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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Editing Alignments

Sometimes we want alignments to always to be tangent. Often times when moving alignments we want to temporarily turn off tangency so we can move the alignment were it needs to go.

To do this go into the Alignment Layout Tools, grid view.

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Then change the Tangency Constraint column to something Fixed. Then you will be able to move segments without it trying to keep the tangency. Once done go back in and change the Tangency Constraint to Floating or Free to get tangency back.

Digitize Section: DigitizeSectionTo3DPoly

Have you ever gotten drawings or PDFs from people, but without the data that made up the sections? If so then this post is for you. The scenario that I’d use this tool in the past would be if I was a contractor and received some PDFs of the sections. I’d then go through and digitize the sections, scale them and then transfer them to plan view. I’d then use the 3D polylines to create a surface I could use to do quantities. In order to facilitate the process quicker I wrote the DigitizeSectionTo3DPoly to do the steps without me having to think too much. The command may be found in the SincPac and the help file may be found here.

I also created a video showing it in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzwAkIQpO10

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Blocked Subassembly Packet Files

Have you ever received a packet files from a source only to find that you get an error message when you try to use it in Civil 3D?

Well I did and got this error message:

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So it pops up in Google searches it says:

Error: Unable to run the subassembly script.

The problem arose for me because Windows had blocked the packet file. This blocking carried over when I imported the subassembly into Civil 3D. To fix this go into Windows Explorer, Right click on the packet file, and choose Properties.

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At the bottom of the General tab there might be a check box (or button) that indicates Unblock. Either check the check box (or press the button) and then press Ok. This will unblock the packet files.

Unfortunately you are not done at this point. One more step needs to be done. Open the packet file in Subassembly Composer and then save it. Now when you import the packet file into Civil 3D it will now correctly works.

Friday, November 13, 2015

SincPac: Wall Profiles

One thing I hated doing was creating wall profiles for retaining walls. Since Civil 3D requires profile PVIs to have different station values, it becomes tedious to ensure each PVI has a small gap between them. Then there is the other constraint of wanting even steps. If it is a block wall being 8” or for concrete retaining walls 1’ or 2’. Back in the day, around 2008, I wrote a command that did this in VBA, but I promptly lost the code when switching jobs. Recently I was given the task of once again creating wall profiles and found the process not improved by Autodesk. So I decided to write the command once more. Here is a video of the command in action:

The command will be available in a future version of the SincPac.

Want more information and going to Autodesk University? Then stop by the Quux Software at Booth 11. Enter the Exhibit Hall, make a right, grab then food and/or beverage, and then talk to Jeff. Tell him Christopher sent you.

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SincPac Sewer Lateral Command

What is BIM? I think it should be something that enables you to do your job better. If it’s something that just sits there until you tell it specifically what to do then it’s crappy BIM. Civil 3D pipes fit exactly in the sweet spot of crappy BIM. I’m all about wanting BIM, wanting software that helps you along towards your goal instead of making you do all of the work. That’s why exactly why I wrote a command that links a lateral to a main line pipe as shown in this video.

Well I didn’t really write the command to fix crappy BIM, since this was before Autodesk told me to expect BIM from Civil 3D. I wrote it because I saw the need for an automated process when doing 200+ lot subdivisions. I also had little programming experience when writing this command. I essentially learned how to program while writing this command. I took the Civil 3D samples found in VBA and modified them. I saw in other programs that you could have it automatically update to changes and so learned how to do that and incorporated it into the command. So I essentially beat Autodesk to writing this desired feature by numerous land development designers.

Want this feature today? Then check out the SincPac. If you wait for Autodesk to provide this basic functionality you might be waiting for an extremely long time.

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