Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Old Stuff

Was doing some tidying up yesterday and found these. LDD 2i and Civil Design 2 User's Guides.  I'm now hunting for the Softdesk 8 guides. 

The good old days! :-)

Blogger for Android

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Alignment Widening

To add a widening to an offset alignment, we can do it through ADDWIDENING command in the command line, Ribbon, Right-click and Toolspace or using Grips.

I was modelling the alignment of a central reserve concrete step barrier for a motorway refurbishment scheme recently and found out the difference between the two.

When using the ADDWIDENING command, the offset width before and after the widening are exactly the same.

And if I grip edit and try to change the offset width, both offsets move simultaneously.

With grips however, the offsets' width can differ and be independent from each other.

Below is a screenshot where I try to change the offset width to the left of the widening while the width on the right stays.

Essentially, Civil 3D creates 2 widening groups when using Grips.
The first with all widening elements; transition in & out and a widened region.

While the second group only has a transition in (which is also the transition out of the first widening group) and the widening.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Section View – Offset Labels For 2 Surfaces On One Section Band

We have two separate surfaces shown on a section view and we’d like to show offset labels for both surfaces in one band box.  Both surfaces came from two different types of surveys so we’d like to show them separate on section view (i.e. different linetype and colour). 

I could think of two ways to do this.  One is by combining the 2 surfaces.  Second is by manipulating data bands.

Option 1
This is the quicker and simpler of the 2. Combine the 2 surfaces and sample the new combined surface.


Hide the section line from View.

Use the combined surface data for the bands.

Option 2

This option is a little messy but just thought it would be good to include this anyway to show an example on how labels can be manipulated to get desired presentation.

Copy the current Offset band style.


Under Band Details tab, select the type of label you want to show, for my example I’m showing labels at section Gradient Breaks and select Compose label…  Take note of the Band Height used.


Change the Y-Offset to whatever band height you have above, 15 for my example.  Basically, what I’m doing is creating a new Offset band box and moving all labels (and ticks if any) one box up but showing only the labels.

Back to the Display Tab in Data Box Style, turn off all components except for Ticks and Labels at Gradient Breaks.

Add the new band style to the set and change the surface for Section 1.  Thus on my example below, the style ANZ_(Rd) - Offsets (Grade Breaks) refers to the Hydrographic Survey surface (red section lines) and ANZ_(Rd) - Offsets (Grade Breaks) 2 refers to the Ex_Contours_Adjusted surface (green dashed line).

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Civil 3D 2012 - Hide Assembly

A new Assembly command in Civil 3D 2012 is REMOVEASSEMBLYFROMMODELSPACE.  As what the command says, it removes / hides the assembly from modelspace.  Useful if you are working on a lot of assemblies and just want to see the one you're working on currently.  I like my drawing tidy so I quite like this.

To insert the assembly again for editing, simply go to Toolspace, find and right-click the assembly and select Insert to Modelspace.

Minor new feature but very handy.

I'll post more once I see one.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Swap / Change Subassemblies

Quick one before I leave work for the day.

Just found this feature this afternoon and using Civil 3D 2010 at that!

To quickly change / swap a subassembly with another, go to Subassemblies Tool Pallettes, right click the subassembly you want to use, click Apply Tool Properties to Subassembly and click the one you want replaced.  Sweet! 

Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, 18 February 2011


Look what I found in my drawer! It's the installation disc for Civil 3D 2004 Preview release.  

It was issued to us with the intention of testing and evaluating if it is a viable tool for what we are doing and not to be used on any current projects. 

Coming from an LDD and Civil Design background and first time user of an object-based design software, I was amazed on how easy it was to use and how each design object is linked to one another thus making changes a quicker process.  This made me realise its potential and how this tool can greatly help me at work.

I was so excited about the product that I left work late that day playing and exploring it.  Even used it on a live project even though I shouldn’t! 

Good weekend everyone! 

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Point Labels

I am currently preparing site clearance appendices and drawings for a motorway refurbishment scheme to form part of the works information document.

To produce the drawings, I need to label 700+ existing road lighting columns to be taken down. I also need to tabulate these items onto a Word document so Civil 3d Points fit the job. I want to have a label showing the site clearance item reference inside a circle with an arrow pointing to the item similar to below.

Item label

The label style is composed of 4 components that include 2 blocks, 1 text and a line.


So I start by creating a block component using a block consisting of a hatched circle. Component properties as image below.


The text component to show the item reference. These are Point Numbers with “CC” prefix added to them. I used the block component above as an anchor. Component properties as below.



Next the Line component which I again anchored to the block component with properties as below.


Finally another block component using an arrow block this time using the line component as an anchor.


The anchor component is important so that each component remains linked if the label is dragged / moved. To drag the label, simply activate the sub item grips. Select the label and click the blue round grip. Grips will then appear for each component.


Sub item grip

Since all other components are anchored to each other, if I grip move the circle, everything else follows.


To reset to the labels default location, click and right click the label and Reset Label.


Monday, 31 January 2011

Corridor Modelling (Practice)

Due to limited number of projects at work, I haven’t been using Civil 3D to do design work lately.  Use of software and its features can be easily forgotten if not used for a long period of time so to refresh and practice myself, I do corridor modelling during my free time.

I picked Junction 33 of the M4 motorway to “model”. I brought in Google images as guide to trace my horizontal alignments over and Google surface for my existing ground. I used Civil 3D 2011, the new corridor tools just made corridor modelling a lot easier. It is a work in progress and I intend to import it into 3DS Max with Dynamite once done. Plenty more to do but should keep me busy during lunchtimes!