So, you like to use the Bearing and Distance command while drafting in Civil 3D you say? Well, you might want to be aware of a little inconsistency in the command depending on how you run it.

Rick Ellis over at Cadapult Software Solutions (the author of the Civil 3D book we use here at CAD-1) pointed this out to me and I thought it would warrant a blog post. Thanks Rick!

So, here’s the problem, two lines drawn from the same location using the Bearing and Distance transparent command end up with different bearings depending on how you run the Bearing and Distance command.

Different Results, Same Input

Different Results, Same Input

So, what did I do differently? Well, the bottom line I drew using the Bearing and Distance command by typing ‘BD at the command line (don’t forget the apostrophe). The top line I drew it using the Bearing and Distance command from the Transparent Commands Toolbar (by default on the right side of your drawing area).

This will make more sense if I explain what it is I typed. I start the line command and snap to the center of the circle. I then invoke the Bearing and Distance transparent command using one of the methods listed above (repeat with the other method). I then type “1” for the quadrant, “45.4545” for the bearing, and “100.00” for the distance.

Same input different results

Same input different results

That’s great and all but, which one is wrong? Well, technically, they are both right, they’re just different. When ‘BD is typed at the command line, and you input 45.4545 for the bearing, it sees that as 45o45’45”. when you use the Bearing and Distance command from the toolbar, you are actually using the ‘_BD command and it returns a bearing of 45.4545o which, as you can see in the video, works out to be about 45o27’16”. Neither is wrong, they’re just different.

Here is a video with commentary that I made if you want some additional clarification:

So, I was doing some work for a client, creating some custom subassemblies, and I created a document that I wanted to include as a help file. When working in Subassembly Composer, on the Packet Settings tab, there is an option to include a help file.

Add Help File

Add Help File

When you select the ellipsis (that’s the button with the three periods…) you can browse for the file and it shows you the allowable file types.

Available File Types

Available File Types

As you can see, you can choose .htm, .html, .pdf, .doc, .docx, and .txt. Just a tip,

NONE OF THESE WORK!!!!!!!!

That’s right, want to add a .pdf as a help file, nope not gonna happen. To be honest, the html options sorta work but not like what you would expect. If you choose a .pdf file, when you right click on your subassembly on your tool palette and choose, “help”, you’ll get a blank Civil 3D help screen.

Blank Help

Blank Help

So, what do you do? Well, don’t use any of those file types. Instead, use a .chm file (Microsoft Compiled HTML Help). This one works like a charm. Right click on the subassembly, and you get exactly what you would expect! If you’ve never before created a .chm file, it’s really not that hard, there are tutorials online that will walk you through it. Make sure you have a .htm file for your subassembly and compile it into the .chm through HTML Help Workshop (it’s a free Microsoft program).

Adding a help file to your subassembly in Subassembly Composer:

Quickly creating a .chm help file:

Yes, you heard right, you can now open an InfraWorks model directly into Civil 3D! Did you do all that preliminary layout in InfraWorks and now it’s time to start doing that detailed work? Well, simply open it up. There are a few caveats that you need to be aware of before you’ll be able to do this so just keep on reading.

Prerequisites

So, can anyone do this? Nope, sorry, you have to be on the latest version of everything (at least at the time that I’m writing this which is December of 2014).

Update Civil 3D 2015

If you haven’t done so, you’ll need to install the latest Service Pack 2 for Civil 3D 2015. It can be found HERE. Once that’s installed, you’ll need to install the…

Civil 3D 2015 Productivity Pack 1

This is the tool that will actually allow you open up that InfraWorks model. Without it, you can’t do it. In order to install this productivity pack, you must have Service Pack 2 installed. Don’t know where to get it? I didn’t either and spent quite a bit of time looking for it and then I remembered, there’s the Autodesk Applications Manager. Just go to your Windows Start Menu and search for “Autodesk Application Manager” and you should find it.

Autodesk Application Manager

Autodesk Application Manager

Once you launch it, you should see the update for Civil 3D 2015.

Download and Install Update

Download and Install Update

InfraWorks 2015 R3

I’m not actually sure this is required for the tool to work but, if you have InfraWorks, just go get it. I did a write up on my other blog HERE about it’s tools. I’ve updated InfraWorks and the models I’ve been playing around with have been updated so if you can’t get this to work, you might have to update your models too.

How does it work?

It’s actually pretty straight forward, once you can find the tools. After installing the productivity pack, the tools will be found in the Toolbox of your Toolspace.

Tool Location

Tool Location

The first thing you’ll want to do is to configure the exchange settings. Double click on the second item in the list and this will bring up the dialog box. Basically, this allows you set the styles, layers, and labels that will be used for the different objects brought into Civil 3D.

