If you’ve downloaded the Civil 3D 2017 v1 Enhancements and tried using the Swap Pressure Network Parts command, you might have seen some odd things happening…


Shifting Parts When Swapping Parts (picture from Autodesk)

Autodesk has released a hotfix for this. It’s a simple fix, just download a file and swap out the one on your system with the new file. The hotfix can be found HERE.

A few weeks ago, the Civil 3D product team released some new functionality for Civil 3D 2017 and they called it the “AutoCAD Civil 3D v1 Enhancements”. You can read the official documentation HERE. Don’t be too worried about what it’s called, it’s basically the same thing we had back in 2016 and earlier called Productivity Packs.

Not all the tools that are part of the v1 Enhancements are new, some of them are the tools that are traditionally available via the productivity packs (such as the Autodesk Civil Engineering Data Translator, the rail Turnouts and Crossings, and the Traverse, Input, Edit, and Adjustments. There are, however, some new tools that I will discuss here. In the following image, you can see all the tools that are available:


Available Tools in the v1 Enhancements

Probably the easiest way to download the tools (provided you have the permissions to install on your system) just use the Autodesk Desktop Manager. Most likely it will be running in your Windows taskbar (you know, the bottom right of your screen). You can launch it from there, or from the Windows Start Menu. If you need to download them so you can add them to a deployment or install them on multiple computers, you can find them HERE.


Autodesk Desktop Manager

If you are looking to download it (so you can deploy it to your organization for example), you can go to manage.autodesk.com and download it there. It can be found under Updates.


AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017 v1 Enhancements



In Civil 3D 2016, we could add custom properties to any object in Civil 3D that we wanted (you can read about how to do that HERE). 2017 added a button on the ribbon to assist with this (woohoo) but there wasn’t much we could do with those properties. In the 2017 v1 enhancements, we can now add that data to our labels! Now that’s progress!


Property Sets Data in Labels

Analyze Gravity Network

We’ve been able to compute runoff and flow in pipes for a long time with Civil 3D but we’ve always had to leave the program and open another (i.e. Storm and Sanitary Analysis or Storm Sewers). In the v1 Enhancements, there are now tools to run a simple analysis directly within Civil 3D.

The Analyze Gravity Network command now allows you to run a HEC-22 Analysis directly in Civil 3D with your pipe network. You’ll need to create catchments and assign them to the appropriate structures and then run the command. Choose the IDF curve, set the properties of the parts in the network, and then review the results.

Analyze Gravity Network

Swap Pressure Network Parts

Introduced in Civil 3D 2013, Pressure Networks have been an options for everyone needing to model water distribution or other pressure networks. One of the drawbacks (and very frustrating things) is if you put in pipes of the wrong size, there was no way to change them to a new size, the only option was to erase them and recreate them. With the v1 enhancements, that all changes.

After running the command, simply select the parts you want to swap to a new size (pipes, fittings, and appurtenances). Choose the new size and what elevation you want to preserve (crown, invert, center, etc.) and it swaps them out for you!


Swap Pressure Network Parts

Wrap Up

So, what is your favorite part of the v1 enhancements? Was there something I missed? Something Autodesk missed? Feel free to comment and let the world know what you think!






One of the things I’ve struggled with in the past is some of the reports don’t work well with Internet Explorer 10. I wrote up a blog post on how to adjust the settings within Internet Explorer to emulate IE9 but it’s not fun to do. A reader of my blog mentioned an add-on for Google Chrome that allows it to emulate Internet Explorer, it’s called IE Tab.


This is really simple, set Chrome as your default browser, run the report, click on the button on the toolbar, allow the content, and you’re golden!

IE Tab.gif

If you are using Pressure Networks within Civil 3D, do yourself a favor and install the new service pack for Civil 3D 2016 (SP3) and Civil 3D 2017 (SP1.1). These fix several pressure networks issues which I’ll talk about here.

A little bit of background, a few weeks ago (not sure of the exact date) the Civil 3D product team released service pack 1 (SP1) for Civil 3D 2017. There were some issues with it so they pulled it down and then just last week they re-released it as service pack 1.1 (SP1.1). As of this writing, it’s not available on the Civil 3D support website HERE but I was able to download it via the Autodesk Desktop App. It should show up eventually. The Civil 3D 2016 SP3 is available at that link.


Service Pack in the Autodesk Desktop App

So what are the issues that are fixed and why are they important? You can read up on the changes included in the service packs here: 2016 SP3 and 2017 SP1.1. The two issues I’ll be referring to in this post are:

  1. An issue that caused unexpected behavior when using grips to edit pressure network pipes in profile view has been resolved.
  2. An issue has been resolved where edits to the level of a pressure network were not retained when the pressure network was data-referenced

Reference Issue

Let’s talk about number 2 first as, in my opinion, that’s the big one. When you create a pressure network and edit the elevations of the pipe by either putting in a vertical curve or have it follow the surface, when you data reference that pipe into another drawing, the pipe comes in straight.

Reference Issue

Reference Issue

As you can see in the previous image, on the left is the source drawing containing two pressure pipes. One of the pipes has been vertically curved and the other has been set to follow the surface. When referenced into another drawing, they come in straight as can be seen on the right.

After installing the service pack, simply open the same drawings and synchronize the references. You’ll see that the referenced pipes are the same as the source pipes.

Reference Resolved

Reference Issue Resolved

Grip Issue

The second item I will be discussing here is the issue with grip editing. This isn’t always an issue but can be in certain cases. First off, what is the issue? Well, if you set a pressure pipe to follow a surface and then use grips to edit the elevations of the different parts, sometimes the grip will be applied to the adjacent grip instead of the selected grip.

Grip Edit Issue

Grip Edit Issue

After installing the service packs, this is no longer an issue.

