from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Civil 3D – Stop using context menu for Major Style Edits

This option costs me SOOOOO much time every day.  Well, that and not saving valuable changes to my template.  So in tune with James’ famous PLEASE STOP posts, I’ll post some of my own now and then, mostly for my own sake.  Perhaps I’ll save a few of you some frustration.

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Editing a style by selection through a Right Click Context menu is such a cool, convenient option, right. So much so, that faced with a large amount of style tuning, I’ll pick it anyhow.  JUST STOP!!  Break the habit.

Why?

Here’s the thing.  It all revolves around this magic button.

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March 1, 2010 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, Label Styles | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civil 3D – 3D Laser Webcast

image Autodesk sent out invitations to a webcast Thursday, February 25, 2010, presenting the first in a 3-part series discussing laser scanning technologies for infrastructure projects.  The 1 Hr event kicks off at 10:00 hrs PST.

  • Laser scanning technologies available
  • industry perceptions
  • various point cloud topics

Register Now   

February 18, 2010 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, Points, SAP | , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Label Expressions

Check out my latest article “A quick fix with Label Expressions” on Civil 3D.com

http://www.civil3d.com/2010/02/a-quick-fix-with-label-expressions/

February 10, 2010 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, Labels, Pipes | , , , , | 1 Comment

Civil 3D – Lone Parcel Segment Site

Parcels are composed of Parcel Segments.  These are created when the Parcel was defined.  They however can be estranged for various reasons, including half of the parcel was erased. 

We always (at least I hope always) work from the larger parcel inward to a smaller division.  I have gone so far as to create a huge overall parcel in the background to help me when I knew the developer would add some land to the design later.  I have a few of those that would guarantee that nothing will change later.  It always changes.

Say for example you have a small Parcel isolated within a big Parcel.  Erase one of the sides to the smaller Parcel, and the contents bleed out to the larger one.  No problem. However the remaining sides (Parcel Segments) of the isolated parcel are still there.

The important thing to remember is that these belong to a Site.  If you check the Segments, they are tagged accordingly.

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I was cleaning up my design, and needed 2 things:

  1. to get rid of empty sites
  2. to remove land from the design and send it to the plat to the East.

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This Site was empty, so I erased it.  Subsequently I erased the Parcel Segment I planned to work with. Undo!!

The solution was to move the segment to the appropriate site.

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Use the context sensitive Ribbon Panel.  I do love the Ribbon.

Once moved the Parcel automatically joins in with the others, and we change the style to match the adjacent plat. 

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This could not have gone better.  One of the keys to making Civil 3D fun is effective organization of your Sites and styles. Amazingly cool.

February 1, 2010 Posted by | 2010, Labels, Parcels | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Error Code 21 and User Rights

Last week a new student contacted me regarding an educational install of AutoCAD, and an odd error code that did not bring much from Google.  On first run, this error flags and shuts them down.

Unable to Initialize ADLM – Internal Error Message Error Code <21>

After some research I came up empty, except that some other folks had similar issues, but no one commented.  So I suggested the “reinstall option” and checking the user rights. 

User rights was the ticket.  Make sure your user account has sufficient rights to ADLM, file and template structures, and any the Program Data file locations.

January 11, 2010 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Error Code | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AUGI World Mag – Civil 3D SAP

AUGI World 6 Check out the Civil 3D column for details on the Civil 3D Subscription Advantage Pack in AUGI World Magazine.  Page 26.

AUGI World issue 6 low-resolution (9MB) version

AUGI World issue 6  high-resolution (47.5MB) version

Browse all AUGI World issues

December 22, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AUGI, AutoCAD Civil 3D, SAP | , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Existing Pipe Network Tip

We often do not create any Pipe Networks to represent the existing utility mains in a project.  There is usually limited information on the correct depth of the utilities, even with a utility spot.  The best we can hope for is to draw the main in the plan view based on paint markings, and draw the crossings in our profile manually based on an approximate depth after a phone call to the respective agency.

On a recent design, not knowing the depth of the existing utility mains was a problem.  We have Force Main and Water Main running along and under a dirt road that will be paved.  Everyone is concerned that vibratory packing will cause a problem.  So they potholed the lines.

