Friday, 30 March 2012

Civil3d 2013 Blogger Preview

There is nothing better than free advertising so every year Autodesk shots out invites to bloggers to attend a quick one hour casual presentation on the new release features.

This year the presentation was at a more convenient time of 9am in New Zealand rather than the 5am of last year. Unfortunately this year 10 minutes into the presentation i had a client arrive in the office unannounced so did not catch much of it.

I won’t bother to upload the screen captures I grabbed as if you Google Civil3d 2013 you will find them already all over the net.

Well what can I say about the new release from along time user’s perspective and the limited amount i have seen.

  • In general the Autodesk Civil Development team have done a good job again in adding the annually required range of new features and enhancements to the product line.
  • The amount and nature of new features they have added is obviously related directly to the internal priorities and funding they receive.
  • Progression of the product continues at what seems like a snails pace in this world of instance gratification. But lucky for Autodesk the product is evolving faster than the competition.
  • The two major new additions to the product that are big talkers and may pull in/convert new users to Civil3d from other products are Railway Assemblies and Pressure pipes objects.
  • Seeing Railways are pretty much dead in New Zealand I will not be using that feature anytime soon.
  • Pressure pipes are a welcome additional that I will make use of in the future. But does not justify updating at this stage with lack of export and design capabilities and inadequacies in profile band labelling for final plan presentation.

Well that is about all a can say, I still need to dig into the areas that I wanted to see improvements . But as they have not been mentioned in any PR hype they probably re main untouched.

So in conclusion Civil3d probably remains the leading civil development software package with even more 3d object modelling abilities. But is there room for more improvement heck yeah. Roll on Civil3d 2030,retirement and maybe the total 3d software package I can visualise.  

DataShortcut Setup

Some one in the Civil3d forums asked for help now to setup different project with data shortcuts so I though I would post this guide a wrote for myself a while back. Sorry some of the pictures are blurry that is what happens when I cut and paste from word to live written sometimes.

1.First we to “set the working folder” think of the working folder as the “client folder” for example the working folder for one client Remakables Park is:- Z:Jobs 0000-9999/5814 Remarkables Park


To set the “working folder” either go thru the general menu or right click on the datashortcuts item in prospector


2. Next we have to do one of two things either


i. Set up a new “Data Shortcut Folder” think of this as one of the job folders for that particular client. For the Name type in the job number, If you use the template this sets up all the folder structure in the job as per the Aireys standard or the shipped civil3d standard


ii. “Set the Data Shortcuts Folder” anyone “working Folder” (i.e client folder) can have any number of jobs that have separate datashortcut files or a common datashortcuts file that is referenced regularly by numerous jobs for that client.

By default as soon as you set the “working folder” (i.e client folder) Civil3d detects all the “datashortcut folders” contained within that “working folder” (i.e client folder). By default Civil3d makes the most recently created “datashortcut folder” inside the “working folder” (i.e client folder) the current one being viewed in prospector. As shown below:- Note the create reference option is greyed out until you save the drawing.

“Working Folder” current “Datashortcuts Folder”



Typically on a bigger project the current “Data shortcut” will not be set automatically to the common “Data shortcut” folder that will have been created way back at the beginning of the project. To change the current “Data shortcut” folder right clicking on the Datashortcuts Row. A menu pops up with a number of other options click the “Set Data Shortcuts Folder” and the following dialog is displayed just choose the name of the folder that you want to is as the current “datashortcuts folder”



When you receive any existing topo of as built data save a copy in this folder and create datashortcuts from those drawings so that they can be used in your design drawings but you original data remains untouched in this folder.


If you are not sure where I surface is sourced from select surfaces and then in panorama you see the path at the end.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Import Layouts from Design Centre

Some time i find Civil3d crashes importing layouts from right clicking the layout tab in the drawing but works on importing from design centre.


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sheetset Selecting Specific Drawings Only

Reminder to myself. In doing a Sheet List Table remember you can pick and choose the drawings you want in the list on the second tab of the Sheet List table dialog box. 


Monday, 26 March 2012

Model that SSA, Yes it can

Back in November last year I posted an interesting wastewater distribution manhole I was designing with a leading question “Model that SSA”.

I did eventually figure out a way to model the distribution manhole in SSA by breaking it down into 5 smaller models one to represent each pipe run from the wastewater settling pond to the appropriate distribution swale at a different elevation through the valve chamber


Once the geometry was defined it was easy enough to create the SSA models for each pipe run.


Over the last few months the job has been built and last week we commissioned the system.

Swale pipes and valve pit under construction


To check the actual discharge flows were within permitted levels, when the solar powered actuator controlled valves (left) were opened the design flow was checked against the actual flows using the built in flow meter (right).

