Plan Production Workflow with CTC Tools: Sheet Sets

Technical Consultant Infr/GIS  at SolidCAD

 

Creating sheets has always been a time-consuming process and needs to be addressed quite early in the design for preliminary submissions.

While sheet sets can help us with global information updates across sheets with the use of fields, they cannot alter or create layouts and viewports.

Civil 3D does offer a solution for creating multiple sheets in one fell swoop. But, where these tools fall short is in flexibility and updating.

CTC Software has come up with a set of tools to bridge this gap in flexibility and updating. This workflow can integrate seamlessly into a company standard with only the addition of 3 blocks and a few designated layers.

Sheet Generator ties in with sheet sets for information updating, and has the power to update Plan & Profile sheets if the alignment or scope change throughout a project.

Instead of View Frames spliced by matchlines, Plan Viewshapes inserts blocks as viewport area extents and closed polylines representing the actual shape of the viewports in layout sheets.

Profile Views takes advantage of native tools to split up profiles for each sheet.

Networks to Views adds all desired networks to profile views, but only assigns parts to the views they are visible in.

Adjust & Move on Profiles allow for efficient tweaking of the profile views to best line up with Plan Viewshapes.

Profile Viewshapes overlays the extents of the profile viewports onto the profile views for designers to make any last adjustments.

Create Layouts takes the plan viewshapes and profile viewshapes, adds matchlines to either depending on settings, adds north arrows, and creates sheets that can be added to a new or existing sheet set.

The true power of this tool set is the Update layouts command. As plan viewshapes change or shift this tool can write that change out to the affected layouts. It will adjust viewport shapes, north arrows, matchlines, layout names, and ripple through the sheet set.

CTC also has great tutorials for all their tools on their Youtube Channel.

Civil 3D Pressure Pipes

By Matt Kolberg , Applications Specialist at SolidCAD

 

Civil 3D Pressure Pipes

Civil 3D 2021.1 introduced several new features including a new compass when creating a pipe run.  This is excellent news, but depending on your modeling requirements, it can cause an issue if you leave in a new setting.

In the examples below, the parts list has no bends, and they are not needed for this design.  The pipe runs as required to be drawn like a polyline.  While working with a customer, I ran into this issue, but I could not find the solution, and surprisingly, neither could Autodesk.  Thanks to my esteemed colleague, Colin Gaudet for discovering what turns out to be a very simple solution.

2021.0

This is the behavior from 2021.0 and it is the expected behavior.

2021.1

This is the behavior after installing 2021.1.  The compass indicates that there are no bends and it will not allow any angle to be drawn, only a straight line.

The Setting

There is a new setting to allow pipe runs to be “snapped” to known bend angles.  Turn off the new setting to return to the expected behavior when there are no bends.  The compass remains, but it now allows any angle to be drawn.

 

Gravity Pipe Network Editing Best Practices using CTC Tools

SolidCAD, A Cansel Company

 

Today’s blog post will be focused on revealing the industry’s best practices for Civil 3D – Pipe Networks.

Explore the techniques to build Civil 3D gravity pipe networks and edit them using the new CTC Pipe Designer, Part Tagger, and Part Swapper all from CTC’s CIM Suite.

CIM Suite will help you to:

  • Improve sheet production with automated labeling, dynamic plan and profile sheets, and automatic legends
  • Create better grading models with dynamic site grading, corridor target automation, corridor splitting, and merging
  • Work more efficiently with pipe networks using a dynamic pipe run designer, multiple part swapping, and manhole schedule automation
  • Effectively manage multiple survey code standards, improve survey database workflows, and automate data prep for construction staking

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Blog to stay up-to-date.

CTC Tools for Civil 3D Best Practice Series: Grading

SolidCAD, A Cansel Company

 

This week’s post is all about the best practices series that is focused on revealing the industry’s best practices for Civil 3D Grading tools. It has been designed for Civil 3D 2020 users.  After watching the recording, you will be able to apply industry best practice techniques to the following Civil 3D features:

  • Feature line geometry and elevation editing
  • Feature Line from alignment and profile
  • Grading criteria and objects
  • Slope transitions
  • Sloped-bottom ponds
  • Grading from corridors
  • Parking lots

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel and Blog to stay up-to-date.

