Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Civil 3D 2012: Quick & Dirty GIS Surface Import

This Blog post stems from a support call I received yesterday. One of my favorite clients has recently upgraded to 2012 (yay!) and was wondering if there was a better tool than what 2010 had for GIS data import. I love it when I can say, "YES! It is SUPER easy now!" So I've recycled what I emailed to him into this post.

  1. Go to Surfaces and pick Surfaces from GIS Data

  1. Then you will go through all the steps of the Wizard.  Step 1 is where you give the surface a name.  Click Next.

  2. Change the data source type to SHP – that's the most common data type from ESRI.  Then you will browse for the SHP file.

  3. Click LOGIN and put a checkmark next to the item listed in this screen.  I used an example data file called Columbus.  Of course yours will have a different name.

  4. Click Next.
  5. Clear the checkbox next to Define Area of Interest by…  This is used if there is a smaller area you want to focus on.  By clearing this checkbox, you are importing the whole surface area.

  6. Click Next.
  7. Set the Elevation column from the GIS file (left) to be Elevation in the Civil 3D property (right).  You will probably need to make the columns bigger in order to see them properly.

  8. Click Finish and after a moment your beautiful new surface model shall appear.

Have a great week! -Lou

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Scaling All Bocks - without Changing Insertion Location

I know, I know.  I'm not blogging as often as I should.  But the weather has been absolutely gorgeous in Wisconsin and I'm busy working on losing my geeky pallor in the summer sun.

If you can't get enough of my nuggets of wisdom you can always follow me on Twitter, or better yet BUY MY BOOK (see sidebar). Or even BETTER yet - hire me as a consultant in your Civil 3D implementation via MasterGraphics.

So here's a simple but fundamental post:

Recently a customer asked me if I knew of any LISP routines that would allow users to select blocks, then rescale them without changing their location in the drawing as the regular scale command would do.

There are LISP routines out there, but in my opinion they are completely unnecessary.

Note: IF the blocks you are working with are from Civil 3D, you'll need to edit the Style that is bringing them in.  For example, if the block is there because it represents, say a fire hydrant from a survey – you'll need to find the fire hydrant symbol in the Settings tab of Civil 3D.

If they really are plain AutoCAD blocks, the best thing I to do is:
  1. Find the Quick Properties Icon. This is on the Home Tab or in the Properties dialog.
  2. In the Quick select dialog, pick the following options. Apply to: Entire drawing, Object Type: Block reference, Operator: Select All (You could also search for a specific block name if you wanted – this example will give you all of the blocks in the drawing – as long as they are not on a frozen layer, of course.)

  3. Click OK and all the blocks become selected.
  4. Lastly, change the scale to whatever you like.  It will not change the base-point of any of the blocks.

    Hope this helps!

    Have a super-sunny-fantastic day! -Lou