Configure Exchange Settings

Configure Exchange Settings

Now that we are all set up, double click the first icon to import your model. You’ll get a dialog box that first asks you for the model you want to import. Simply browse to the .sqlite file you want to import.

Select Model to Import

Select Model to Import

As you can see, there is a warning here. The drawing you import into must have a coordinate system that is compatible with the data from the model. You can set the coordinate system right here if it isn’t already set. You’ll get the options to choose one you want or you can use the same coordinate system of the model.

Set Coordinate System

Set Coordinate System

Next thing you’ll need to choose is the area of interest. You can bring the entire model in if you want but, remember, InfraWorks can handle way more data then Civil 3D can so be careful bringing in the entire model. If you decide to choose a portion of the model, Civil 3D will zoom in on the area of the model, show you the limits of the model (using a white rectangle), and then, if you have it set up, it will show you the Bing imagery for the area. You can then choose the area you are interested in.

Choose Area of Interest

Choose Area of Interest

Select Area in Civil 3D

Select Area in Civil 3D

After choosing the area of interest, you choose your configuration settings. Didn’t set your settings? Go back and read the first part of this post to see how to do that. And now, finally, you can choose which objects you want to bring into the model by clicking on the Refine Selection Set button. This will then show you all the objects that are going to be brought into your drawing. You can pick and choose which ones you want and don’t want.

Refine Selection Set

Refine Selection Set

Enjoy the new functionality and let me know what you think of it. Does this work for you? Did Autodesk miss an important piece? Let me know in the comments!

 

So, I was installing Vault 2015 Professional today and I noticed that the projects weren’t showing up in my Civil 3D and I couldn’t figure out why. I searched the help system, searched the discussion groups, searched Google (I know, talk about desperate!) with no luck. Everywhere I went it said that after installing the client, the projects should just show up (provided the Master View is set in the Prospector) and I couldn’t see my projects. I had the Vault Client installed, I even had the server installed locally (for demo purposes, you shouldn’t do this in a production environment). What to do?

I figured it had to be something with the Vault Client install because, “Projects should be visible after installing the Vault Client”. So, I went to the Control Panel – Programs and Features (aka “Add or Remove a Program”). I found the “Autodesk Vault Professional 2015 R2 (Client)” program, right clicked on it and chose, “Uninstall/Change”.

Change Vault Client

Change Vault Client

In the Setup dialog box that comes up, choose “Add or Remove Features” and then choose the “AutoCAD Civil 3D 2015 Add-In” and then click the “Update” button. After the install finishes, you should see the projects show up in Civil 3D 2015 now!

Install the Civil 3D Add-In

Install the Civil 3D Add-In

Now, the next time I install the Vault Client and I don’t see the projects in Civil 3D, when I search Google for it, hopefully this blog post will come up and remind be about it!

Wouldn’t that be amazing? Set up your InfraWorks model with some zones, put in some signal information at your intersections, place some walking paths, and boom! You have cars and people in your InfraWorks model!

 

If you find this appealing, you need to head over to Autodesk Labs. There is a technology preview for software that, hopefully, will do just this, AUTODESK LABS: PROJECT COMMUTER – INFRAWORKS.

Currently, the application doesn’t run within InfraWorks but, the powers that be are looking for feedback from you, the valued customer that spends money on software, to determine if this would be worthwhile. Would you like to be able to run travel simulations directly within InfraWorks? I know I would! So get over there and tell them what you think!

HERE is a playlist of examples of what can be down withe the current version of the software (outside of InfraWorks).

As many of my posts start out, this one comes from one of my clients. He was using the Pressure Networks in Civil 3D 2015 and noticed that when he added the inner diameter of the pipe to a label, it came up with question marks.

Question Marks for Inner Diameter

Question Marks for Inner Diameter

To add to the confusion, even though there is a property in the pipe object for inner diameter, it was grayed out and couldn’t be changed.

Inner Diameter Can't be Edited

Inner Diameter Can’t be Edited

So, this got me to thinking, there’s got to be some way to add that information to the pipe! Well, let’s go edit the catalog. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can edit your pressure network catalog using the Content Catalog Editor.

To open your Content Catalog Editor, go to your Windows Start Menu and find the location where you can start Civil 3D, there you will also see the Content Catalog Editor.

Content Catalog Editor Start

Content Catalog Editor Start

In the Content Catalog Editor (CCE), open your pressure network catalog. Civil 3D comes with three of them, choose the one you are using or the one you’ve created for your company. In this example, I’ll use the pushon catalog. By default, they can be found here for the imperial catalogs: C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\C3D 2015\enu\Pressure Pipes Catalog\Imperial. Change the obvious for metric.

Once the catalog is open, go to your pipes, and add the property for your inner diameter.

