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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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Digging In...

Friday, July 28, 2006


Southern California CAD Summit

Don't forget about the Southern California CAD Summit; it is a cost effective alternative to Autodesk University. Autodesk University may be too costly for some individuals and some companies when you include the admission and lack of billable time. However, we truly believe your time spent at Autodesk University is will worth the investment. If Autodesk University is still not an option, the Southern California CAD Summit is the next best thing. There are many classes to choose from on several Autodesk technologies. Plus, Lynn Allen will be speaking again!

Early bird pricing has been extended until August 7th, so sign up quick, classes are filling up. We have over 220 people already registered and are approaching our goal of 500 people quickly!!!

Sign up for a strong lineup of Civil 3D Courses, AutoCAD Courses and Map and Mapguide courses. Click on the SCCS logo below for more details and to register!

Posted by DannyCounts @ 9:55 PM
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Tuesday, July 25, 2006


VAULT with Sheet Set Manager; Additional Post

In regards to the last posting on utilizing Vault with Sheet Set Manager, I received some more feedback from a few individuals. Namely, James Wedding with Engineered Efficiency as well as a customer from Hawaii.

If you choose to utilize Sheet Set Manager ONLY to organize your files for Plotting, Publishing, or perhaps for Etransmitting a set of drawings, you could go ahead and check your Plan Set Drawings into Vault. Just remember, if you do check these files into Vault, you should NOT be opening files from Sheet Set Manager. If you do, my colleague on this post called it more of a "dirty open" because you would have to change the permissions, etc. We don't recommend this.

So, to reiterate from the above and some previous posts. When you create the Sheet Set, if you have already checked your Plan Set files into Vault, you can create the Sheet Set from the drawings in your "Working Folder". However, do not open the drawings from your Working Folder to make changes. In order to make changes to your Plan Set drawings, if you check them into Vault, use the Check-out feature from Vault. Then, you can utilize Sheet Set Manager for batch plotting, batch transmitting, etc.

Keep in mind, the above recommendation would be for companies that do not currently utilize Sheet Set Manager to Open and Close files. I do know some firms that really like to use Sheet Set Manager for opening and closing files, nearly all the time. If you REALLY want to leverage Sheet Set Manager for opening and closing files, then the above recommendation would NOT be for you. You can refer back to the earlier post on Vault with Sheet Set Manager.

Please let me know if you have any additional comments.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 4:00 PM
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Friday, July 21, 2006


VAULT with Sheet Set Manager; PART 3 of Vault Workflow

Can VAULT work with Sheet Set Manager (SSM)? Well........ not really! But if everything worked, there would be no reason for "work-arounds".

This is really Part 3 of the proposed workflow for Vault. I had this in my brain for awhile but did not find the time to blog it.

First, if you commit a Plan Set Drawing (Sheet File) to Vault, or multiple Plan Set drawings for a given project to Vault, you cannot leverage the Sheet Set Manager to check-in and check-out those files. As you probably know, once you commit a drawing to Vault, you need to utilize the check-in and check-out features as opposed to opening and closing the drawings. When you access drawings through SSM, you are opening and closing. If you try to create a Sheet Set from Plan Set Drawings that have been committed to Vault, it is nearly impossible. I haven't tried, but I really don't want to. As you may know, Vault is document management system for our engineering data, and the way it stores the drawing files and names the drawings makes it impossible to create a Sheet Set from those drawings committed to Vault.

The work-around... Don't commit your Plan Set drawings to Vault. When I first thought about this, I figured this would not be a solution because I assumed if you want to reference (through Data References) Civil 3D objects like Alignments and Surfaces into the Plan Set file, then the Plan Set drawings must be attached to the same project as the Alignments and Surfaces... I assumed incorrectly. As it turns out, you can access the data from any project into any project anytime you like. In fact, even if you have a drawing (in this case a Plan Set drawing) NOT attached to a project in Vault, meaning it is NOT committed to Vault at all, you can still access any data from any project. Some of us are skeptical if this was done purposefully or accidentally by Autodesk. Hopefully they don't "fix" this, which essentially breaks it!

Additionally, if you add the data references into the Plan Set files that are NOT committed to Vault, even though the design files that contain those Alignments, Profiles, and Surfaces are added to Vault, if changes are made to those design objects, you will be notified that they need to be synchronized through the prospector in Civil 3D within the Plan Set files. Did that make sense? In other words, they dynamics of objects between DWG files still work when you use the Data References. Now you can keep your Plan Set drawings independent of Vault in order to leverage the Great capabilities of Sheet Set Manager.

I hope this helps… please let me know if you have any questions or if I missed anything that comes to mind.

Posted by DannyCounts @ 7:10 AM
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006


New Autodesk Civil 3D Whitepapers

The one on large subdivisions also shows a proposed workflow within Vault.


Posted by DannyCounts @ 10:08 PM
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