It’s a new year, and that means lots of new changes for AutoCAD users. Let’s take a look at how Civil 3D has been tweaked over the last year.
The USGS (United States Geological Survey) has been collecting data for mapping for years, and they make that data available to the public. One of those is the National Elevation Dataset. The USGS has Digital Elevation models of a large part of the US available at various scales. While the data is generally too large-scale for serious design purposes, the data can be pretty useful for planning and preliminary work. The challenge can be finding it and then using it in Civil 3D.
For many years, CAD data and Geographic Information System (GIS) data have lived in different worlds. As private and public organizations across the globe are working hard to geospatially locate everything on the planet, these two worlds are quickly merging. Even better, all this data is becoming more accessible to the public, and it’s free in many cases.
Did you ever receive AutoCAD Map 3D when all you wanted was AutoCAD? It typically happens because of different promotions and pricing, much to come customers’ chagrin. Those vintage AutoCAD commands are all some people want. While there is an AutoCAD workspace, Map 3D out of the box doesn’t have the 3D modeling workspace. Reverting to the original AutoCAD is still possible, though.
The Stage Storage Tool in Civil 3D is a great time-saving tool to help calculate the storage capacity of existing or proposed basins. It can be used either with Civil 3D surfaces or with polyline contours, and you’ll no longer have to create multiple surfaces to get the same outcome!
Wanna Learn more? Watch our video explaining the ins and the outs of the tool with live action.
The Productivity tools for AutoCAD 2017 were released last month under the name “Russia Productivity Tools for AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2017.” I don’t work too much on Russian projects, so what’s this all about? Well, it’s actually called Autodesk Cartogramma Utility when you go to the installer. But the point is, these productivity tools are referred to as such for a reason. Civil 3D just became more reliable and easier to navigate.
Prior to the official release of the 2017 Autodesk products, I downloaded and installed the beta version of Civil 3D 2017 which of course included SSA 2017. The machine I had was running Windows 10. Civil 3D itself installed with no issues. SSA on the other hand did not. It kept producing an error message like the one shown below. I tried running the install as administrator, disabling anti-virus, etc. etc. Nothing worked.
Most Cad users are pretty well versed in using basic Windows commands such as ctrl-c for copy and ctrl-v for paste. It’s quick, easy and convenient to do inside of AutoCAD based software. That being said, it’s easy to forget that we are indeed using Windows commands inside of AutoCAD and as a result, those heavy Cad elements can start to weigh down the Windows clipboard. At this point, some funky behavior can start to occur inside of AutoCAD. So what do we do when this happens? Uninstall/reinstall? Repair? Boo hoo, grab a tissue? No! Clear that Windows clipboard off!
Civil 3D 2015 and 2016 both have the ability to re-associate labels to different parent objects. What exactly does this mean? Let’s discuss a specific example. What if you went into a drawing that someone had worked on and discovered that all of the station and offset labels that they put into the drawing were actually referencing the wrong alignment? Even worse, have you ever had a data reference go bad on you and then, you wanted to simply recreate it, but you have all of your labeling done? Of course you don’t want to risk losing those labels causing you to have to recreate them all. What can you do at this point? The following workflow should help you save some headaches. We will use some AutoCAD techniques to go along with Civil 3D operations.
As most of you know, Autodesk comes out with several add-ons for Civil 3D during the year. This year with Civil 3D 2016 is no different. Earlier in the year they released the Civil 3D Productivity Pack which gave us some additional functionality such as a Civil data translator for working with Bentley Civil data, an Earthwork Plan Production utility, and a COGO routine. More recently, Autodesk released their Transportation Extension. Before you jump to judgment thinking that “I don’t do transportation projects”, take a look at some of the functionality that this release provides.