location menu los angeles location costa mesa location san diego location
tabbed nav training page software page events page services page support resources page
content cap

About the Author

blogger photo

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.

Civil 3D 2007 Implementation Certified Expert Logo
K-Tek, Where knowledge meets technology

Digging In...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Pipe Offsets from Alignments in Civil 3D 2007

I admit it may be too early for a "how-to" for Civil 3D 2007 given the minor technicality that it has not officially been released yet. Well, here we go...

I was asked a question several times in 06 version if we could simply offset an alignment and turn it into a pipe network, we could not in 06. Now in 07, we can with a few simple commands.

1. Use the AutoCAD offset command to offset your alignment to the desired side and offset. The new object is NOT an Alignment object, but a Polyline object.

2. Use the Alignments-->Create from Polyline command to turn the Polyline into an Alignment. Don't worry about the style of the alignment since you will eventually be deleting it and don't worry about the stationing of the alignment if indeed it will be controlled to the centerline alignment.

3. IF NECESSARY... Use the Alignments-->Edit Alignment Geometry and from the Alignment Layout Toolbar, use the "Delete Sub-entity" tool to remove lines and/or curves from the alignment that is currently representing your pipe network if you don't want to make your pipe network the entire length of the alignment

4. Go to Pipes-->Create from Object to turn the Alignment into a Pipe Network. Make sure you check the "Erase existing entity" check box. You will most likely NOT need this alignment under the pipe run as the pipe network will be controlled to the centerline. Before hitting OK to the "Create Pipe Network from Object" dialog box, make sure you associate your alignment and surface to the new pipe network. Associating it to your centerline alignment will allow it to be controlled to the stationing of that alignment. Associating it to a surface will allow your pipe rules that you have setup to represent logical values.

**You now have a pipe network with a uniform offset from the centerline as well as you can add this pipe network to your profile using the process in 06. Seems easy and perhaps unbelievable that we could not do this in 06.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 11:27 AM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home

Friday, March 24, 2006


Civil 3D 2007 Grading Features

Here are some of my favorite NEW grading features in Civil 3D 2007

Elevation Editor
We had the elevation editor in the 2006 version but it has been improved. When you click on a specific elevation in the elevation editor, there is now a visual marker in the drawing indicating which PI you are editing. Now we can intuitively use the elevation editor to adjust feature line elevations efficiently.

Quick Elevation Edit
This one is very cool, similar to the elevation editor above except there is no dialog interface. It allows you to scroll through the PI's of a feature line and change the elevations quickly by typing in a value at the command line or through dynamic input; it also shows a visual marker so you know where you are. Additionally, it allows you to jump between PI's in order to change the grade or slope between two elevations. Very useful command and very efficient.

Insert Elevation Point
If you need to add an additional PI along your feature line path, you can freely pick anywhere along the feature line to add an additional point and then you are prompted for the appropriate elevation

Elevations from Surface
This existed in the 2006 version, but it is worth noting. Don't underestimate this command; it is useful for many different design scenarios. If you are not familiar with it, it will drape any feature line (polyline) onto a surface, essentially creating a daylight line (in a sense) that you can grade from...

Insert PI
Similar to the Insert Elevation Point accept this option allows you to pick a new point anywhere and then add the elevation whereas the "Insert Elevation Point" has to be along the current path of the feature line

Join Feature Lines
Pick any two feature lines, even if where they connect they don't share the same elevation. Just pay attention to which object was created lasts. If you have two endpoints you want to join but they are at different elevations it will always assign the elevation of the point that was added last

You an now fillet feature lines even if they originated from two 3D polylines

Posted by DannyCounts @ 7:47 AM
Permalink   1 Comments

<< Home

Friday, March 17, 2006


New Labeling Options in Civil 3D 2007

Civil 3D Reference Text:

With reference text, you have the ability to bring data properties from one object label to another object label. For instance, if you want to add a surface elevation into an "Aligment Station/Offset" label, now you can. Currently, you can add Reference Text from Surfaces, Alignments, and Profiles into any other label in Civil 3D.

