from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

We moved !!

Join us at the new host site

I am hosting my own site and blog now.  It has been my desire to create a site that has better content, news, information and benefit to the Autodesk Design and Manufacturing community.  More storage and flexibility was required.  This site will be discontinued over time.

The new Blog “Design and Motion” can be found here:

http://designandmotion.net/blog

The main site will be developed as time progresses

Please follow me on the new twitter address: 

http://twitter.com/johnevansdesign

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March 11, 2010 Posted by | AUGI, Autodesk | , , , , , , , , , , | 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

Not just another Space Pilot Review

subnav101a3D Connexion released the newest creation in their line 3D navigation tools, the Space Pilot Pro.  I have always been fascinated by 3D Connexion’s tools, as they clearly are unique items.  However I kept them at a distance because of a few factors: Price, Uneasiness, and Dependency. 

If I can’t have it, I usually won’t go play with it.  This keeps my marriage in tact as well.

Price  – I believe that at least 50% of the users out there know something about these devices, and know they are fairly expensive.  Well, this is partially true.  If you get in at sale time, you can pickup a notebook model for 80 USD.  I don’t think there are any buttons, just view mobility.  That’s still a nice item for 80 bucks.  The new deluxe model comes in at 500 USD.  That’s pricey.

Uneasiness – Mostly my innate lack of desire to change something that works; namely the way I have been doing it.   The 3 button mouse and an ALT key covers a lot of ground.  I watched some field experts navigate quite well with a 3 button mouse, and there was no lack of speed.  Which brings us to the last item.

Dependency – Ever since Vibrant Graphics dumped us old people, I have been very jaded about dependency on non-OEM functionality.  I still wrote C++/C# code, but usually this was to cover things that were reasonably impossible with other methods.  No odd command aliases, no large menu configurations, mostly out of the box.  This way I would never be bent over the way I was in 2000, when I had to relearn the interface.

AU2009

These 3D mice have always been super-popular at AU. So I decided to do a few 3D Connexion promotions for the upcoming Tekni Creative Inventor training, and the powers that be agreed to pay for the mice.  I however was not one of the lucky ones that will get said mice.

The curiosity was killing me.  While I’d like to try it in Inventor, my question is how will it work in Civil?

So my associates introduced me to some people at 3D Connexion, and Walt and Company, and they kindly agreed to let me play with one of the new toys.  During the last discussion, they asked what I intended to do with it, and I told them I intended to review the product in different environments, and then publish the results.  A few days later a new Space Pilot Pro ended up on my door step.  Like a kid in a candy shop.

The Box

SNC00002 I told my boys, “That’s Daddy’s, get away!” I threw in the universally understood word: “Mine!”.  They reluctantly backed off.  I told my youngest, “It’s not food, go away”. 

What came in the box was a folder from the company, containing some fact sheets, Company Rep contact info, the driver CD, and the Space Pilot Pro….and a note that said basically “If you need any assistance, please call.” 

Continue reading

January 8, 2010 Posted by | AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk, Autodesk University, Inventor | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – How do you use Civil?

Autodesk products have a long history of broad uses, form common to the really odd.  I first noted this when I began programming many years ago.  However as I began to concentrate on Civil 3D more and less on programming, this nuance faded from my consciousness a bit.  (I see it more on the Inventor side as I do more training and support).

The differing uses became quite evident during numerous meetings at AU this past December.  I met many people from different industries, and ran into situations with uses that varied significantly.

That said, I’d like to invite everyone to post how they use Civil 3D.  Just drop us a quick line about what you do and how you use the software.

  • What industry you work in?
  • In what daily capacity do you use Civil 3D?
  • What major portion of Civil do you use?
  • What major portion of civil do you not use?
  • What is your most and least favorite part of civil?
  • What is the wierdest, strangest, and off the wall thing Civil 3D has performed for you?

I will post the results in my next AUGI World Column.  I’d like to detail a wide cross section of uses, so get everyone you know to post their thoughts.

