Thursday, 31 May 2012

Making your own Civil3d Custom Pipe Rules

You can make your own custom pipe and structure rules for Civil3d to model your local requirements. To do this with is a little bit involved to start with but worth the effort. To get started

1. Copy the sample pipe project folder and all its contents that ships with Civil3d from the shipping location
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012\Sample\Civil 3D API\C3DPipeNetworkRules
to a new location.

2. Open up the project solution file in Visual Basic Express IDE

3. Fix up the references in the project so they point to the correct paths on your local machine


4.Rename the project to be some thing like C3DPipeNetworkRulesCustom
5.Set the build output path to the location where Civil3d xml pointer file is going to look for pipe rule files

6. Set up the Debug application to be Autocad by opening the .vbprog file and adding the following two lines

7. Setup a custom pipe rule .xml pointer file for Civil3d to load and display your custom rules for selection in Civil3d. As far as I am aware this is not documented by Autodesk anywhere Chris Fugitt from Civil3dReminders summaries the process in his AU2007 paper (page 18 on) which has disappeared from the AU site as it is to old, but I have uploaded here for reference. Hopefully he gets to present the information again at AU or Autodesk add it to the help.

8. I already have a modified .xml with three custom rules added for VBA that I wrote back in 2008 but it has a couple of issues in Civil3d 2012 a new rule PipeEndLocation was added by Autodesk which is missing from my file and the rules point to the old VBA .dvb rules file and not a new .dll therefore do not work unless VBA has been installed on your PC.

9.So to make an updated xml pointer file I made a copy of the new shipped .xml file and copied and pasted my custom rules in xml notepad from the end of the old file onto the new file by having two session of xmlnotepad running next to each other.

Now I adjusted the path to point to the dll and the macro text to what I am assuming should be the “rootnamespace” followed by the class name in the project.

10. Now I have been unable to get my old rules to run using the vba to conversion process so I am am going to have to make the same updates to the copy of the shipped .net pipe rules file as I did to the vba file back in 2008. So in the project file make a few name changes to know where the new rules code is.

11. Now swap out the shipped xml pointer file with your updated xml file.

12. Go back to Visual Basic Express and launch a debug  session by pressing the play button. This will start Civil3d and we will be able to check if the new rules are available and we can debug and step thru your custom pipe rule .dll file

13. Problem I can see the rules and they appear to be pointing to the right .dll file but Civil3d cannot fire the rules in the.dll. Does anyone out there know what the issue could be or have custom rules running in 2012.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Section Centre Line Labels

Following on from the post a couple of weeks ago I have made up an expression to help me label just the centreline levels on my sections. I have to make use of expressions again to minimize the labels you do not want to see by reducing there height.msnbvvhg

as follows


to make them disappear I used the following expression for the text and block height if the offset is zero it makes the objects 2.5mm high otherwise make them 0.01mm high.





Monday, 7 May 2012

Too AU or not to AU that is the question?

Looking at going to AU this year seeing I have collected enough airpoints on the old visa. Would like to do a paper on something but have to submit it and get it accepted first. Paper Ideas have to be submitted by 22 May 2012.

Here is a list of ideas I came up with for NZAU last year number 2 and 3 made the cut in the end. Anything look interesting? or any other ideas come to mind from my previous blog posts? I maybe a bit rusty on the programming side as have not done any for a couple of months.

1. The Pipe Paper I did for NZAU 2009 but that needs a rework and is bit old now (for me anyway).
2. Urban infill subdivision lot grading on steep terrain. One persons workflow for getting the job done when C3D grading is pushed to the limit.
3. Six time saving tools in 60 minutes. So you know how to open vba or but what can you do with it. Step thru the creation of 6 time saving tools in vb.

Label assemblies in one click
Swap pipe parts in profile view
Points from text - take those old 2d drawings and make them 3d
What point groups is this point a member of
Editing Parcel labels on import to remove unnecessary naming information (Land online)
Tips and tricks for Controlling the user interface

4. Piping at maximum Velocity. Create a VB project so that after three clicks your long sections (ProfileViews) are done.
5. Subdivision modelling my way as they are not highways.
6. Modifying the UrbanSideway assembly with VB to include topsoil depth for berms and to generate a turn bottom links surface for bulk excavation.
7. ProfileView Generator - Create a tool in VB to generate multiple Profileview in one click, store and save setting for generating various ProfileViewtypes in the one drawing with the same click.
8. Write your own custom pipe rules in
9. Introduction to vba,, lsp?
10. Master those layers my tips and tricks for working with all those layers in Civil3d
11. Catchment Modelling with Storm sewers and Parcels
12. So you want to use Vault this is what I know
13. Modelling Watermains and Pressuremains with Epanet and Civil3d Pipe Networks
14. How I Structure projects to be a jack of all trades

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Winters on the Way

Thought I would post a photo from my office desk of the Remarkables Mountain Range on this beautiful blue sky day in Queenstown with the first sign of snow from the weekend. Time to check the ski gear still fit’s the kids ready for winter and the start of the ski season in June.


Add Featureline Site to Quick Properties

I few years ago Tony posted on how to modify the quick properties Dialog Box to add pipe data which I have used for a while

For featurelines however i have been just using the list command to check a featurelines site but today I thought maybe I can add it to the quick properties and sure enough you can.




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