SSA had estimated the flows at 13l/s where the actual flows recorded were 9.5 l/s to 11l/s depending on the swale and the number of holes in the swale distribution pipe. This was within the 20 l/s limit set by the regional council.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Split PDF’s with Arcoplot

I love using Acroplot for my printing and had a pdf file I wanted to split into single sheets today. So I picked one PDF per layout and it split it the existing combined pdf into 3 separate sheets for me.


Friday, 16 March 2012

Stream Manning’s n values with photos

Found this link today with a good reference between manning n values and photos of the actual streams

Malware Warning

A couple of people have pointed out they are getting a malware warning. It seems to have been removed today hopefully.

HEC-RAS GIS Import Error

Doing a small river flood analysis in HEC-RAS following Andy Carters AU 2011 paper here but I kept getting this Georeference data error on GIS import into HEC-RAS


It was due to me just using the polyline drawn for the stream centreline as the basis of the alignment and it extending past the end of the surface.


I shortened the alignment and everything imports into HEC-RAS fine now.


Missing .shx and .shp files in xref slows Civil3d performance, causes slow starts an more

At the start of the year I had a job that just caused Civil3d to preform like a dog, I started a blog post then that I never finished until today, when I encountered the same drop in performance.

At the beginning of the year when opening a file it appeared to stall on “finding interior borders”. Today i was having slow regen’s and slow jumping between model space and layouts and constant Civil3d (not responding) prompts.

It turned out that both these issues in performance were the result of missing .shx and or .shp files in the base survey xref from a sub consultant.

To find the issue the first time i spent most of a morning troubleshooting the situation trying the following:-

  1. Auditing for errors
  2. Purging all the unused stuff
  3. Detached all xrefs
  4. Promoted the Drefs
  5. Closing the drawing on model so as to not regen when in a Layout on opening
  6. Saving the file to c drive rather than a network drive.

It seemed the only noticeable improvement occurred with the xref’s detached.

On opening the Xref itself i noticed in the command line that 3 or 4 .shp files were not being found. Using the lsp findshp I found the lines using the shp files and swapped them out.

Today the issue was the same but missing .shx files. To fix it this time I requested the missing files from the subconsultant and installed them as discussed here

Hope this saves some of you from the dreaded (not responding) prompt one day.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Working to a deadline Civl3d always blows up in my face


You know its a bad day when you google alternatives to Civil3d

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Extract Objects/Polylines from Featurelines Part 2

Rainy weekend so decided to update the previous code I posted here into a command that extracts the base object 3dpolyline or whatever and adds it to the drawing
Public Function GetPolylinefromFeatureline(ByVal Featureline As Civil.Land.DatabaseServices.FeatureLine) As Object 'Refer to this forum post from some background ' ' Dim cv As Curve = Featureline.BaseCurve Dim oPline As New Object 'The basecurve of a featureline can be a 3dpolyline, 2dpolyline or a curve 'check if the base curve is a 3dPolyline If cv.GetType() Is GetType(Autodesk.AutoCAD.DatabaseServices.Polyline3d) Then 'MsgBox("this is 3dpolyline") oPline = TryCast(cv, Polyline3d) 'oPline.ConvertToPolyType(Poly3dType.SimplePoly) Return oPline Else 'check if the base curve is a Polyline If cv.GetType() Is GetType(Autodesk.AutoCAD.DatabaseServices.Polyline) Then 'MsgBox("this is polyline") 'oPline = TryCast(cv, Polyline3d) oPline = cv Return oPline 'Dim oPline2d As Polyline = cv 'Dim oPline2dx As Polyline2d = oPline2d.ConvertTo(True) 'oPline2dx.ConvertToPolyType(Poly3dType.SimplePoly) Else 'check if the base curve is a 2dPolyline If cv.GetType() Is GetType(Autodesk.AutoCAD.DatabaseServices.Polyline2d) Then 'MsgBox("this is 2dpolyline") oPline = TryCast(cv, Polyline3d) Else 'check if the base curve is a curve If cv.GetType() Is GetType(Autodesk.AutoCAD.DatabaseServices.Curve) Then MsgBox("this is a curve") oPline = TryCast(cv, Polyline3d) Else MsgBox("object of type " & cv.GetType().ToString & "not progammed for yet") End If End If End If End If Return oPline End Function

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Section View Elevation Range - Help useless or command not working

Posted this in the Civil3d forums with no replies maybe some of you guys know the answer

For the life of me I can not figure out how this command is meant to work. We do a lot of work in hill country and i thought I should use the user specified height range to follow the corridor (assuming at centre line elevation) and set the height to say 5m to get uniformed section 2.5m high and low from the corridor centreline level but I just get rubbish. Can some explain how this command is meant to work as the help is useless.

Here are some pictures of what I am doing


Now does it get 370m? when the road is a more like 382m?



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...