Saturday, January 24, 2015

Section Labels of Surface

Often times we need to label what type of line a section line is. In this case it is Ex. Grade and Prop. Grade.

Now the hard way to do this is to use a multileader and then move and adjust them with each design change. There is a an easier way that is a bit more dynamic. The way I do it is I create a corridor just for these two labels. For the assembly it’s a LinkWidthAndSlope for horizontally where you want the label to be placed and then a LinkSlopeToSurface to get from that point to the surface. It should look something like this.


The settings I use are shown here:


The values for the Existing surface are similar. Then all you need to do is to create a corridor, assign the code set showing the correct labels and then create polylines for the existing and proposed to control where the labels are placed so you can move them around on the section view to miss other labels. I usually end up with multiple code set styles to control how the labels are shown. Here is a drawing showing everything except for the polylines as targets and having multiple styles.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Civil 3D 2015 Service Pack 2 API Bug

If you have a program that you wrote for Civil 3D and find a random crash in your routines, you may want to check to see if you are setting the ElevationMin for a profile view. If the ElevationMin property is set first Civil 3D will quickly crash without warning, even error catching can catch it. I’m guessing someone is trying to divide by zero causing the catastrophic crash. To get around this error set the ElevationMax first and then the ElevationMin. This seems to fix the issue. Alternatively you can set an elevation max and min values in the UI and it should start working correctly. This leads me to believe someone is dividing by zero in the property setting of the profile view.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Data Shortcuts Folder

Data shortcuts can be a big pain in the butt if things are change on you. Maybe someone started the project on the wrong hard drive and now you have to move it to the correct location. There is a way to help alleviate the issue and it is a little known variable named DSSYSVAR. This variable allows you to set the data shortcuts folder path with this windows environment variable. So if all of your data shortcuts are on the D:\Projects in one office and E:\OnGoing in another office you can use the DSSYSVAR to help not having to repath everything, all you need to do is change the DSSYSVAR to get it to work correctly.

The hard part is to create a user interface that will easily change the values. There is a Windows way to set the environmental variables. The first step is to create the variable. To do this first go into Windows Control Panel and type Environment Variables in the search box.


Then press the Edit the System Environment Variables option. Then go to the Advanced Tab, User Variables Button, Press the New Button for System Variables and then change enter in DSSYSVAR as the name and then the value you want it to point to.


If one is already created you will want to select the variable and then press Edit instead.

Now in Civil 3D you won’t see a change. If you look in the XML file of the data shortcut you will find that path is now saved using the DSSysVar.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Die Viewcube, Die!!!!

I tried to like the viewcube that shows up in the corner of the screen. I really did, but it kept getting in the way. I needed to put it out of my misery. In order to do this you’ll want to go into OPTIONS. In options head over to the 3D Modeling Tab and then in the Display Tools in Viewport uncheck the 2D Wireframe visual style and possibly the All other visual styles check boxes. The viewcube will then go away.


This tends to be the number one tip people enjoy the most when I teach Civil 3D and I can definitely understand why.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Custom Bench Subassembly

Sometimes the regular Civil 3D benching just won’t work. It’s fairly bad at showing benching like it will be constructed in the real world. Sometimes it does work like in the image below where the roadway provides for a natural slope so the basins go into the downspouts.


Sometimes, like shown in the image below to the left, we want more control to provide low points. To get the case to the right it might take some time with some link slope and width to get it into the correct location.


With the custom bench subassembly one can set a profile elevation for the benching and get those results rather easily.

The pictures above where taken from an Infraworks presentation at Autodesk University, created by Autodesk. The model was created by HUITT-ZOLLARS, INC. users of the Custom Bench Subassembly.


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