Quick how to: The way you do this is by adding a component to the label the way we have done previously, but instead of a line or text component, we add a "Reference text" component

Civil 3D Expressions:
One label I have wanted to make for a long time is a label that shows both the Top of Curb (TC) and Flowline (FL) all in one label. With expressions, now you can. You can set up a formula expression that always extracts the elevation from the Top of Curb followed by subtracting a value for the Flowline.

Quick how to: To add expressions, go to the Settings tab and open up the Label Styles for Surfaces, Alignments, or whatever and you will see Expressions. Right click on Expressions to add another expression which can then be used in the Label Style.

Civil 3D Note Labels:
Now there is a general note label that incorporates the properties of other Civil 3D labels, including "Layout" state and "Dragged State" that we have become familiar with.

Quick how to: Go to the General pull-down menu and you will see the option to add a General note label

Civil 3D Line and Curve Labels:
Now we can label bearing and distance data and curve data on Lines, Curves, and Polyines. Previously, we could do this on Aligments and Parcels, but not on these primitive objects. Additionally, for the display of the bearing, you can use short names with spaces, i.e. N 58d45'45" E, which we could not do in the 2006 version.

Quick how to: Go to any "Add Labels" option under any of the pull-down menus like Surfaces, General, or Alignment and change the Feature option at the top of the dialog box to Lines and Curves.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 10:04 AM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home  

Autodesk University 2006

For those of you planning on teaching at AU, the call for papers has been sent. You must have these submitted by April 30th. The conference is from November 28th to December 1st.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 6:19 AM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home

Thursday, March 16, 2006


Autodesk World Wide One Team Conference

Spent this past week in Las Vegas, quite an eventful trip. Lots of good meetings; and will worth the trip. Our VP spoke at one of the breakouts in front of 500+ individuals. I did this last year in the Civil 3D breakout in front of the same number of folks. It is a bit freaky the first time you speak in front of that many people. We along with a few other Resellers nationally won a trip to Banff, Canada. Pretty cool!

Posted by DannyCounts @ 8:04 PM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home

Friday, March 10, 2006


New Blog Layout

We have a great web developer. We use a company by the name of Camaleo, www.camaleo.com

We have been using them for several years now. They were able to change the layout of my blog to look like the L.A. CAD website. Melanie's (Dirt Diva) will be updated soon too.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 7:35 AM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Southern California CAD Summit

Even larger than Autodesk University? No! The largest AU type event in Southern California, Yes! The SCCS is coming on Aug. 24th, 2006 to the Long Beach Convention Center! 300 people last year at SCCS and we expect over 500 this year. Find out how to receive complimentary passes. Second only to AU for number of classes offered, 21 in all last year. Get a load of these Civil classes offered last year! http://www.lacad.com/cad_summit.html
-Autodesk® Civil 3DTM 2006 Custom Object and Label Styles
-Autodesk® Civil 3DTM 2006 Corridor Modeling Advanced Concepts
-Autodesk® Civil 3DTM 2006 Civil 3D Pipes
-Autodesk® Civil 3DTM 2006 Residential Subdivisions in Civil 3D
-Autodesk® Civil 3DTM 2006 Leveraging other Civil Data

Posted by DannyCounts @ 9:02 PM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home  

San Diego "AUGI CAD Camp"

AUGI CAD Camp: L.A. CAD and S.D. CAD will be hosting the Southern California AUGI CAD Camp this year in San Diego on June 8th. Be sure to mark your calendars!

Posted by DannyCounts @ 8:57 PM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home  

L.A. CAD Civil Solutions Tour

Our yearly tours are about to begin. We start in Riverside and Los Angeles, followed by Orange County and San Diego.


Posted by DannyCounts @ 8:54 PM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Autodesk Civil 3D Packaged Services

Well, I am officially committed to helping Autodesk establish their service offerings for Civil 3D. I partipated in this 2-day meeting with Mark Scacco, P.E. of Engineered Efficiency, Inc. Autodesk asked for our help because they realized that Mark's company and my company L.A. CAD have the most integrated and comprehensive methods of implementing this technology into the marketplace. It is not as easy as you think. The ICE training is a nice start, but it is not going to give you the real world experience nor teach you the strategies by which you can get this implemented into an organization correctly. Autodesk asked us to partipate because they have been exposed first hand to the way we are accomplishing true adoption of this technology. L.A. CAD was the only Autodesk partner and Mark's company was the only consulting partner asked to participate in this event.

