Autodesk Desktop Connector and Sheet Sets

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD


Autodesk Desktop Connector and Sheet Sets

An update to the Desktop Connector as made available on August 11, 2020.  Here is the relevant Autodesk document.


If you’re a Sheet Set user who also uses BIM 360, this update is for you.  In addition to other resolved issues, the main feature in this update is that Sheet Set DST files are now recognized.  When a DST file is uploaded via the Desktop Connector, any drawings contained therein and their references are all uploaded.  When a DST is opened in AutoCAD, drawings will be synchronized locally.

AutoCAD 2021.1 Update

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD


AutoCAD 2021.1 Update

Autodesk has released the first update for AutoCAD 2021.  Find official documentation here.  Here are some highlights:

  • Blocks palette:
    • There is a new Favorites tab.
    • Block can be copied from other tabs to the new Favorites tab.
    • Blocks sybchronized in the cloud can become accessible across multiple devices.
    • You can better manage your synchronization settings in the Blocks palette now.
    • Insert a DWG into the current file without it being added to the Libraries tab.
    • New variable and setting in Options: BLOCKSYNCFOLDER – Sets the path where the recent and favorite blocks are stored.
  • In the AutoCAD web app, click Open in Desktop to open the drawing in AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT desktop.  A plug-in must be installed.

Civil 3D 2021.1 Update

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD


Civil 3D 2021.1 Update

Autodesk has released the first update for Civil 3D 2021.  Find official documentation here.  Here are some highlights:

  • Feature Lines:
    • Easily insert elevation points or PIs on feature lines at their crossings with other feature lines.
    • Set grade or slope between multiple feature lines.  Use the previous new command to insert points first.
  • Pressure Networks:
    • Add/Move/Delete vertical bends from a pressure network.
    • Pipe run profile settings:
      • New overrides tab for specifying static or dynamic updates.
      • Profiles selection now includes a create from surface option.
    • You can now change a straight pipe to a curved pipe in profile view by grip editing, and change a curved pipe to a straight pipe.
  • BIM 360 Collaboration for Civil:  Support has been added for reference templates and sheet set data files.  You must install the latest update for the Desktop Connector.
  • ArcGIS:
    • You can add new objects that were created in Civil 3D to ArcGIS by moving them to an existing ArcGIS layer and then saving the layer back to ArcGIS. Changes to property set data are now saved back to ArcGIS along with the geometry.
    • Support has been added for exporting curves (instead of tessellated segments) to a file geodatabase.
  • Bridges
    • Support has been added for configuring layers for an existing bridge in a drawing.
    • Support has been added for assigning layers for bridge generic object subtypes.
  • Project Explorer: Autodesk Project Explorer for Civil 3D is an environment that allows you to review and analyze civil objects in the model. Here we will look at Alignments, Profiles, and Corridors.  See this YouTube playlist.  This is an extension which must be downloaded and  installed separately from 2021.1.

Infraworks 2021.1 Update

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD


Infraworks 2021.1 Update

Autodesk has released the first update for Infraworks 2021.  Find official documentation here.  As of the date of the release of this article, Autodesk has not yet added information about the 2021.1 update.  When they do, this link should be correct.


Here are some highlights:

  • New Home page.  More like AutoCAD and Civil 3D.
  • Import complex Civil 3D corridors with multiple baselines and offset baselines.
  • Customize lane and intersection markings.
  • Model builder allows the selection of a projected coordinate system before the model has been generated.
  • Refined bridge analysis.
  • Bridge cross frame improvements.

Parameter Jammer using Revit MEP and CTC Tools

By Patrick Siemek, Technical Consultant AEC at SolidCAD


Parameter Jammer

Are you a Revit MEP user and frequently download Revit content from manufacturers or sources like BIM Object? Once that content is loaded into the project, is there a struggle to get the family properly to work with your schedules? Well than the CTC Parameter Jammer tool is the one to help solve these problems.

Downloading Revit family content regularly brings along shared parameters to your project that are different from your company’s standards. This will give inconsistent information within the schedules. Use Parameter Jammer to deal with those problems.

Here is a schedule with a family loaded into a project but does not have information populated because of the inconsistent parameters from the family to the project.

Run Parameter Jammer

With a simple user interface, there a couple steps needed to map the loaded family’s parameters to match the project.

  • Select your companies shared parameter file
  • Select the schedule that the family will be residing in
  • Select the family/families that the parameters need to be modified

In the next window, you will get a list of all the Shared Parameters from the selected schedule along with the family parameters. From the family parameter list, you will apply what needs to be done to the family. Parameter Jammer will also find same named parameters and automatically map them. When you select the drop-down list, you specify a family parameter to match the ones in your schedule. It will only show parameters that have the same units. You can also create a new instance or type parameter for the loaded family.

