overlapping segments.

The Arc length is good, but notice the Chord length in the label.  

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In the Parcel Geometry Vista the chord information is correct, but using a report, the Chord is erroneous, like the label.

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The solution is to kill the bloody curve and recreate it.  This is rarely a solution when you have complex parceling.

I am hoping someone will have a better answer or solution that we have already heard. If you come up with something, please post it.

March 15, 2009 Posted by | 2009, Parcels | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Service Pack 2 is available AGAIN

That’s right, they’re gonna try again.  Autodesk released Service Pack 2 in late February.

You may recall that Autodesk notified me that SP2 was available to fix my woes.  I sent the message out that day.  It was subsequently removed from distribution within 24 hours, but failed to notify anyone.  (Chuck from JBI Partners clued us in).  Thanks again Chuck.

So this time, I thought I would wait awhile before I sent out a link to something that would be taken away.

Here is Update 2.1

I was going to list the fixes, but it’s a big list.

Check out the readme for the list

Here are just a few tidbits, some useful, and some downright funny.

  • WBlock Points works again
  • Grip editing a pipe object with Osnaps enabled no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly
  • Editing a parcel curve no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly
  • Matchline text is now displayed in sheets that are placed into a new drawing.
  • Promoting a data-referenced alignment no longer causes the program to close unexpectedly.
  • A drawing that contains design criteria and was saved in a Windows XP environment can now be opened using Windows Vista. Previously, the design criteria file could not be found. (that’s hilarious)
  • An issue with polylines not retaining their settings has been resolved. Previously, linetype settings would not remain defined when a drawing was saved and reopened. (also hilarious)

March 6, 2009 Posted by | 2009, AutoCAD Civil 3D | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Transparent Point Number Warning

Transparent commands are a nice feature with Civil 3D, and have eliminated some of my custom programming.  No sadness there, because the features are so well integrated.  I just wish I was responsible for them.

With that said, there are a few things that I’d like to see altered, like the Point Number query.  Recently I was filling in for some missing people, and I was doing some connect the dots from field notes.  I kept running into geometry that wouldn’t play together.  I checked my point style, and everything was flattened.

Here’s the catch.  When you query the point number by transparent command, you get 3D values, not the value from the Point Style.

Here are some excerpts:

A simple line command…

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Note the elevations…

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February 16, 2009 Posted by | 2009, Points | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Civil 3D – Point Drag Style Tip

I just released a Post about Drag styles for points on Civil3d.com

Check it out.

Point Style Drag Tip on Civil3D.com

February 2, 2009 Posted by | 2009, Points | , , , , , | Leave a comment