Point Cloud overlaid in a Profile in Civil 3d 2011.

The image shows a Profile View in Civil 3D 2011 with AutoCAD solids projected.  I chose not to do a vertical exaggeration but you can correctly display vertically exaggerated AutoCAD solids in a profile view.  The real sizzle here is slicing through a point cloud and having it displayed in the profile view.  Unfortunately, plotting does not include this point cloud data

Point cloud as background for a profile



Labels for Assemblies

Create a Label for an Assembly and Subassemblies using a Field within an MLEADER.  The advantage is there is a constant link between the label and the subassembly.  I frequently rename subassemblies when I am trying to organize my project for greater clarity.  Often I have to look at an assembly and remember what subassemblies I used or even just the assembly name for that matter.  The How To details are described next.

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Creating a Dashed Linetype for a Pipe in Civil 3D

Dashed Linetype for a Pipe in Civil 3D

In Civil 3D you want to create a dashed linetype as shown in this picture.  The solution has several parts.  The easy part, make a copy of the Double Line (Storm).  I called my new style Double Line Dashed (Storm).  On the Display Tab > Plan View toggle ON Centerline.  Change the Linetype to DASHED.  Set the Lineweight to 2.0mm.  To see the spectacular result switch to a layout and set the viewport to 1:20 scale.  Assign a plot style in Page Setup Manager.  Toggle on Display Plot Style in the Page Setup Manager.  Go back to the layout and look at your pipe.  You may notice this produces rounded ends on your thick centerline but you want square ends.  Set the Line End Style to Butt in the Plot Style to make square ends on the dashed linetype.   

Civil 3D 2011 – Importing Styles and Settings

In Civil 3D 2011 there are two new commands to help with importing styles. Peter Funk explained them in a Civil 3D discussion group post. 
http://discussion.autodesk.com/forums/thread.jspa?threadID=774989&tstart=0  In case the link goes dead I copied the post below.

(The Subscription Advantage Pack has added a dialog to these commands making them much easier to use.)     

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Preserve Original Layers for Land Desktop Points

Convert Land Desktop Points


You have a Land Desktop drawing containing points.  You want to convert the points to Civil 3D points.  You also want to keep those points on their original layers.  When you convert the points the Civil 3D points are all on layer V-NODE.  How do you keep the original layers?

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Civil 3D Installation Tips

Civil 3d installation help and product documentation in web, pdf, and video formats.

Autodesk has posted YouTube videos on installing Civil 3D.  It covers both Single User Stand-Alone licensed and Network licensed versions of Civil 3D.  Links to Installation documenation for Civil 3D 2011  is at the bottom of this post.

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Object enabler for Land Desktop Objects in Civil 3D

Having trouble viewing Land Desktop Contours in Civil 3D?  Visit Autodesk’s object enabler assistant web page.

From the AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 User Documentation…
Opening a Land Desktop Drawing

Land Desktop data is not automatically converted to Civil 3D objects
Geometric data, such as contours, quick sections, grading objects, and curve text, are displayed in AutoCAD Civil 3D as Land Desktop objects. For more information, see the Civil Object Enabler Help

Civil 3D cannot read the LDT Contour data directly

AECExportToAutoCAD Creates Plines with elevations

see also
Using the Object Enabler
The Object Enabler is available on the AutoCAD Civil 3D installation CD and on the Autodesk web site at www.autodesk.com/aecobjenabler.

see also
Drawing Sharing Command Reference in the Civil 3d help file.  It lists all the commands such as ExportToAutoCAD2010 and each command’s description.

If you need a specific file version and you are running just AutoCAD there is -AECEXPORTTOAUTOCAD2000 or -AECECPORTTOAUTOCAD2004 or eTransmit with the option to explode AEC objects will give you the same results.

Using -PURGE (the command line version of PURGE) and choosing RegApps option will also clean out unnecessary Registered Applications that may cause stability problems with your drawing.

Thanks to Matt W and R. Robert Bell for their discussion group posts which provided content for this article.

Create a Retaining Wall for a Corridor using Subassembly Studio

Subassembly Studio by CADArtisans allows you to create custom .NET parametric subassemblies for AutoCAD Civil 3D.  This subassembly show in the video was created using Subassembly Studio V1.04 from Cad Artisans (www.cadartisans.com)

This subassembly consists of a fill slope that intercepts a target surface. If the horizontal distance from the insertion point to the intercept point exceeds a user-specified MaxWidth, a retaining wall is inserted at the MaxWidth and the slope is reconstructed to target the back of the retaining wall. This subassembly was created in approximately 8.5 minutes from start to finish, including importing into AutoCAD Civil 3d and inserting into a corridor model.

The primary strategy when creating subassemblies is to first create the positions and behaviors of points.  The links are defined next from a list of points.  The shapes are defined from a list of links.

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Performance Tips for Civil 3D 2011

Autodesk has created a video outlining ways you can improve the performance of Civil 3d 2011.  It discusses performance tests comparing Civil 3D settings for points, surfaces, labels, corridor models and more.  You won’t find any discussions on hardware, operating systems, or AutoCAD settings. Those topics are covered in a related post.

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Point Cloud Software race to be the best

I compiled a short list of software manufacturers offering point cloud software.  The race is on to see who can come up with the best modeling tools to transform a point cloud into intelligent 3d data.

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