Program Validation with Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager – Part 2

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

End Result

When the workflow is developed and implemented, the entire special program can be added to the Revit project in a matter of minutes. Design area versus actual modeled area can be compared and analyzed ondemand. Content for each space can be placed per room specifications, whether the families are loaded or not. If layouts change, or if equipment needs to be replaced, the process ca be completed in minutes instead of hours. Any user can utilize this workflow to import the program requirements into their projects, update the models, import the content and finish the design. This process speeds up a task that takes lots of time and removes lots of potential user error.

Savings/Benefits

Time savings can be applied to several different aspects of the project. Planners can continue to use Excel to generate the lists needed for the room import, pulling from defined lists of data instead of guessing or looking up the data themselves. They never have to open Revit if they do not want to. The manual, error prone process of reading data from one source, and entering it into another source can be eliminated. This allows the designers and Revit users to focus more on the actual design and layout of the project more than focusing on the data they have been retyping.

Conclusion Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager from the CTC BIM Project Suite can help import the building program and assist with data comparison and with design changes. The process above is intended to be the starting point of a template that can be expanded upon to include additional information, making the process fit the needs of the project and the team. If taken a few steps further, most of the data and content needed can be managed with just a couple of Excel files. Both Revit users and non-Revit users can take part in this process, and still have their designs imprinted on the project.

Program Validation with Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager – Part 1

CTC BIM Project Suite White Paper Library –  CTC Software

 

Issue

When working on medium to large buildings, how are you managing your program requirements? How are you checking the intended design area? In what way do you capture the number of required elements in a specific space? How can you assist the designer with room layouts and making sure the required equipment is used in the correct space? What happens when the design or the requirements change? Is there a way to compare data and assist with these changes? This session will demonstrate a process that will answer these questions, using tools you may already have at your fingertips: Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager. These tools can be powerful assets when establishing building programs.

Typical Workflow In manual workflows, many architectural firms will use an Excel® spreadsheet containing all the special requirements needed for the building. Occasionally, some firms will have a process to export the data from Revit® and linked directly into this spreadsheet. Most firms will export the room data from their Revit design models, and manually enter the data in their spreadsheets. But what happens on the return side? How this data gets back into Revit almost always is another manual process. There are a handful of Issue When working on medium to large buildings, how are you managing your program requirements? How are you checking the intended design area? In what way do you capture the number of required elements in a specific space? How can you assist the designer with room layouts and making sure the required equipment is used in the correct space? What happens when the design or the requirements change? Is there a way to compare data and assist with these changes? This session will demonstrate a process that will answer these questions, using tools you may already have at your fingertips: Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager. These tools can be powerful assets when establishing building programs. Dynamo workflows and paid Revit plugins that are meant for this process specifically, but they either take dedicated professionals to create and maintain, or they cost a lot of money to purchase. Unfortunately, these tools are not commonly used. Then what about the content required to be placed in each space? Often, a designer is reading from the spreadsheet, browsing through their Revit library and manually placing the content into their projects. If the design changes, or the requirements change, it all becomes a manual process, updating both the spreadsheets in Excel, and updating the models in Revit.

Solution This entire workflow can be simplified by using a couple of tools that many firms already have: Spreadsheet Link and Room Family Manager, both from the CTC BIM Project Suite. A template can be created for the type of project and spaces that are being used, to assist with populating special data obtained in the building program. This data can be pushed into the Revit models, and a back-and-forth design process can begin. For the content to be placed within the rooms, Room Family Manager will help with defining the list of equipment required by each space, and help with populating each space with the defined list, and again another back-and-forth design process can begin.

Subscribe to SolidCHAT blog for part 2.

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.