Grips Resolved

Grips Working Correctly

So, what causes this issue in the first place? This only seems to be an issue if the alignment and the pressure pipe are going in opposite directions. When you create the alignment from pressure network, make sure the pipes and the alignments are going the same way. Even with the latest service packs, if they are going opposite directions, you’ll still see a small issue, the last grip on the pressure pipe won’t display.


Missing Grip

As far as I know, there’s no way to edit that grip in this view, you’ll need to create a different alignment going the opposite direction to be able to edit it. In other words, it’s still a good idea to have your pressure pipes still go the same direction as the alignment but it’s not quite as important.

AutoCAD 2016 saw the introduction of the Geometric Center object snap. If you aren’t familiar with this snap, it basically will snap to the “geometric center” of an object, such as a polyline. What’s the geometric center? Well, it’s the centroid or center of mass. The problem is, this snap is not available in the Snap Override menu within Civil 3D 2016 or 2017.

<note>It was pointed out to me that this doesn’t work in 2016. The shortcut menu in the ACAD.CUI that is installed with Civil 3D 2016 is incomplete as well. If you are using 2016, you’ll need to copy the menu from the ACAD.CUI that gets installed with AutoCAD, not the one installed with Civil 3D. Open the ACAD.CUI in the transfers tab and copy it over that way. </note>

AutoCAD vs. Civil 3D.png

AutoCAD vs. Civil 3D

You’ll also notice that in AutoCAD, you get the icons showing what the different snaps do whereas in Civil 3D, you don’t. If you want to enable this, you’ll need to replace the Civil 3D Snap Override menu with the AutoCAD version. To do this, go into your CUI editor (type CUI at the command line if you haven’t been there before).


Copy AutoCAD Menu

In the CUI, scroll towards the bottom (I hid the Command List to make it easier to see), expand out Partial Customization Files, ACAD, and Shortcut Menus. Under the Shortcut Menus, right click on “Object Snap Cursor Menu” and choose “Copy”. Now that the AutoCAD version is copied, we’ll go replace the Civil 3D version with the AutoCAD version. Collapse up the Partial Customization Files and expand out Shortcut Menus (directly under CIVIL), right click on Object Snap Cursor Menu and choose Delete.


Replace the Civil 3D menu with the AutoCAD menu

Once the old menu has been deleted, right click on the Shortcut Menus and choose Paste. This will paste the AutoCAD version of the menu that we copied into the Civil CUI file. Now, simply close the CUI editor and return to Civil 3D and be happy with your new snap overrides menu.


Civil 3D with the new snap menu


So, you’ve downloaded Civil 3D 2017 Service Pack 1 to fix those pesky issues. Which issues? These issues. Great, so you close out of Civil 3D, install the service pack, and the next time you’re in your drawing, you notice a whole bunch of warning symbols!


Glyphs Glyphs Everywhere!

What are these things? Well, they are a new feature that was added to Civil 3D 2017 in Service Pack 1. They let you know when a label has a text override. If you hold your mouse over the glyph, it will tell you what it’s there for.


Tooltip when hovering over glyph

Just like the other warning symbols in Civil 3D, when the drawing is regened (run the REGEN command), the glyphs will always go back to a certain percentage of the screen size (I’m not exactly sure what that is and I don’t have a ruler handy to do the calculations).

I can see these symbols pretty much taking over a drawing so, how do you turn them off? Well, there are two ways:
1) Don’t override the text in your labels. I didn’t say they were both GOOD ways.
2) Turn off all the symbols like this in your drawing. I didn’t say either way were GOOD ways!

Yup, if you want them turned off, you have to disable the display of ALL of these warning symbols (Pressure Network Design Checks, Alignment Tangency Checks, Alignment Design Criteria Violations, Profile Horizontal Changes, etc.). To do this go into your AutoCAD OPTIONS and on the AEC Editor tab you’ll see a section called “Solution Tips” (these symbols are called “Solutions Tips” apparently). The two radio buttons allow you to control if you see the tips when drafting (i.e. in your drawing) and when your plot.


Solutions Tips

I suppose the other option is to simply not install Service Pack 1. If you aren’t having any of the issues it says it fixes, and you don’t want these obnoxious symbols all over your drawing, I don’t see any super compelling reason to install it.

What do you think? Do you like the symbols? Do you hate them? Personally, I’ll give them a try. I always recommend to people that when Autodesk does something new to the software, give it a month. If after a month you don’t like it, then go back to the way it was. Now, if I could only figure out how to go back without uninstalling the service pack…


I’ve been doing this one for a long time and someone asked about it on the discussion groups recently. I figured I would link them to my blog showing them how to do it and I realized I’ve never written this one up.

So, here’s the problem, Civil 3D does not have dynamic labels for assemblies. There are labels for just about everything but not for assemblies.What do you do?

Well, it’s pretty simple, just add a piece of text adjacent to the assembly and then add a field to the text. To insert a field, you can click the button on the ribbon (as you are editing the text) or press ctrl+f.

Add a field to text

Add a field to text

In the field dialog box, you’ll want to change the category to “Objects”, choose “Object” from the list, and then select the object.

Choose an Object

Choose an Object

Once you’ve selected the assembly (the vertical line, not one of the subassemblies), you’ll want to choose “Name” from the list (not “Object Name” or you’ll get “AeccDbAssembly” in the text). You can also format the case of the text in the right hand window.

Adding the Name

Adding the Name

Once you are done, you’ll see the field in the text with the assemblies name. If you change the name of the assembly, the field will update when the drawing is regen’d (it’s not immediate like Civil 3D labels).

Label Added

Label Added

You can also copy the text, edit the field, and have it reference a different assembly. And, another cool thing, if you copy the assembly and the text together, the new text will reference the new assembly.