Tuesday, December 18, 2012


I have been working with Leica HDS Laser Scanners since 1999. My company is a Leica HDS GOLD dealer and we specialize in implementing scanning and creating deliverables utilizing Leica HDS and Autodesk software. Over the past few years the typical solution(easy) is to work with PTS file format and it does provide a solution, but we can also convert the PTS format to LAS or E57 format. We are located in Michigan and MDOT requires a LAS in their RFP.

We recommend exporting Leica HDS IMP data in pts format and converting it to a LAS file for importing into Civil 3D or REVIT. This will reduce the file sixe by almost 75%. To convert the PTS to LAS we can utilize a very simple and free software called POINTZIP. Yes this is free software and yes the icon is a DUCK. I was afraid to download this free software with the .exe extension and the picture of a duck., but now after testing this product I give my stamp of approval. now.

Download while it is FREE

During the conversion process color can be retained if you select the xyzRGB option below.


Once Civil 3D is open, simply right click Pointclouds from the Prospector and Create Point Cloud. From Revit, select insert POINTCLOUD, select the las file and convert to PCG.
Select Truecolor to display Pointcloud color from the images that were taken. Below is an image of what to expect once the pointcloud is imported.
 We plan to elaberate on our next post about the advantages and disadvantages of points directly imported into Civil 3D or any Autodesk format. We will also provide solutions for importing pointclounds into Revit, Navisworks, and Factory CAD. We will also provide solutions and workflows for working with the new E57. E57 file format is a compact, vendor-neutral format for storing point clouds, images, and metadata produced by 3D imaging systems, such as laser scanners.
Happy Holidays to all!
Chad Studer


Monday, December 17, 2012


ALL I want for Christmas is a Civil 3D APP. I have been looking at these and wanting to test them forever. Now that Autodesk University is behind us it's time to start playing again. Please post if you have downloaded any APPS and feel free to review them here. I will begin my reviews the first of the year.  http://apps.exchange.autodesk.com/CIV3D/Home/Index

 My favorite so far is the E57 file format for pointclouds. I will discuss this more on my next post along with the LAS file format for pointclouds in Civil 3D.

E57 file format plug-in for Pointclouds in Civil 3D 2013

The next review will be makinga copy 3D polylines/Featurelines and placing them in 2D.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Civil 3D Medians and Curb Islands made easy in CORRIDOR

Autodesk University was great again this year. My biggest regret was not meeting with every client that was lucky enough to be out there. I would also like to thank the clients that did hangout. First year that the CRAPS table thanked me for coming to AU.

I spoke for the 4th year in a row and the title of my class was AutoCAD® Civil 3D®: "Curbing" Your Enthusiasm. I presented Conditional corridors for driveways, ADA ramps and sidewalks. I also provide a SOLU-AROUND for medians. Below shows a small portion I presented about medians. I will provide the ultimate part about my class after this solu-around.
This method of creating medians was not practical until the 2012 version. In version 2012 we can add multiple baselines alignments to a single corridor and all assemblies show up together in cross section view. So why not create alignments from each island and use the corridor surface as the profile? This would be dynamic and update as the corridor changes. Unfortunately Civil 3D corridors will not accept the elevation from the corridor profile. Solu-Around, create a new surface called medians. Now paste the corridor surface into it.

·         Create a corridor surface
·         Create a surface called medians
·         Paste the corridor surface into the medians surface
·         Create alignment from the edge of pavement around the median
·         Create profile from median surface.
·         Create assembly using only curb attached to the assembly
·         Add the alignment, profile and assembly to existing corridor
I will post part of the AU class or recorded Solu-Around at ADSKSolutions.com I will provide
direct link here.

Friday, October 5, 2012


Following directions does not mean everything will work. As a guy that enjoys learning technology I have a habit of just jumping in and clicking buttons, but this time I actually followed Autodesk directions to uninstall Civil 3D 2013 because I didn't have time for this not to work. Unfortunately after following the uninstall document http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/ps/dl/item?siteID=123112&id=20304823&linkID=9240697 I was still unable to re-install 2013. During the reinstallation the software thought it was already installed and would not allow me to select the check box for installation. After uninstalling Civil 3D 2013 make sure you locate these registry keys before reinstalling the software.



After removing these registry keys the software installed properly. Locate the correct keys for Navisworks, Raster Design, ETC before reinstalling the Infrastructure Design Suite.

 *These keys need to be removed for all 2013 products before reinstalling products to ensure success. Match the correct key with the software that was removed.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

REVIT LT for SCAN to BIM Professionals

As a Civil 3D and SCAN to BIM professional it is important to understand Revit. Autodesk has just released Revit LT. This provides a low cost platform for everyone to own a BIM Solutions and yes this LT version includes 3D, LOL. The full version of Revit is required for rendering materials.

