Archive for Profiles

The Power of Transparent Commands – Profiles

All this talk of ribbons in 2010 but there is still ONE (technically two but…) toolbar still left for Civil3D. This would the Transparent commands toolbar.

When I first started Civil3D, I really did not understand what all of these were. I thought it would be good to just do a quick review of some of these handy little civil3d ‘object snap’ tools that I love the most.

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Making the old new – profile from single points

Yesterday my boss (who still lives and breathes grid paper) came up to me and asked if I could plot a profile from just a single shot of road enterline points that he provided. All he wanted was the centerline plotted. The road was a bit twisty in the plan view.

Knowing how he REALLY wanted me to do this (plotting points stationing and elevations would take an extraordinary amount of time), I thought that Civil 3D should be able to do this no sweat! I told him I’d like to give it go in Civil 3D. His response was “I don’t care, just get it done”.
So, knowing that a profile needs a surface and an alignment, I set to make the alignment. I did the old ‘connect the dots’ and then performed best fit lines and curves to establish a quasi-centerline. I also made a polyline from the point-to point shots with elevation.
Since I had points with elevations, I could create a surface from just those points, right? WRONG! The surface was disjointed and missing places where the surface deviated.
So, I knew that he only was concerned with the centerline and could care less about anything outside of that. But I needed a surface! So, I simply used the good old Feature Line Offset command! Remember that most of these Feature Line commands can also be used with polylines. I offset the centerline 10′ to the right and left – just enough so that I could establish a surface. 
I then, created a new surface and brought in all three polylines as breaklines and voila! I had a surface! So creating the profile was a snap. I put a BIG NOTE on ym no-plot layer indicating what I had done and that it should NOT be considered as accurate in any way, shape or form! I do these no-plot notes to inform future designers who might look at my work 20 years in the future and know what my intnentions were. Just another one of my CAD Manager SOP for all drafter/designers.
So, the total time spent on this little project COULD have been hours. In Civil 3D, it took less than a half an hour! AND, I impressed my boss – guess that makes my day complete.

Civil 3D 2010: Quick Review

Just like last year, I’m going to run through my thoughts on the highs, the lows, and the WTF of Autodesk’s latest release. There are a number of serious improvements in the box this year. Some you’ve heard them talk all about, some are much more subtle, but are real winners in my book. This next week, the full EE team will be hitting on their favorites in more detail, but we wanted to give you the main talking points from our point of view. Make the jump to get quickfix review of AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010.

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Missing Profile Curve label data?

Recently a comment to this blog asked about where all that missing profile curve label data was? In Land Desktop (and even other software applications) you could label Algebraic Difference, Middle Ordinates, and the External Ordinates for profile curves. Why isn’t it available in Civil3D?

It is!! Read on to find out how to add it to your labels.

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The Bullet List: AutoCAD Civil 2010

Without further elaboration, here are the big bullets from todays PR Packet:

  • Improved UI: Ribbon, Consistent Interface, Quick Access Toolbar, New Application Menu
  • Surveying and Design: Intersection Wizard, Enhanced Field to Finish, Enhanced Parcel Generation, Alignment Offset and MAsking tools
  • Production Drafting: Staggered profile and section labels, Enhanced labeling Profile and Section Projection of objects, and Profile hatching.

Obviously, these are the big ticket items, and this list is pretty dry. Believe me when I say this is REALLY undersestimating the amount of coolness in 2010. As we’re slowly released from various agreements, we’ll be back with more. For now, you can get your hands on the press materials if you care that much. Click here.