A final report will be displayed to show what has been done.

As you can see, downloadable content being used in a project does not need to have much modification for it to work properly in your current projects. Parameter Jammer gives you the ability to quickly grab information from the new loaded families and map those parameters to meet your company standards. Your schedules will be up to date and have no missing information in a matter of a few clicks using Parameter Jammer.

What’s new in Revit 2021

By Camila Lima Pires , Technical Consultant AEC at SolidCAD


Revit 2021 comes with many new features and improvements. I have highlighted some of the multidiscipline Revit features in this post.

User Interface feature

As soon we open Revit 2021 for the first time, we notice an improved Home screen with an User Interface Wizard to help us set up the ribbon based on our discipline and focus on the tools that matters to us. You can also modify the user interface in the Option menu.

Generative Design

Revit 2021 comes with a Generative Design tool designed to help us taking advantage of computing power and quickly generate and explore design alternatives which can helps us to solve design problems.

With this new tool, you will be able to specify constraints, set your goals and inputs and then automatically generates design iterations directly from the model.

Credit: Autodesk

Change the appearance of a Schedule

In Revit 2020 there is a tool called Stripe Rows but we can’t choose the color and it is not visible when placing the schedules on sheets.

In the Appearance properties of a schedule in Revit 2021, there is a new feature that allows us to add stripped rows and choose a color making it easier to visualize schedules. There is also a check box to turn on the stripe rows on sheets.

Enable View Filter

In the Visibility/Graphic Overrides dialog, under Filter tab, we can turn a View Filter on and off without needing to delete it from the list using the Enable Filter command. It differs from the Visibility command which turns on and off all the elements in a view.

Slanted Walls

When selecting the walls, there is a new parameter added called Cross-Section. This parameter allows us to change from Vertical to Slanted walls. When set to Slanted, the Angle from Vertical parameter becomes available. By default, the angle is set to 0 degrees. You can add a positive or negative angle which will slant the wall to exterior or interior.

The windows and doors hosted in slanted walls can be modified by changing the Orientation parameter from Vertical to Slanted.

Real-time realistic views

The new Realistic visual style provides a better visualization and better navigation. See image below.

PDF and image linking

In Revit 2021 allows us to link PDF files and images. With this new enhancement, the linked file can be reloaded when the referenced file is modified.

The Manage Links dialog has been updated as well and now includes a PDF and an Image tab. Now we can use this dialog to find the image/PDF in the file using the Show button, place an instance of an image/PDF using the Place Instance command and add a new image/PDF using the Add… tool.

Rotate Text in Tags Enhancement

The family parameter Rotate with Component in the family editor has been added to more tag categories including furniture and specialty equipment for example. For a full list of the categories check Rotate Tag with Component.

Get Autodesk Content

During the installation, Autodesk is not providing all content. Users can download the out-of-the-box content using the Get Autodesk Content tool on the Insert tab.


This is some of the new features in Revit 2021. To learn more about these features and much more, check the Autodesk website.

Civil 3D Surface Points

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD


Civil 3D Surface Points

Easily differentiate points appropriate for a surface model from those that are not.

A typical topographical surveys consist of hundreds or even thousands of points, most of which must be added to the definition of a surface model.  Some of these survey points are not appropriate for use in defining surface models.  Such as those points not taken on the ground.

Many Civil 3D users use a special point group to exclude those points that are not appropriate for surface models.  The group is defined by including the survey points, but excluding those points whose raw descriptions match those in the list.

This works well, but it will fail when the surveyor shoots a point with a non-standard code, that point does not belong in a surface model, and this is not communicated with the design staff.

Consider this technique instead:  Define description keys for all points and define the Format column as usual with one exception: add a special character, such as a plus, to the end of those points which are appropriate for modeling surfaces.  Points that are not shot on the ground are devoid of this plus at the end.

Then define the point group with only one custom setting, Include points whose Full Description ends with that special character, in this case a plus.

When a surveyor in the field encounters a feature which requires a new code, and that point is appropriate for a surface, they can simply append that special character to their raw description.  If no communication between them and the office staff takes place, that point will automatically be included in the point group and therefore in the surface model.

In the rare case where a point normally appropriate for a surface model is not appropriate for a single shot, the surveyor can append another special character to exclude that point from the surface.  MHD-  Then the surface point group can exclude points whose raw description ends in that character.

