Monday, July 26, 2010

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 Update 3 available

Please read AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2010 Update 3 Readme file before installing. This update resolves Ciivl 3D, Map 3D and AutoCAD issues.

Download update

Friday, July 2, 2010

Point Table with Station Offset Data

In Civil 3D 2011 it is not possible to create a dynamic point table with station and offset data. However it is possible with 3rd party software.

If purchasing 3rd party is out of the question the tip below will provide a point table with station data that is not dynamic. This is possible by exporting an XML report to word and importing it to Civil 3D. Exporting to various formats provides efficient workflows for import back to Civil 3D.

Note: NET reports can be saved in several formats, including HTML, Adobe® PDF, Microsoft® Word Document, Microsoft® Excel Workbook, and Text Document. If Microsoft® Office is not installed, than the options for Word Document, Excel Workbook, and Text Document are not available

First let locate the toolbox icon.

Select the toolbox icon on the left to customize reports.

Locate the Toolbox tab and right click Station Offset to Points

Unfortunately this command will include every point in the drawing. If the point numbers are known you could select each one or remove the unwanted points. An easier workflow is erase points from the current drawing (to be safe do a save as before removing points). Erase the points that are not to be included. I wanted to include all points 100’ from the alignment so I offset the alignment 50’. Connected these lines to form a polyline and then offset the polyline another 50’.

Once the area is established the points were selected and erased. Below is what the drawing looked like before creating the report.

The secret to creating the report is exporting it word format.  

This is the report created in word. Notice it is customized to ADSK Solutions. This was accomplished with the red toolbox icon earlier.
Simply select report, copy it and select paste special in Civil 3D.
Once the table is in Civil 3D select the report and change the text to any font style using properties. The table isn’t dynamic, but it is relatively easy to create and desired results are obtainable.

Data Shortcut Workflow Solu-around

Create a layer filter in the Civil 3D template to automatically turns off all xrefed objects that are duplicated once data shortcuts (references) are established. This is accomplished by customizing the properties of the layer filter to match objects layers that are set in the drawing settings and object styles. The secret is to include this symbol in the filter property and include only the object layers that are available through data shortcuts.

I have enclosed my layer filter properties below and the objects drawing settings for you to reference.

If this tip is accomplished correctly it establishes an efficient workflow, easier for new users to adopt and users do not have to remember all of the layer names. The properties of this filter must be customized to match custom settings and layers for the template.

Below describes data shortcuts in more detail and how the above tip is helpful.

Data Shortcuts are imperative to Civil 3D and provide a solution for sharing data. They are called DATA Shortcuts because they allow users to share data like Surfaces, alignments, profiles, pipe networks, and view frame groups from one drawing to another. As Civil 3D has evolved so have data shortcuts. They are essential on any project that requires multiple drawings. Like AutoCAD, Civil 3D stores information inside the drawing. Information for an object can only be obtained in the drawing that the object was created in, unless a data shortcut or vault is used. (Vault is a document manager tool and is an alternative to data shortcuts.)
As users become familiar with Data Shortcuts new workflows for Civil 3D are introduced. In general, engineering companies will create a base or overall drawing with existing topo and create a surface from existing features. This base drawing is than copied or xrefed into a new drawing for engineering to begin design. For this example we are going to do a save as. Now we have an engineering overall drawing with the existing surface in it. Alignments, profiles, and a corridor are created in the engineering base drawing. To get multiple members of the project team involved a new drawing is created for utility design. Before you create the new drawing create data shortcuts of the surface, alignments, and profiles.

To design utilities in ‘plan’ view we need the topo plan. The engineering base drawing will be xreferenced to ensure changes are updated. Notice when this occurs the existing surface, alignments, profiles and corridor show in the current drawing. These objects are showing, but do not provide data. To place the utilities in profile view the data for the surface, alignment, and profiles will be required. To obtain this data create a reference. I wish these were called data reference to avoid the confusion with xreferences. Once the references are created the new objects are in the drawing with the exception of profiles. Create profile view command to obtain the profile objects in the drawing. Now all objects are duplicated and the xrefed objects can be turned off. A simple solution for accomplishing this is to create a layer filter in the Civil 3D template that reflects layer names in the drawing settings or object style layers and include the xrefed symbol for those layers. This provides an easy solution for new users to understand and this workflow is more efficient.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Data Shortcut 2011 new feature and 2010 undocumented synchronizing

As Civil 3D has evolved so have data shortcuts. The new 2011 version finally supports synchronizing drawings to projects (shortcut folders). Please see below for 2010 data shortcut synchronization (unsupported) solu-around.

2010 users can also apply synchronization, but it is not supported.



If these commands don’t work enter ShortcutAssociateEnable at the command line.

This command is stored in the registry and can be applied to multiple computers at once by locating ShortcutAssociateEnable and setting it to 1.


Data Shortcut Practical Joke

Make sure you are familiar with this before it gets you.

It has been awhile since I have played a practical joke on anyone. You remember what Ctrl+0 does? I hope so because it removes everything on your screen except your pull-down menus and command line. What about Ctrl+9? Yep that removes the command line. I have really had some great ones over the years. I don’t remember how it was done, but you could set AutoCAD back in the DOS days to only draw white lines no matter what the user did and I have always enjoyed setting every layer in the drawing to NO PLOT. Heheheheh!

Now it’s your turn to have fun. Simple type shortcutnode at the command line in Civil 3D 2011. It INSTANTLY removes data shortcuts from the prospector. I guarantee this will invoke a call to support. If I gambled or had a tip jar I would bet support can’t get this one on the first call. To bring data shortcuts back to the prospector simply type shortcutnodes and enter 1. This also works in 2010, with a more dramatic affect; data shortcuts won’t disappear until the user closes the drawing and opens a new drawing.

Have fun, but don’t forget to set this back to 1 for the user before going home.