Thursday, May 15, 2008

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

Cindy in Canada asks:

  • We are currently using civil 3D 08 sp2. Most users are new to the software and currently rely on a lisp routine to create grading plans in vanilla cad. The lisp routine reads the attribute of the start point block then allows you to pick a second point and add a slope. Problem is all the grading slopes and elevations are just dumb text. So if anything changes then they have to run the lsp routine again for all locations that are to be revised. I’ve tried explaining we can do a similar thing with feature lines. They seem to think it is much quicker to stick with the old method because once the feature lines have been created you still have to go back and apply surface and feature line labels. So the question buried in all this is how would you go about creating a routine that allows you to create the feature line and add labels at the same time.

It is difficult to try to teach old dogs new tricks. Unfortunately the Civil 3D API doesn't expose the feature lines enough to be useful, this means that I don't think it would be possible in 2008 to create a routine that you are requesting. I could be wrong, but from what I have read it's not possible. I think you'll have to go another route to persuade them. I'd go with the quality control route.

It doesn't sound like users in question are creating surfaces and only using the blocks with elevation to grade from. While I'm sure the system works for them, I imagine they aren't perfect. For about 2 years I did earthwork quantity takeoffs for a general engineering contractor in Southern California and it always seemed like an elevation or more was off. I was hand digitizing the plans, so some of them were my error, but other spots were from errors on the drafter's/designer's part. The only way I would have found those errors in the plans was by looking at the surface in 3D and examining the surface (my employer never seemed to trust the Engineer's numbers). How are they checking their work? It sounds like they have to check every label or recreate every label. With a surface that task would be reduced and help live up to your company's tag line on the home page.

Thanks for the question.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin