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:


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.


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


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!

As I’m sure most of my readers are aware, with the 2013 release, the ability to import images from Google Earth was not included. The fine folks at Autodesk have been working on getting us a replacement and this is it (at least for imaging). When you are in a drawing that is georeferenced (the tutorial file “Intro-1.dwg” works if you want to test it out) all you have to do is turn on the image.

In the drawing (with the assigned coordinate system), simply go to the Geolocation tab on the ribbon and choose the Online Map type you want.

Map Type

Map Type

You’ll need to log in to your Autodesk account (if you don’t have one, they’re free) and agree to the terms, etc. etc. Once you’ve done this, your image just shows up (provided you have a decent internet connection). Nothing too new here, we’ve been able to do this for a while (see my other posts HERE and HERE).

So, what’s new in 2015, THEY PLOT!!!!!

Ok, so there’s another step you have to take before they’ll plot but it’s not difficult, you have to capture an area. Once the imagery has been displayed in your drawing, go back to the Geolocation tab and choose “Capture Area”.

Capture Area

Capture Area

After you have captured the area, a new object type will be created, a GEOMAPIMAGE or “Map Image” as it’s displayed on the ribbon when selected. This object will plot as you can see in this plot preview:

Plot Preview

Plot Preview

Another really cool thing about the GEOMAPIMAGE is, if you edit the image extents, the image will update. Simply select the image frame, adjust a grip, and the image updates. Additionally, if you need a better resolution or less resolution, when you select the image, you’ll have those options on the Ribbon.

Image Options

Image Options

Oh, and by the way, this isn’t really a Civil 3D feature, this is a core AutoCAD feature!

So, if you haven’t heard yet, Civil 3D 2015 is due out soon. Wondering what’s new in the latest and greatest? Well, the C3D team has released the help for 2015 already. If you are interested, you can find the new features listed HERE.

Stay tuned. As the software gets released, you’ll see some more detailed information on exactly what’s in the new version.