Monday, July 09, 2018

Just a Random Thought

Why spend so much time renaming modeling? Seems a better use of time would be to create great tools that users would want to use. Why would I want to use products that need to win a Dundie type award to stand out?

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Curb Return Design - Plane Method

This is in response to @jwilkerson post from years ago, found in this post:

The referenced formula is here: ArchiveLink

Not sure what the error he was referencing. It looks like the G2 arrow shown in the image is going in the wrong direction. I think it should be going from PI1 to B direction for the flow of water. It looks like they corrected the error in the PI3 by having the formula reverse the G2 slope. Here is a link to an Excel spreadsheet and a link to a drawing showing a plane solution that checks the values via a model. Both the drawing and Excel spreadsheet should be checked for correctness. It is provided only as a reminder to myself, since I’ve created this Excel spreadsheet before and forgot where I put it. Hopefully Google will find it next time I’m looking for it.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Surveying Related Ideas

Often times we need to create rectangles to represent existing features that look like rectangles.  To save time surveyors will shoot two points and then in the office convert those two points into rectangles. With lisp we can automate the rectangle creation down to picking two clicked points.

  • This forum post has some lisp code that does just that. Here is a link to a text file with the code extracted in case the forum post goes down.
  • To run the lisp save it to a text file with the extension of .lsp
  • Type Appload at the command line.
  • If you want to run it once, select the file from the upper portion of the Appload dialog box.
  • If you want the lisp to load everytime AutoCAD is run, then add the lisp file to the Startup Suite.


A second desired workflow is to create a point at the intersection of two selected objects, the objects don’t have to intersect. The objects may be arc, line, polyline, lot line, or feature line.


To start open the Point Create Creation Tools.


Then under the second drop down choose the Object/Object option.


Then follow the prompts. This will create a point where the objects intersect. If you want to remove any of the prompts you can change the settings of the Point Creation command using the double down arrow on the right of the Create Points toolbar.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Average Cut and Fill

I have no idea what the Average Cut and Average Fill of a volume surface means or how it should be calculated. It sounds like a made up term from a planner so they can come up with a made up value to judge impacts for a project. Since I don’t have a good explanation of what the average cut or fill is here is one way to do it in Civil 3D.

  1. Create the volume surface.
  2. Go into the Volume Surfaces, Analysis Tab. Change the type to Elevation, the number of Ranges to 2 and then press the down arrow to apply the 2 elevation ranges. image
    1. Change the Ranges to 0 for the Maximum Elevation for the first range and 0 for the minimum elevation for the second line. image
    2. Then create a Surface Legend table for the Elevation Analysis. image
    3. Now take the Cut Area and divide it by the volume of cut and the Fill Area and divide it by the volume of fill. Then you should have average cut/fill numbers. You can find the volume numbers in the volumes dashboard or on the Statistics tab. You can even add the volumes to the table.

    Now I have no idea if this is correct. I did end up with an average number that has the correct units. I can think of numerous other more complicated methods to calculate these values.

      Sunday, November 12, 2017

      Civil 3D API Wishlist

      My Civil 3D API Wishlist. Feel free to add your wishes in the comments.

      • Expressions – Ability to apply them to label component properties. These include, but are limited to, text height, line length, block scale, rotation angle, X Offset, Y Offset, Maximum Width, Gap, Fixed Length, Angle, Start Point X Offset, End Point X Offset, Start Point Y Offset, End Point Y Offset, and anyone that I missed.
      • Profile View Bands – Ability to get a label by station.
      • Profile View Bands – Labels having properties applicable to what they are labeling. Such as Station, Offset, Curve Length, etc… (Maybe a way to get the available properties in the UI in a method call).
      • Profile View Bands – Pipe Network – Ability to add invert elevations to the band at Structure Walls (inside and outside).
      • Survey Database – Finish it (or probably start it) for .NET. Have the ability to everything in the UI in the API.
      • Pressure Pipe Network – Document it in the other portion of the API as well as finishing it. Have the ability to everything in the UI in the API.
      • Data Shortcuts – Add the ability to create a reference.
      • Data Shortcuts – Add the ability to change the current Data Shortcuts Working Folder (without using the XML hack).
      • Data Shortcuts – Ability to create data shortcuts for use in other drawings.
      • Feature Lines – Fix the add PI method to work correctly. Currently it appears to find the closest point and will put the PI in the wrong location.
      • Surface Analysis – Lighten up on the rules on when analysis are added to the rows. I should be able to create a long list, even if not applicable to the current surface. This way the code could be run easier.
      • Surface Analysis – Add the missing analysis types to the API.
      • Point Label Location – Fix it so you can apply the current location without having to reset with each property change. Currently it moves relative to the last location.
      • Profile – A method to find the currently selected profile view based on profile selected.
      • QTO – Create an API so it can be expanded and easily assigned to objects. Ability to extract the data from the drawing(s).
      • Profile – Allow for the station to be before or after the end of the alignment. The exception that is provided here is not productive. Especially when the station is 1+01.999 and the user wants to use 1+02.00.
      • Intersection – Allow the API to create an Intersection.
      • Linked Alignments  – Allow the API to create.
      • Linked Profiles – Allow the API to create.
      • UDP – Make more robust to changes.
      • Parcels – Finish the .NET API.
      • Subassemblies – Allow for the cleanup of the properties window after a subassembly is swapped out with a new one.


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