Here is your chance to get your name out there. I’ll credit those who participated and their company in the article.  I think this will turn out really great if we can get some participation.

January 6, 2010 Posted by | AutoCAD Civil 3D, Autodesk University, industry | , , , , , | 14 Comments

Civil 3D – Hatch is wonked in VP

A buddy of mine cornered me about a problem he was having with his hatching.  It was wacked out in 1 viewport, but not the others.  By now there is enough circulation on the hatch origin issue that everyone knows about it.  When I mentioned it to him as a possible resolution, he said I must think he’s an idiot.

image

The answer was the Associative Property in the Hatch entity does not get along with the DView Twist angle.  Getting rid of the Associative property will calm the hatch down, as well as losing the Twist angle in the view.

If I run into a better way care for this, I’ll repost the fix

September 21, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Point Label block issue resolved

Civil 3D 2010 Update 1 cleared up the Point Label style block issue that had plagued many of us.  Kind of a relief, I have been hesitant to edit ANY Label Styles, since being tortured by the problem.  Just he knee jerk reaction to being pounded by the software.  All is well……I still crash, just not at that time.

September 7, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Points | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – 2010 PDF Overlay

Did you know you can overlay a PDF? Not like an image, but vectored data.  Yes siree boys and girls, you can do it, and without Raster Design.

The client wanted to control a slope, and the architect sent over a snippet of what they thought would work, in PDF.  I’d like to get the thing close to what they intended, and I don’t want to wait for a DWG file.  This example does not require anything better than a quick glance from across the room, but I’m sure you can picture something more deserving.

image 

If the need is bad enough, we might overlay an image, and fight it in, hoping that the proportions match and there are enough references.  A PDF however is vectored (coming from a dwg plot), and will give us OSNAPS. 

Attach

Use the Civil 3D Attach from the ribbon’s Insert panel.  A dialog appears allowing the selection of the files to be attached.  Change the file type to PDF, and navigate to your reference.

image

Once you select the file, the rest is like inserting an image, setting insertion point an scale.

image

Then I used the building and parking to align and rescale the image properly.  Look a the match along the middle of the image. 

Osnaps

The attached PDF will allow referenced Osnaps.  Notice in the image the tooltip indicates a ‘PDF (approximate): Endpoint’. NICE !!  Now I can trace over the changes I need to incorporate quickly with some polylines and osnaps.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | 2010, AutoCAD Civil 3D | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Civil 3D – Trojan Cleanup

8/10/2009

Autodesk posted a writeup on the trojan we mentioned earlier.  There is a script and some search and destroy. 

Knowledge Base instructions

August 10, 2009 Posted by | AutoCAD Civil 3D | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Autodesk – DWG Launcher wigged out fix

7/8/2009

Please remember we have moved to http://johnevansdesign.net Come visit us there.

This has been a pain in numerous people’s sides for a long time.  One day you love it and the next day you hate it. 

The DWG Launcher

This gizmo is the thing that loads the drawings from remote requests, based on the registered DWG extension. AcLauncher.exe

Since Autodesk is trying to spread it’s trademarked use of DWG to numerous platforms, it needs some flexible way to allow users to open the DWG easily through explorer and other applications. 

How this works

When the OS sees a DWG file request sent, it uses the DWG registered app to open it with. In this case it is the DWG Launcher. The application uses registry entries to figure out which version of what application to use.  It is fairly simple, except there is nothing evident about it, and it gets fouled up. 

The registry settings governing this work something like a flow chart:

  1. Windows initiates default dwg app ->DWG Launcher
  2. Launcher reads shell DWG default Application –> AutoCAD
  3. Launcher goes to AutoCAD and reads launch instruction –> AutoCAD r18 exe path
  4. Launcher executes launch statement with requested dwg file

image

Most users will never have a problem with this since they only use 1 type of DWG application.  Actually, most users of differing DWG apps never have a problem. 

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July 6, 2009 Posted by | AutoCAD Civil 3D, Inventor | , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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