Now I have 3D point locations along 2 mains.  A pipe network would be best, so that it is easy to bring into my profile, and can be managed by styles. This presents a nuisance since the locations are on top of the pipes, and there are a lot of locations; that’s a lot of pipe edits.

Here is what I came up with.  Again, not rocket science, but I hope that it will help someone else. 

  • Style the points so that it is easy to discern them from others. 
  • Make the style respond to the elevations
  • Create a 3D polyline from point to point
  • move the polyline down the HALF (see below) the respective inner diameter plus one wall thickness.  I used he move command.
  • Make sure the Pipe style prepared as desired, and the correct pipe size is in the Parts List.  Don’t forget the wall thickness
  • Create Pipe Network from Object
  • Add the network to your profile

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Half the diameter

The reason for this is that the Create Pipe Network from Object will use the elevation of the 3D polyline for the CENTERLINE of the pipe.  If you move the polyline down a full diameter, then the pipe will be created too low.  I mean to tell you that is a lot of edits. 

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November 25, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, Pipes | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Civil 3D – Some Basic Gradings Terms

Gradings are wonderful things.  Problematic as they may be, they have been quite useful, even back in LDD.  The new Gradings have a host of settings and features that carry with them new terminology that is sometimes confusing.

In light of studying preparing for the Grading Lab I will assist with, I thought it would be nice to explain some of the terms that are often hard for new users to get a grasp of.  It’s not that they are inappropriate, but they all start to sound the same to a new guy.

Gradings, Grading criteria, Grading Criteria Sets, Grading Groups…..  See what I mean?  Today we’ll take a brief tour of these terms.

Terms

 Grading – This is a 3D object that all the fuss is about. 

This It is built on a frame of feature lines (rough interpretation) and autonomously projects its own set of faces, based on instructions that it was assigned.  This instruction set known as a Grading Criteria, is stored within the Grading object, allowing the object to follow it’s instruction no matter what changes to its environment occur.  Objects created by Gradings can be as simple as a single Grading building pad, or complex grade scenarios, such as a littoral shelf detention pond, that might contain numerous Gradings.

 Grading Style – The style applied to the Grading that controls its appearance.

This can be found in the Grading section of the Toolspace Settings Tab.

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November 25, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, Feature Lines, Gradings | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – 2010 Assembly Link Tip

We’ve moved to http://johnevansdesign.net

Read this article here

An associate contacted me recently regarding how to move 2 sets of train tracks through a single corridor, while keeping the ability to deviate the overall width.  The example I received had the sets of tracks identically elevated and on a single bed.  I decided to go a bit overboard, and add vertical and horizontal control.

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Above you can see that I mocked up something real fast.  2 separate alignments, and 2 respective profiles.  I wanted to create a open area in the middle to add a freight depot.  I used the profiles to help me adjust the grades for the buildings.

The Assembly

Here is the first half of the solution.

I’ll list the steps below the example image, and then I’ll discuss some important items afterward.

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November 16, 2009 Posted by | 2010, Alignments, Assemblies, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Corridor, Profiles | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Civil 3D – SAP Roundabouts

Back to SAP – Point Clouds

Previously I discussed being invited to watch a preview of the Civil 3D 2010 Subscription Advantage Pack, and had been quite surprised at the features.  We discussed the Point Clouds, and today we’ll peek at the Roundabout Layout.

Roundabout Layout

image This was cool.  Dana Probert showed us how easy it was to start the tool, pick incoming alignments, preset standards, and a variety of options to include, like offsets, widths, standardized markings, etc.  The configuration pages were huge, but most had presets available, making it easy to run through typical layouts.  Yes, that’s paint and signage shown in the image, and it updates well.  All the additional alignments are created automatically.

The edits were probably the best part.  The incoming alignments were edited, and the Roundabout would keep up.  Dramatic changes with no tip-toeing at all (Civil users know exactly what I mean).  This thing is sick. You can even add incoming alignments after the fact. There no vertical profiling at this time, but perhaps in the future it will be available. For now you just have to add that yourself.

This was my favorite part of the SAP.  Sadly I have no roundabout designs before me, but I’ll be a lot happier to tackle them in the future.

November 9, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, SAP | , , , , , | Leave a comment