Edit the Inner Diameter

Edit the Inner Diameter

One thing to note, most 8″ pipe does not have an inner diameter of 8″. One manufacturer of C900 PVC pipe had 8″ PVC that varied from 7.26″ to 8.28″ depending on the pressure classification.

Now that the catalog has been modified, you’ll need to restart your Civil 3D and replace the pipes in your drawing that are missing the inner diameter. Unfortunately, I don’t know of a way to update the pipes that are in the drawing already (with the missing inner diameter) to show the new inner diameter in the catalog.

 

 

A lot of people I’ve talked to recently have been confused on the new release of InfraWorks 2015. Do I have that tool? If not, why? And where do I get it?

First off, if you haven’t checked out the new InfraWorks, you really should. They’ve made some great changes to it! It’ has a brand new user interface (UI) and some great new functionality.

InfraWorks 2015 User Interface

InfraWorks 2015 User Interface

That’s all nice but, what is available? Well, there are now two versions of InfraWorks for 2015: InfraWorks and InfraWorks 360. If you have one of the suites (Infrastructure Design Suite Premium or Ultimate or the Building Design Suite Ultimate) you have InfraWorks.

InfraWorks

What’s available in InfraWorks? Well, pretty much everything you had in the Premium Suite from last year. This includes:

  • Creating the existing model from GIS data
  • Laying out proposed features (roads, buildings, plants, coverage areas, etc.)
  • Visualization and storytelling
  • Sight analysis
  • Theme features based on their data
  • Shadows and lighting
  • Many more

InfraWorks 360

So, what do you get if you have InfraWorks 360? Well, first off, you get everything you get with InfraWorks plus:

  • Online collaboration with other InfraWorks 360 users.
  • Publishing scenarios for online viewing by anyone.
  • Using Autodesk servers to convert 3D models to InfraWorks data.
  • Model Builder – Create a model simply by choosing the area you are interested in on a map (this is a preview function and may not be in the product in the future).
  • Add-on advanced design tools

Basically, if it touches the cloud, you need InfraWorks 360.

Model Builder Preview

Model Builder Preview

Missing Features?

At first glance, it may seem as though there are some missing features such as the Roadway design, profile optimization, intersections, etc. Well, these are available in that “Add-on advanced design tools” listed above but, they are just that, an add-on. They don’t come with either InfraWorks or InfraWorks 360 but if you want that functionality, they only work on InfraWorks 360, not InfraWorks.

Autodesk Roadway Design

The Autodesk Roadway Design add-on allows you to do the things that were available in the ultimate suite from 2014.  This includes:

  • Design Roadways with true curves and spirals
  • Apply different styles and number of lanes for regions of a road
  • Profiles with vertical curves
  • Intersections between design roads
    • Ability to edit curb returns and add in turn lanes
    • Create site triangles
  • Profile optimization (requires cloud credits)
  • Corridor optimization (requires cloud credits and is currently a preview functionality only)
Design Road Intersection with Site Triangles

Design Road Intersection with Site Triangles

Autodesk Bridge Design

The Autodesk Bridge Design allows you to create very realistic bridges as well as edit things such as number of piers, pier locations, concrete or steel, etc.

Bridge created in InfraWorks 360

Bridge created in InfraWorks 360

Other Add-ons

When InfraWorks 360 first came out for the 2015 version, there was some preview functionality (it timed out May 7th, 2014). Examples of this was Drainage Areas and Culvert Design. The Culvert Design tools did just that, it added a culvert under the roadway. The Drainage Areas would delineate the contributory area to a design point or road that crosses a drainage way. Remember, these are previews of upcoming technology and there is no guarantee that they will be a part of the final product (in other words, don’t buy the software expecting this functionality).
Culvert Design

Licensing

This is the important part! If you have a suite version of InfraWorks, you’re good to go. Nothing new here. But, if you want InfraWorks 360, there are some things you have to be aware of.

Desktop Subscription

InfraWorks 360 and it’s add-ons are only available via Desktop Subscription. What is Desktop Subscription? It’s, in essence, a term license of the software. You purchase a license of InfraWorks 360 and you get access to it for a set term (1 month, quarter, or year). Another thing to note, this license is assigned to a specific user. That user needs an Autodesk ID (they are free) and that license will be assigned to that user. Your software manager can assign those licenses to what ever user in your organization you want.

The nice thing about Desktop Subscription is you can get the software for just the time you need. Got a project that you need 10 users to be able to access the software but the project is only going to last a year, you only pay for that software for a year.

More Information

If you want more information, check out the Autodesk website for comparing the different version of InfraWorks. Since the Autodesk website often changes, I’ve printed out that page and included a link to the .pdf HERE.

If you have any questions about this, make sure you talk to your reseller. If they can’t help you, let me know and one of the sales folks at CAD-1 can help you!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 896 other followers