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About the Author

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I was recently certified by Autodesk as a Civil 3D Implementation Certified Expert or ICE. I have worked in the Civil Engineering industry since 1987. In 1994 I started my consulting business doing training and consulting for Civil Engineering customers utilizing Autodesk civil engineering technology. I started L.A. CAD in 1999 and we are currently the 3rd largest Autodesk partner in the U.S. Studied Civil Engineering at Long Beach State, graduated in 1996.

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K-Tek, Where knowledge meets technology

Digging In...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Autodesk Gunslinger Event

Although I cannot say much about it, I think it is safe to say I am currently at an Autodesk Gunslinger event working through features for the next version of Civil 3D.

I have been to several Autodesk Gunslinger events, mainly for Land Desktop from R1 to R3 when I was in the Autodesk AEC Consultant Program (formerly Softdesk Registered Consultant) although I did attend an early Civil 3D Gunslinger many moons ago.

Basically what we do is we get an overview of a feature by a capable Autodesk representative, then we get to hack away at it to see if we can break it and log all the relevant issues we can find. Many times as we are hacking away, we finally figure out it was user error, not the software. There is some fantastic productivity improvements coming soon... can I say that? I think I just did. I didn't say what for though.

While I am here, I will have the priveledge of going skiing in New Hampsire (Pat's Peak) with some of our friends like Dave and Dan. Never been there before, so that will be treat!

It was also quite a treat attending a Gunslinger with James Wedding and Donald Broussard! I love their honest feedback and candor!

Posted by DannyCounts @ 2:42 PM
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Dig Deep with Civil 3D Label Style Components

Is there are a limitation to how Civil 3D labels can be customized? Sure there is. If you dig deep enough, you may still find a limitation to what can be created and customized within a label. However, the ability to add components is something you should look at first before you throw in the towel.

We have the ability to add primitive AutoCAD components, like lines, text, blocks, etc that make Civil 3D labels very versatile and powerful.

You will find as you look at the available component list for each object, you will see different types of components that can be added.

For instance, if you take a look at a Structure label within a Pipe Network, you will see the the following list of components: (Text, Line, Block, Text for Each). The Text for Each allows you to add labels for data representing how the pipes come into and out of the structures.

If you look at the components available for a contour label, you will see a different list as shown below (Text, Line, Block, Direction Arrow).

The main point is to take a look at these components for customizing labels any which way you can.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 9:46 AM
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Cut/Fill Grid Ticks in Civil 3D

Currently, there is no tool to add grid ticks in Civil 3D 2006 as we had available in Land Desktop. However, it is possible to represent Grid Ticks in Civil 3D in almost the same manner as Land Desktop by this work around.

You must first have an existing ground surface and a finished ground surface that you can compare by creating a TIN Volume Surface in Civil 3D. After creating the TIN Volume Surface, you can then theme the surface with elevation analysis to determine the areas of cut and fill. I recommend using light to dark red to represent areas of lighter to deeper cut, and use light to dark blues to represent less to more fill, respectively.

Once you have done this, you can right click on Points in your prospector and select the Create option, then on the Create Points toolbar, select the "Surface: On Grid" option which will place Points with elevations on the TIN Volume surface, which measures relative elevation to the Existing Ground. It will show negative signs before the value for those areas of cut and represent areas of fill by a postive number.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 9:51 PM
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Monday, January 23, 2006


Civil 3D Master Planning

Because of the efficient iterative conceptual layout and design capabilities of Civil 3D, it is an efficient tool for Master Planning, and Land Use conceptual planning. This means it can be used by not only traditional Civil Engineering companies, but its capabilities can and are being leveraged by Architectural companies that have land planning divisions as well as companies that focus on land planning.

For Master Planning and determining different Land Use Concepts, you will find that the capability of the intelligent Alignment and Parcel objects and there abilities to react to each other make for an efficient way to plan out a given site. It is not only a quick layout tool, but in consideration of design constraints, site conditions, etc, you can iterate through different concepts very quickly. We would have never even attempted to use something like Land Desktop for this in the past since we could not efficiently try different concepts to optimize the site or design. You also have the ability to automatially add Right-of-Way objects to your Master Planned Parcels where they are adjacent to Master Planned Centerlines. When you add the ROW lines, the adjacent parcels re-calculate their areas automatically.

Combining the intelligent objects with pre-set object and label styles for your Parcels will allow you to apply different styles with appropriate color fill patterns for you High Density Residential, Low Density Residential, Commercial areas, Parks, etc. Try creating a template that has the pre-set styles and name the template something simple like "Master Planning Template.dwt".

Posted by DannyCounts @ 9:36 PM
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