It was tough for Mark and I because we both realize the competitive advantage we have to getting this technology implemented successfully and the intellectual property we are giving to Autodesk. However, we were asked to help and we realize the alternative is probably not the best solution. At the end of the day, this will help the greater community be successful with Civil 3D. If you have any questions as to the methodology and strategies we utilize for transitioning a company from 10 users to 1000 users to Civil 3D, please contact me.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 7:38 AM
Permalink   2 Comments

<< Home

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Civil 3D 2007 Features, available April 14th

The embargo lifted as of March 1st, 2006. We can officially say there will be a Civil 3D 2007. Below is a list of feature improvements that we can expect.

Check out the new toolspaces, especially the inquiry toolspace. Still trying to get used to it myself.

Significant enhancements have been made. Many of the 3D Polyline tools we had available in Land Desktop are now available in Civil 3D through a Feature Line Toolbar

When we create a surface through corridor properties, it is dynamic with the corridor. Individual section editing is pretty cool now adding different shoulder subassemblies with ease and grip editing on individual sections

Significant improvements here... they have added the ability to use expressions in labels. You can reference text from one object into another. In other words, you can show a surface elevation or profile elevation in an alignment label. They also added a "Note" label object that can be used for generic annotation

Managing Styles:
This had been cleaned up. Previously when we would attempt to copy styles where duplicate names were identified, copies with a numeric suffix would be created, now we have the option to overwrite duplicates, rename, and merge styles

Survey functionality has been added. The ability to convert RAW data and leverage field book formats for auto-linework generation.

Project Management:
Civil 3D will leverage the Vault technology for managing project and drawing and data. Most Civil 3D objects can now be shared.

**Remember the Quick Section tool in Land Desktop? You can use a similar tool all over the place in Civil 3D... places you never dreamed of.

You can run interference checking now as opposed to just checking this visually. What is really cool is you can setup interference checking. It is not only inference when two pipes collide; it allows you to setup minimum clearances so you can ensure your water and sewer meet EPA guidelines

Much faster surface editing now. I am OK doing this in Civil 3D now versus Land Desktop.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 8:54 PM
Permalink   2 Comments

<< Home  

Helping Autodesk with Civil 3D Services

This is the second meeting I was invited to participate in with Autodesk this week. Tommorow, I leave for Autodesk headquarters in San Rafael, CA. I was asked to participate on a board to help Autodesk determine the best plan of action for their Civil 3D Services. We were the only reseller partner invited to attend this 2-day meeting. L.A. CAD has been extrememly focused on Civil 3D and has amongst the highest success rate in the country in terms of Civil 3D seats sold along with companies that are at some stage of implemeting the technology. We currently have 5 individuals on staff with Civil 3D experience and are hiring more.

L.A. CAD's Civil 3D professionals are sought after not only for our expertise in the technology but our unique process for successfully implemeting the technology. We are actively helping deliver Civil 3D services in other parts of the country on behalf of Autodesk and on our own. Autodesk has engaged us to help their clients in Florida and Washington of late and we are also being engaged directly from customers in Nevada for Civil 3D help. Our main focus however is to work directly with customers in Southern California to ensure their successful transition to Civil 3D.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 7:05 AM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home  

Helping Autodesk Government

This week was unique in that I was invited (last minute I might add) to two separate Autodesk meetings. The first meeting was in Washington D.C. where I met with Autodesk to discuss some government initiatives. Autodesk and DLT Solutions asked for a group of influential Autodesk partners that have achieved good success in government and represent a cross-section of reseller disciplines. I am looking forward to being a part of these upcoming intiatives with Autodesk and DLT Solutions.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 6:33 AM
Permalink   0 Comments

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

content cap