Thursday, 28 April 2011

Civil3d Pipe Style with thick dashed line

Trying to find a tutorial that i think Matt ? or someone did on making a pipe style with a thick dashed line
no luck. I did find this one but
Still would like to find the other tutorial have you seen it on the net if so please paste the link in the comments below.

Setting Visual Basic Express 2008 & 2010 Debug Path

From the vba to migration video this is how you setup Autocad as the default debug program. Note the same process works for C# Express if you add the lines to the file ending with .csproj

Monday, 18 April 2011

Civil3d Quick Pipe Edit

Coming up on almost 2 years ago Christopher at Civil3dReminders wrote some code to have the start, end and slope information of pipes displayed within Civil3d using the TransientGraphicsAPI.
I have extended Christopher’s code below in order to create a Quick Pipe Edit (QPE) command along the lines of the built in featureline Quick Elevation Edit command available in Civil3d.   
To use the code download the compiled dll from here
or source code from here and compile it

1. Type Netload at the commandline browse to and load the download project .dll
2. Type QPE at the command line.
Note: Using this command may trigger event viewer to stop the event viewer displaying see the post have
3. Hover the cursor near the start, end or centre of the pipe you want to edit.
4. Information on the specified location is displayed.
5. DoubleClick the mouse button to edit the displayed pipe information.
Note: The slope is always back calculated from the start invert and the end invert adjusted accordingly.
6. Once you have finished type QPEE to end the command and remove the events handlers
The code works as demonstrated in the following screen capture.
Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.
Being version 1 of the code  it has limited error trapping and it works for me but is not perfect so use it at your own risk. 
My ultimate goal was the mimic the behaviour of the featureline Quick Elevation Edit command. However I have fallen short in a number of areas.
1. To edit the pipe information a doubleclick is required instead of a single click.
I have not been able to find out now to capturer the event when the user just clicks the left mouse button once. According to the online help there is no leftclick event exposed

I have in the past used an operating system hook to capture the Mouse Click Event similar to the process documented here
but there must be a simpler way with .net now.
2. The pipe information is displayed as text in the drawing and not next to the cursor.
I found a code example here how to do it in C# with and undocumented API call and managed to get it up and running but it needs more work and I would like to convert all the code to instead of having to reference a separate C# .dll with the code
While researching this issue I initially thought I had to display the information in the tooltip. But a tooltip only displays the information temporarily. Here are some links I found on adding information to the tool tip for reference anyway. version

3. You have to end the command by firing another command to remove the event handlers in use.
The initial command sets up a number of event handlers these need to be removed with you are finished with the code. You should be able to use another event like endcommand or esc key press to target a rountine to close the event handlers automatically but I do not know how to implement this at this stage.

Any feedback/comments on how I could implement these changes would be appreciated.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Quickly Deleting Recovered drawings

Just loving this button at the moment to jump quickly to the drawing folder and delete recovered drawings messing up the folder.

Manually Lock and Unlock PVI in Profile

One I will forget if I do not write it down. You can manually lock and unlock PVI in the profile geometry
editor window it is just hidden off to the side scroll to the far right and you will find it. Note if you use the intersection
wizard the PVI are locked for you to the primary road if you choose so but you can remove at a later date if needed.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Civil3d 2012 Pipe Inverts at Structure walls Part 3

Well I have download Civil3d 2012 and loaded it and looked into this new pipe rule and the verdict for me is not good.Sure it stops the pipe short in plan view and has the grips there but the grips are not at the edge of the structure in ProfileView as I hoped.

Also the alignment from network parts command does not work correctly now and the alignment places the IP not at the centre of the structure but jumps to the end of the next pipe this error is most likely dependant on the angle of deflection between the incoming and out going pipes.