Manhole where the lid is above ground…

Property Set Data in Civil 3D

By Colin Gaudet, Technical Consultant Infr/GIS

We use the Manage Tab in Civil 3D for some important stuff like data shortcuts, managing styles, and Dynamo. But how often do we look at the panels between those tools?

So today let’s talk about Property Set Data.

Property Sets are a great tool to attach additional information to any AutoCAD or Civil 3D objects in your projects. They are pretty easy to use and incredibly versatile.

Property Set Data can be set up in a drawing (DWG) or in a template file (DWT) so that it can be brought into each new project. The opportunity to have these in a template is often overlooked, but can offer a nice solution for adding data to objects and aiding in the transfer of information throughout a project’s life cycle.

When you select Define Property Sets in the Manage Tab, it will bring up a filtered style manager window where you can create Property Sets, determine what objects they can be applied to, and add definitions.


While pipes have a lot of meta data behind the scenes, utilities are often drawing using Feature lines or Polylines. Layers absolutely give us some information as to what these lines represent, but property sets can take this transfer of information to a new level. In this case we can ensure consistency across revisions and eliminate dangerous assumptions about existing utilities.

There are several ways to add definitions to your property set, but all of the definitions above are manual property definitions. The type of definition will restrict the value input options for the user. There are many types of inputs from plain text to True/False options to integers or even predefined lists that we can use to get useful and quantifiable data added to any object.

In your drawing you can select multiple objects and add a Property Set to them all at the same time in the Extended Data Tab of the AutoCAD Properties window. Likewise, we can remove a Property Set from multiple objects at the same time. Then depending on the data type, you can pick from a dropdown list or enter a year of installation to add important information needed for the project design.

From the additional information I added, not only can we see what these polylines represent, we also have a better idea of how accurate this information is. Knowing that this utility information was confirmed through daylighting gives me much more confidence that it is 75mm conduit, or that it is even drawn in the correct location.

This custom meta data stays with these objects and can be leveraged in other applications like NavisWorks or Infraworks.

Or we can manually code our own label styles to sit in the template with our property set

<[PS:Property Set:Definition Name]>  Keep in mind this is case sensitive.

Or we can create a Schedule in the template to show this information in table form. Creating schedules is a little tricky and somewhat hidden in Civil 3D, but using the command < SCHEDULE [Style] > we can create a schedule style. Then < -SCHEDULEADD > we can create a schedule of this data.

This information can also be linked to Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access for more flexibility.

Hopefully this example has shown you some of the flexibility of Property Set Data. But this is only the tip of the iceberg when we look at the possibilities that come with creating these customized properties for objects in our designs. So get creative with these tools and use them to streamline communication, minimize errors and assumptions, and create more informative designs.

Here are a couple useful commands to speed things up when working with Property Sets:

  • AECPSDAUTOATTACH – Automatically attaches all property set data to all the objects they apply to in the drawing. Also allows automatic updates if property sets are edited.
  • PROPERTYSETCLEAN – Use when AECPSDAUTOATTACH is OFF. Updates property set information associated to objects after edits have been made to property set data.

Civil 3D 2020.4 Update

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD


Civil 3D 2020.4 Update

Autodesk has released the Civil 3D 2020.4 update.  Use the Desktop App to install it.  Here are the Autodesk release notes for this new update.


  • New SYSVAR “DataShortcutsSourceCheck” to change the behavior of warnings when saving to a mapped drive on a Nasuni Edge Appliance.
  • Improved performance and stability with various features such as:
    • Unloaded XREFs.
    • Corridors.
    • Data shortcuts.
    • Save command.
    • Catchments.
    • Printing multiple sheets.

Installed fonts don’t appear in Bluebeam Revu | Revu for Windows

This article was originally published by Bluebeam, Inc. in the Knowledge Base.


A font that’s installed on your computer doesn’t appear in Revu.


The font type isn’t compatible with Revu

Revu supports TrueType (.ttf) and OpenType (.otf) fonts; any other font type isn’t compatible.

The font file isn’t saved to the correct location

Revu uses fonts that are saved to the following folder: %SystemRoot%\fonts. If a font doesn’t appear in Revu, it may not be saved to the correct location.


Save the font file to the correct location

Try this solution after confirming the font type is TrueType or OpenType. You may need administrator privileges on your computer to complete these steps.

  1. Close Revu.
  2. Open the font file location in File Explorer.
  3. Right-click the file and select Install for all users.
    This saves the font file to the the correct folder.
  4. Open Revu.

The font should now appear in the Font Toolbar.