Friday, July 2, 2010

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.

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