Revit LT can be purchased as a stand-alone product.
Free Trial - http://usa.autodesk.com/revitlt/trial/
Features - http://usa.autodesk.com/revitlt/features/
How to buy - http://usa.autodesk.com/revitlt/howtobuy/

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Volume Reports and Tables in Civil 3D 2013

Civil 3D will create CUT & FILL Reports and Tables utilizing the Dashboard in Civil 3D 2013 or the extension in 2012.

Locate the the Volume Dashboard under Analyze tab.

Locate the panarama, select add volume entry. Add base and comparison surface

Click to generate Cut/Fill Report

Print the report to correct format and insert into the drawing or click the A icon and place report directly into the drawing.

Example of placing the report directly into the drawing.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Autodesk has wasted NO time discussing the Google Earth feature missing from Civil 3D 2013. Instead they announced a new plugin from Autodesk Labs that they haved teamed with BING to bring in what looks like dynamic mapping. Video of Bing maps in Civil 3D

Download and install the new feature.
Change the work space to Planning and Analysis
Set drawing coordinate system
Click the Connect icon in the far left of the ribbon.

Now zoom to any location and watch the map update.
Looks very cool so far. Will check accuracy and look for Tin data this weekend.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Download Civil 3D 2013 and read system requirments

Civil 3D 2013 and Infrastructure suites have been released.

If you haven't received your 2013 product it is posted online. You can download and run the software for 30 days or until your product serial number arrives. If you are on subscription download load it from the subscription center. Check out new features, requirments and more below. Please call if you are interested in 2013 training. We are also offering local and webinar rollout events. 480-719-4599
Autodesk 2013 live and webinar events
Civil 3D 2013 Download
2013 Infrastructure Design Suite Download
Autodesk Subscription
Civil 3D 2013 Requirements
Civil 3D 2013 Features
Infrastructure Design Suite and Civil 3D information INFO

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Civil 3D 2013

Before we talk about the new version let's go OLD SCHOOL. Anybody remember AutoCAD R13? Was R13 that bad or was R14 that good? I wish Autodesk would of released and titled the new release Civil 3D NV (New Version) for all of us old school R13 was the version we could of all did with out. Maybe Autodesk could have gone with Civil 3D PRE-2014. The good news is they redeemed themselves with this R13 release. Attached provides a list of all of the new features. Can you say water main without getting excited?
 Civil 3D 2013 Matrix

I plan to introduce and break down each feature for you after we present our local live events on 2013 Autodesk products. www.ADSKsolutions.com

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Point Cloud Feature Extraction for Revit

Site/Building Footprint Extraction
Autodesk Labs has just released free software to extract Revit data from point clouds. I was reviewing this software to manage, display and extract building data from point clouds. As I was doing this I came across this impressive video on extracting Site/Building Footprints. Autodesk Labs video. To sum this up with one word UNBELIEVABLE!

Remember when Autodesk Labs released Point Cloud Feature Extraction for AutoCAD Civil 3D? (now retired) I would select the point cloud to build a surface and it included all of the trees and utilities. The TIN could not be used for anything.
So I immediately put this new Revit tool to the test. Keep reading I never thought I would use REVIT to build a surface and export it to CIVIL 3D.

Lets get started; Open REVIT and insert the Point Cloud from a simple PTS file.



 Click Feature Extraction from the new TAB and click Site Surface.            
Position the point cloud in the front view like the video displayed and select the ground features.                                                                                                                                                                                               

Image shows resulting point cloud with contours. Notice the wall in the bottom left, and the trees on the site. It automatically excluded these objects. Review the front view below it did not include the trees

 Front view of the surface to show walls and trees were not included.

Couple other helpful tools provide the ability to crop and un-crop the surface. The picture below show the command to turn the point cloud display off.  

 Once the point cloud was turned off I used the Navisworks plug-in to export the surface to Navisworks. 

This command is very simple to use and provides an incredible tool for Revit users to build quick topographical surfaces, but how do we get this surface into Civil 3D?
I will provide steps to utilize this surface in Civil 3D later in the week and will link a video to this process soon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Autodesk Live Event, Scottsdale, AZ

Chad Studer presents Civil 3D break-out session with Lynn Allen"The Future of Design" seminar with Lynn Allen on Thursday, February 16th in Old Town Scottsdale, AZ. No Registration Fees.
Lynn is the most sought after Autodesk Technical speaker and speaks to 30,000 uses each year.
Register for more details
Live Event in Old Town Scottsdale: No Registration Fees

  • Future of Design
  • Civil 3D Break-out
  • Revit Break-out Session      
  • 60 Tips in 60 Minutes
  • Networking Happy Hour!