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.



So, Civil 3D 2013 is just around the corner and I wanted to let you all know a few of my favorite things in this release.


Well, I can’t really comment on the performance yet as I haven’t had much chance to push the software around but, if you listen to those in the know, they’ve made some serious improvements to the performance.


There are some major improvements to the survey tools in this release. In fact, there is an entire new tab on the ribbon for your survey tools. What’s the big thing? Querying your survey database. One of the things I’ve always found awkward about the survey database is the disconnect between it and the drawing. With this release you can query your survey database and add the results of the query directly to a surface. If you add additional data to the survey database that matches the query, when you rebuild your surface, it will update (in my testing, the surfaces wasn’t marked as out of data if the survey database changed).

Survey Query

Survey Query Ribbon Tab

Now that’s pretty cool and really useful for surveyors but, there is also the ability to create a line label, WITHOUT A LINE! How many times have I been asked if you can do this? I’ve lost count and now I’ll be able to say, YES!

Line Between Two Points Label

Basically this tool creates a phantom line that is labeled. Grab the label and you can adjust the points it’s labeling between.


I’m an engineer. Why did I get into engineering? I wanted to drive trains. Three years into college and I realize that I won’t be driving any trains (I was wondering what statics had to do with trains) but now with Civil 3D 2013, I can design rail lines. There are new alignment types and settings (I’ve seen many times on the discussion groups people asking about Degree of Curvature and now we have it). Honestly, I’ve not done much with the rail tools in 2013 so I’ll leave that for someone else to write up (at least for now).

Rail Cant

The corridor creation has a new dialog box that makes it a bit easier. It’s a small improvement but hey, I’ll take anything they’ll give me. The assemblies have had some very nice improvements. When you add a subassembly to another subassembly, it will detect the correct side that it’s on for you so you don’t have to constantly change the sides as you are creating the assembly. Additionally, you can replace an existing subassembly in an assembly as well as insert a subassembly between two subassemblies.

Insert Subassemblies


The Volume Dashboard Extension is now a part of the program. If you have checked out this great tool, check out the write up I did on it earlier HERE.

One thing that I always struggled with is when you need to cut out one surface at the limit of another surface. Not a difficult task but if you change these surfaces, the process for adding the boundary again is very manual in nature. Now you can simply add one surface as a hide boundary to another surface (be careful not to get into a circular reference issue).

Surface as Hide Boundary

Pressure Networks

Yup, you heard me. You can now model pressure networks in Civil 3D 2013. There is a brand new type of object, a Pressure Network. It has it’s own parts lists and everything. Bends, tees, crosses, valves, etc are all available for you to add to your network. This is a pretty big addition to Civil 3D and I haven’t had a lot of time to get down and dirty with this yet so stay tuned for more posts on this topic as I learn the ins and outs of this.

Hopefully you’ve seen something here that makes you go, “Oooh! I can use that!”

One thing that has always just kind of annoyed me when it comes to corridors is they are very difficult to organize.  In particular, which subassembly do I choose when it comes time to set my targets.  I’ve always renamed the subassembly groups but you have to remember to do this.  If you forget and you go to set your targets, well, it’s very difficult to tell which one is on the left and which is on the right.  In class yesterday, I came across a much easier way to do this.  Read on to find out more. (more…)