Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Replace Last Entity

Finally I’ve created the million dollar application that you won’t be able to live without. In reality the application is priceless, but I’ve reduced it to an extremely affordable price of only $1,000,000. This app does what you were waiting for. It replaces the last profile entity from an entity and replaces it with a brand new refreshed copy.

You may have experienced drawing slow down in the past and wondered what the cause was. It just might have been due to a tired worn out last profile entity being the slowest chain in the link of objects. Autodesk may have told you in the past it was due to large amount of data in the drawing. My research as determined in reality it is caused by a tired last profile entity segment. Since I started using this application my drawing regen times have been increased by 3,500% (your results may vary).

The program is available in the Civil 3D App Store. After installing the program, type C3DRReplaceLastEntity at the command line, select the design profile, and sit back and watch your drawing performance improve exponentially. It’s like buying a new computer from the future to get the unlimited computing power of tomorrow. Here is the command in action: see how easy it is to use? I’m sure it will be your go to tool when drawing performance starts to go downhill.

Another feature of this million dollar app is it fixes a glaring error in the newly announced Civil 3D 2015. A new feature allows you to extend a fixed or floating tangent or parabola to the extents of the profile view the object is currently in. To accomplish this it adds a line or curve extension to the end of the profile view. This makes it possible to hide the added portion of the profile, while still using the extension in a corridor. This would let the corridor not go to zero elevation. Unfortunately if you decide to adjust the last profile entity you can’t get rid of the extension line. Since this million dollar app replaces the last segment, it also gets rid of the extended line or curve. Think of how quick your return on investment will be for this app. Since Civil 3D 2015 was light on new features, and for this new feature to be included, I'm sure it will be quickly recouped.

To celebrate the release of this application I’m going to give away this application to the first million people to request it on the first day of April. That’s a value of $1 Trillion dollars I’m giving away. I must be crazy. To get a copy fill out this survey. Yes, it is that easy to get a copy of this million dollar app!

The survey is now closed and you have lost the opportunity to get the million dollar app for free. It doesn't look like the app was accepted into the Civil 3D App Store. If you'd like to purchase email me (link to the upper right) and we can make payment arrangements. While this post is an April's Fools day post the app does replace the last profile entity in Civil 3D 2015 in case you extended the profile and now want to have it show correctly. It must be worth that price since Autodesk wasn't willing to spend the supposed countless hours to include the command in Civil 3D 2015 to do it themselves.

Monday, March 24, 2014


In the past two years I’ve attended Startup Weekend events, where you pitch ideas and a the end of the weekend you end up with a prototype product and a business idea that is fairly well developed. At each of them I’ve pitched a tool to help with Storm Water management. Many of the participants are students, so it’s not surprising I couldn’t get a team to do a real world useful app compared to another app to share music with others.

I recently got an email for a new product, which just happened to be the tool I was pitching at Startup Weekend. The product name is shiftStormWater. The product helps you track all of the required forms, rainfall, action logs and other required items. It makes it easy to have all of the information in one place. The tool is accessed over the cloud and provides all of the required forms.


The user interface is easy to navigate between items. Adding forms is as easy as clicking the + Forms button at the top of the screen. The dashboard provides an entry point to the data. The Details button allows you to enter and change the details for your project. There are alerts that are provided for rainfall events. If you do rainfall monitoring and stormwater development projects you might want to check out this tool. You can find out more information here:

Friday, March 07, 2014

Dell Announcements

Dell recently has been sending out some press release announcements, while I have been busy not putting out blog posts. I figured I would take this opportunity to do a blog post by passing on Dell’s information.

First up is a less expensive mobile workstation dubbed the M2800. It is a 15” screen with a system set up for utilizing AutoCAD (and I’m assuming the verticals). At a base price of $1,199 it hopes to fill the gap between a basic laptop and a workstation. I could see this machine as an away from the office machine that isn’t as bulky as 17” laptop workstation and a desktop at the office. I don’t have a permanent office space, so I’m going to stick with my 17” behemoth of a mobile workstation. More information may be found here and here.

Dell also announced the Dell Wyse Datacenter for Virtual Workstations. This allows Independent Software Vendors (ISV), such as Autodesk, to develop their software and then test it on the virtual workstations. Dell is providing free help for the ISVs to figure out any problems and then get help in solving them. Presumably once all of the kinks are worked out the virtual workstations may then be certified for use. You then could implement them for your company. The benefit of a virtual workstation is the ability to access a fast computer and your data in remote locations using a variety of devices. The benefit for Dell the ability to sell customers a cloud solution they they host. It also allows for the security of the data without having to trust cloud solutions provided by others such as Autodesk.

I see this as the future cloud solution. You create a series of virtual workstations in a central location and then install a version of the Autodesk’s cloud platform on your servers. This removes the big road block in Autodesk’s plan to move all of us to the cloud. Or I could be wrong and Autodesk will fail miserably as we stick to desktop versions because internet connections suck at this time and who wants to be dependent on a link to the outside of your walls to get and use a program and your data. For more information check this link out.

Dell has provided a free trip to me in the past to attend a press event of theirs. I also get invited to SWSX events, which I haven’t had a chance to attend. Maybe next year.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Profile View Bands

There appears to be a bug in adding a profile view band set to a profile view through the API in Civil 3D 2013 & 2014. The error is that the profiles, pipe network, and other information isn’t shown properly. In addition all of the settings don’t make sense. Here is some code that corrects the situation below. There is lots of code not shown, along with methods that are called that are included below. But the main concept is below.