Peter Thomson’s comments on the subject


Thursday, 14 April 2011

Civil3d 2012 Pipe Inverts at Structure walls Part 2

From the 2012 Installation Readme file
Set Pipe End Location
This rule allows the user to set the location of the pipe ends at an offset relative to the structure's wall.
When AutoCAD Civil 3D pipes connect to structures they connect at the center of the structure. This is typically not an accurate representation of the real-world connection or pipe length. Traditionally, the connection issue is solved graphically by using part masking in the structure style, but this is not available when displaying a structure in profile as a solid. Also, the pipe slopes are currently calculated using the center to center length as opposed to the actual length of pipe.
When using this rule the user may specify the start and end locations of the pipes to be located at the structure center or at a specified offset relative to the structures inner or outer wall. The ends of pipes will be shown in plan and profile at these specified locations. Grips for the pipes will also appear at these locations. Slope values will be calculated based on the actual length of the pipes.
Note: When structures are moved, AutoCAD Civil 3D behavior is to reconnect attached pipes to the structures. The pipes will still default to the structure center and the user will have to Apply Rules in order to re-set the pipe end locations.
The following parameters govern the behavior of the pipe Set Pipe End Location rule.
  • End Location. Specifies that the end of the pipe be located relative to the Structure Center, Structure Inner Wall, or Structure Outer Wall. Without the rule pipe ends will be located at the Structure Center.
  • Start Location. Specifies that the start of the pipe be located relative to the Structure Center, Structure Inner Wall, or Structure Outer Wall. Without the rule pipe starting ends will be located at the Structure Center.
  • End Offset. Specifies an offset distance from the specified End Location toward the center of the ending structure. This offset is not applied when the End Location specified is to the Structure Center. Negative values and values that would extend the pipe further than the structure center are ignored.
  • Start Offset. Specifies an offset distance from the specified Start Location toward the center of the starting structure. This offset is not applied when the Start Location specified is to the Structure Center. Negative values and values that would extend the pipe further than the structure center are ignored.
Known Issues
The following issue is a known behavior of the pipe Set Pipe End Location rule.
  • Length - Center to Center. By default the actual pipe length is to the center, however, with the new "Set Pipe End Location" pipe rule the user can easily set the actual pipe length relative to the inside or outside edge of structures. The 2D Center to Center Length and 3D Center to Center Length values are actually the true lengths of the pipes in 2D and 3D respectively from start to end.

Civil3d 2012 Pipe Invert Levels at Structure Walls

Rick Graham recently commented on his blog Simply Civil3d about the new pipe options that are going to be available in 2012 to layout pipes from structure to structure by
  • Center to Center (as it has been before)
  • Inside wall of structure
  • Outside wall of structure
Now Peter Thompson and myself have been have been pretty vocal about the lack of ability in Civil3d to accurately model pipe networks and lack of access to pipe network data in the pipe bands over the years (since way back in 2007) for a number of reason but one in particular crops up more often than others. The transition from minimum sloped pipes to steep sloped pipes where the drop across the structure at the centreline can end up being positive and not negative.
Now I have not seen this new feature in action but do hope against hope that it will reduce the number of work arounds we have had to use to employ the pipe functionality in Civil3d.
In my opinion the pipe drafting and layout features in Civil3d still require a  considerable amount of work to improve there efficiency, but updates to this area of the program seem to always remain second fiddle to improvement in the roading and corridor section. Take for example watermains to model these correctly from an engineering perspective a true 3d pipe extruded along a 3d polyline/featureline path will have to be introduced as a base object into the program. To account for total pipe length and therefore pipe friction in head loss calculations.
Otherwise unnecessary pipe network complexity is required to model a flexible MDPE water pipe that typical changes in the horizontal and vertical position between gate values and hydrants. Currently to model this situation the only option is to introduce pointless null structures into the network at changes in pipe direction and elevation.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Civil3d Blog Ring

Just playing around setting up a Civil3d Blog and Website Ring for anyone with a blog or website on Civil3d to join. This is the page that people link to by pressing the join the ring hyperlink in the Civil3d Blog ring sidebar that you install on your blog
I invite you to join the Civil3d Blog Ring here
We are Civil3d users who blog about how we use and abuse Civil3d.

If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them just add a comment below or email me at
Basically been following the instructions on this website to set the ring up for those that are interested in the detail.

Where to from here?

I see the pin will be pulled on on the 2nd of May hopefully all the good contributions over the years will be keep up on the internet some where for future reference.
Joshua posted links to a few Civil3d blogs out there.
In an effort to assist anyone looking for Civil3d related blogs I have added a side bar to my blog below that lists all the blogs I currently have setup in my google reader account. 

Back from the Pacific

Just returned from a 2 week break in Rarotonga at the beautiful
PacificResort attending my sisters wedding and revisiting the island my wife and I got married on almost eleven years ago with the Kids. So no I was not allowed to take my laptop.

I did however pickup a couple of computer books on root at Border’s book store in Auckland at their big non-fiction clearance sale to read on the plane.

Publishing a blog with Blogger
This is a pretty straight forward text that shows you how to do pretty much everything with blogger. I would recommend it for anyone wanting to start up a blog with blogger. I use blogger with Windows Live Writer 2011 which I have found to be a great mix for publishing information to the net simply and easily.

Head First Object-Oriented Analysis & Design
Picked up this book in an effort to improve the structuring of my code so it is organised in a more object oriented way to enable more efficient reuse of sections of code I have written. Although written for Java it provides great tips in an interested writing style.
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