from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

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

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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.

image

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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

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!

October 30, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, SAP | , , , , | 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.

image

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.

image

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.

image

Now the corridor responds properly.

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