Monday, September 29, 2008

Civil 3D and Layers

When I teach Civil 3D, I like to get people in the habit of using Styles to control display of surfaces and points. Some objects, such as corridors, are displayed based on a few different styles and it's just plain quicker to use layers to turn it on or off.

When it comes to point display, leverage your Point Groups. One of my favorite tricks with point groups is manipulating their display order. If you understand point groups, you know that a point can belong to more than one group. For instance, you might have a benchmark point that is part of a "Control Points" group and is also part of a "Surface Data" group. Additionally, whether you like it or not, the point is automatically part of _All Points.

So, what the heck? How does civil 3D know what style to apply to the point?

In my example here, I'm going to hijack _All Points as my no display group. In other words, I just jumped into the properties of _All Points and set Point Style and Label Style to "None".

Next, I went to the Overrides tab to make sure that points that are controlled by description keys for styles also follow this group. I toggled on Point Style and Point Label Style.

Now that I have a "no display" group set up I need to reorder the groups.

The style the point takes all depends on the order of the point groups as displayed in Properties.

Right-click on Point Groups and select Properties.

You will see the listing of your point groups. From the top down, the order in which the group shows up in here is what determines what style takes over. Use the blue arrows to move a group up or down and manipulate this listing. In this case, with _All Points at the top of the listing, no points will be visible. If I wanted just Utilities points to show, I would bump the Utilities group above _All Points.

When it comes to Surfaces, changing the display is something you will end up doing constantly through the design process. To turn a surface "off" use the style! If you have started a project from one of the default templates, you already have a Surface Style called "_No Display." Right-click on the name of the surface in Prospector and hit Properties. (You can also left-click, then right-click the surface graphically to get into Surface Properties, but for pure newbies I stick to prospector - less confusing.)

In the information tab set your surface style to _No Display and click OK.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

SQOTD: That Wagon Wheel Looking Thing in My Drawing

If you have a coordinate system turned on in Civil 3D 2009 or Map 2009 you will see this goofy-looking symbol in your drawing. It can't be selected and can't be deleted but you can just turn it off.

At the cad command line, type GEOMARKERVISIBILITY hit enter, then set the value to 0.

Goodbye wagon-wheel thingy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

YES! Floridians are Smart!

Taking after my buddies at WisDOT, Florida DOT has chosen Civil 3D as their design package.
Two down, 50 to go! (I'm counting Guam and Puerto Rico DOTs too)

Check it out on Yahoo biz!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Snippet of my Corridor Paper

I'm kind of digging these graphics I made for the AUGI CAD camp in Chicago. Here's a little preview of the paper I'm putting together.

"This scematic is what our cross section might look like in a fill situation. Our original 12’ lane has been overridden by the location of the EOP alignments. Because this example does not use a Profile target, the final elevations of the EOPs are controlled by the slope from the assembly. "

"When building a corridor surface, you will most frequently use Links to add data. Each Link has at least one name that Civil 3D uses to group like objects. For instance, when creating a daylight surface, you would add Top links to the surface. If you want a surface from the bottom-most level of your subassembly, you would choose Datum links. In the figure above, notice that links can have more than one name. "

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Create a Profile without a Surface

I’ve run into several people who have point data that exists along a single line and wish to see profile data. With no point data outside this string of points it is impossible to create a surface model. Without a surface model it is not as easy to create a profile.

There’s a little known trick a person can perform in order to create a profile from a set of points. It involves using the 3DPOLY command, transparent commands and LandXML. The attached PDF explains in detail what is needed to create an existing profile from linear points.

Here is the PDF: Profile with No Surface

Here is the TXT file you can download for practice. trail.txt