ProfileViewBandSetStyle bandSet = profileBandSetId.GetObject(OpenMode.ForRead) as ProfileViewBandSetStyle;
ProfileViewBandItemCollection bottomBandItems = profileView.Bands.GetBottomBandItems();
ProfileViewBandItemCollection topBandItems = profileView.Bands.GetTopBandItems();


bottomBandItems = new ProfileViewBandItemCollection(profileView.ObjectId, Autodesk.Civil.BandLocationType.Bottom);
topBandItems = new ProfileViewBandItemCollection(profileView.ObjectId, Autodesk.Civil.BandLocationType.Top);

var bottomBandSetItems = bandSet.GetBottomBandSetItems();

foreach (var bandItem in bandSet.GetBottomBandSetItems())

int i = 0;
foreach (var bandItm in bottomBandItems)
bandItm.Gap = bottomBandSetItems[i].Gap;
bandItm.LabelAtEndStation = bottomBandSetItems[i].LabelAtEndStation;
bandItm.LabelAtStartStation = bottomBandSetItems[i].LabelAtStartStation;
if (bandItm.BandType != Autodesk.Civil.BandType.PipeNetwork)
bandItm.MajorInterval = bottomBandSetItems[i].MajorInterval == 0 ? 100 : bottomBandSetItems[i].MajorInterval;
bandItm.MinorInterval = bottomBandSetItems[i].MinorInterval == 0 ? 25 : bottomBandSetItems[i].MinorInterval;
bandItm.StaggerLabel = bottomBandSetItems[i].StaggerLabel;
if (bandItm.StaggerLabel != StaggerLabelType.None)
bandItm.StaggerLineHeight = bottomBandSetItems[i].StaggerLineHeight;
bandItm.ShowLabels = bottomBandSetItems[i].ShowLabels;
bandItm.Weeding = bottomBandSetItems[i].Weeding;
i += 1;

var topBandSetItems = bandSet.GetTopBandSetItems();

foreach (var bandItem in topBandSetItems)

i = 0;
foreach (var bandItm in topBandItems)
bandItm.Gap = topBandSetItems[i].Gap;
bandItm.LabelAtEndStation = topBandSetItems[i].LabelAtEndStation;
bandItm.LabelAtStartStation = topBandSetItems[i].LabelAtStartStation;
if (bandItm.BandType != Autodesk.Civil.BandType.PipeNetwork)
bandItm.MajorInterval = topBandSetItems[i].MajorInterval == 0 ? 100 : bottomBandSetItems[i].MajorInterval;
bandItm.MinorInterval = topBandSetItems[i].MinorInterval == 0 ? 25 : bottomBandSetItems[i].MinorInterval;
bandItm.StaggerLabel = topBandSetItems[i].StaggerLabel;
if (bandItm.StaggerLabel != StaggerLabelType.None)
bandItm.StaggerLineHeight = topBandSetItems[i].StaggerLineHeight;
bandItm.ShowLabels = topBandSetItems[i].ShowLabels;
bandItm.Weeding = topBandSetItems[i].Weeding;
i += 1;

UpdateBandProfileAndDataSource(PipeNetworkObjId, prof, bottomBandItems);
UpdateBandProfileAndDataSource(PipeNetworkObjId, prof, topBandItems);


MakerBot 3D Printers

Dell recently announced they are adding MakerBot 3D printers and scanners to their stable of products offered for sale. At first I was a bit clueless on why this would be worthy of a press release, after all I can go purchase the scanners and printers directly from MakerBot. Then I thought about it and remembered that small, medium, and large businesses may purchase equipment different them myself (a sole proprietor).

The benefit is the ability to use your purchasing power to purchase a complete end-to-end solution for prototyping for less then complete list prices. Why not get a bit of a discount and purchase the entire system from one vendor? The MakerBot products are expected to be available from Dell’s website on February 20 here in the United States (

  • MakerBot® Replicator® 2 Desktop 3D Printer – sets the standard in desktop 3D printing, allowing users to bring their projects to life with professional-quality, 100-micron layer resolution and a 410-cubic-inch build volume priced at $2,199.
  • MakerBot® Replicator® 2X Experimental 3D Printer – a full-featured desktop 3D printer designed for experts who want to explore the frontiers of 3D printing. It features experimental dual extrusion that is optimized for printing with MakerBot ABS Filament and is available for $2,799.
  • MakerBot® Replicator® Mini Compact 3D Printer – an easy-to-use, no-compromise compact 3D printer for everyone, from beginners to professionals offering fast and easy one-touch 3D printing will be available in the spring at an anticipated price of $1,375.
  • MakerBot® Replicator® Desktop 3D Printer – fifth generation MakerBot technology that provides outstanding speed, reliability, quality, and connectivity for easy-to-use, reliable desktop 3D printing. The MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer provides a large build volume and fast print times to accelerate rapid prototyping and model making.  Available for pre-orders now and priced at $2,899.
  • MakerBot® Replicator® Z18 3D Printer – offers massive build volume and the best price to performance ratio in its category; available in the spring of 2014 for an anticipated price of $6,499.
  • MakerBot® Digitizer™ Desktop 3D Scanner – the fast and easy way for anyone to create 3D models to modify, improve, share, and 3D print. The scanner is optimized for use MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers and MakerBot Thingiverse and is available at the price of $949.


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