Civil 3D Viewports

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

A little tip today.  Have you ever zoomed out within a profile viewport and your surfaces and alignments are not there?  The two viewports shown below are nearly identical except the one on the bottom doesn’t display any Civil 3D plan objects, such as the surface and alignment.  Why is this?  No, layers are not frozen or off in the lower viewport.

Civil 3D has its Plan Production feature which automates the creation of Paper Space layouts, typically for plan and profile construction drawings.  The way it has been implemented is that your drawing template (DWT) will contain a sample paper space layout containing pre-configured viewports.  And those viewports are required to have set a specific property called Viewport Type.

In the image above, the top viewport is set to Plan and the bottom is set to Profile.  When the viewport type is set to Profile, Civil 3D plan objects such as surfaces, alignments, and corridors are not displayed.  This is presumably to conserve performance, but if you’re unaware of this feature, it can be confusing.

Bluebeam Revu 2018.6

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

Bluebeam has released their latest update for their flagship PDF markup tool, Revu.  Please see this link to learn more about how to update your installation.  And then click here to find out which defects have been addressed.

CTC BIM Projct Suite 2020 – Invisibility Advisor

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

Find improperly displayed elements in Revit with Invisibility Advisor. Part of the BIM Project Suite, this tool can also identify the cause of invisibilty as well as offer useful information and links to relevant knowledgeable articles for each issue.

Common Challenges

Revit users may spend 2-4 hours a week on average resolving object visibility issues

Revit has various ways of finding objects, and users rarely check all

Often invisibility can be controlled by multiple factors and multiple users

Solution – Invisibility Advisor

Invisibility Advisor searches through almost 60 different factors affecting an object’s invisibility

Advice is offered to assist with understanding why the object(s) were not visible

In many cases, an instant ‘Fix’ option is available to resolve the visibility issue automagically

The Invisibility Advisor can remain on screen while you work, so visibility solutions are available at your fingertips

ROI

At even 1 hour per week time savings, Invisibility Advisor can save an average firm $3400/year/Revit user

For more information visit CTC Productivity Tools to learn more, and download free trial.

WORKAROUND: Civil 3D XREF Structures Do Not Resize

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

My friend and customer, Ben Cartmell from Koers & Associates in Parksville, has brought to my attention a method, of which you may not be aware, for working around a limitation within Civil 3D.

The limitation is when a drawing containing Civil 3D structures is XREF’d.  The image below shows two viewports in paper space with pipes and structures that have been XREF’d in model space.  The structures are annotative and they should be the same size within the viewports, but they are not.

There is an easy workaround for this problem.  The file being XREF’d in the example above was saved in model space.

  • Open the file.
  • Switch to paper space.
  • Save.

Reload the XREF and those structures now appear the same size in paper space.

Feel free to experiment by downloading these two drawing files.

Revit Project Cleanup – Why and How

By Mughees Altaf, Account Manager at SolidCAD

As a collaborative BIM software, Revit enables multiple authors to work within the same project file. However, as projects progress files can grow rather large, often time filling up “extra stuff”. This extra data can cause model performance to slow down or lag, causing models to take far longer to open, save, or close.

Additionally, users may take more time to navigate through this extra information to find the correct view, sheet, content or other relevant data. Some processes exist to alleviate these issues inside of Revit, however they are time consuming, tedious, and incomplete.

Describing the issue

The development of Revit project files comes with a lot of work to maintain a healthy file for continued, efficient user workflows. BIM Managers must keep going through the files, cleaning up all the unneeded information. Deleting views, view templates, filters, unused sheets, link & imported elements from the file. Additionally, reviewing all views, trying to find non-standard elements that users might have created in the file. Finally, checking the model to make sure the users are following best practice of modeling correctly. These tasks and more all take time and must be done regularly to ensure that models do not break minutes before major submittals. The breaking of models, file corruption, or file slowdown may require the stopping of work for repair of a problematic model has cost that is not frequently quantified. Fortunately, there are project maintenance tools available in the CTC Software’s BIM Manager Suite that makes this entire process easy to execute, and significantly reduces model downtime, and stoppages of work.

Workflow Description

The use of Project Cleaner makes efficient use of time in cleaning up garbage views from the project. Leveraging the Import/Link Manager can rapidly allow identification and repair of the imports in the model. Intelligently running Type Swapper can save hours of model maintenance and cleanup of rogue types. Finally, Dimension Checker makes it possible to identify areas in a model where information has been faked to ‘just get it done’, but could be a liability issue, or a model fidelity issue later in the project.

Continue reading “Revit Project Cleanup – Why and How”

Civil 3D 2020

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

Autodesk has released the latest iteration of their Civil Engineering modeling software, namely Civil 3D 2020.  Go to the Autodesk Account page to download the software or get it from the Desktop App.

Note, it was released on April 10th and it may not appear immediately in your Desktop App or even Autodesk Manage for a day or two.

Here are the features of note in this release:

  • Of course, everything that is new for AutoCAD.
  • The Civil object format has not changed.  You can share files between users of Civil 3D 2018, 2019, and 2020.
  • The Export Civil 3D drawing to AutoCAD tool has been overhauled and it should yield more predictable results.
    • We now have the option to export feature lines as 2D or 3D objects.
  • The survey database is now SQLite, different from SQL Compact like previous releases.  Note, the default Working Folder has changed.
    • Your existing survey databases can be converted to the new format after downloading the conversion tool and running the Migrate tool.

  • Changes to the gravity network analysis tool and SSA.
  • Dynamo is a workflow-based programming tool and it is available for 2020.  It must be installed using the Desktop App or from Autodesk Account.  After installation, the tool is available in the Manage Ribbon.  When run, users have access to many resources such as tutorials, primers, and more.

  • Connect to ArcGIS online .

AutoCAD 2020

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

Autodesk has release the latest iteration of their flagship drafting software, namely AutoCAD 2020.  Click here to see Autodesk’s page detailing what’s new.  Go to the Autodesk Account page to download the software of get it from the Desktop App.

Here are the features of note in this release:

  • There is no DWG format change.  Files back to 2018 are compatible with this release.
  • New installation technology allows for an install time about half that of previous releases, when a Solid State Drive is in use.
  • A new block palette exists containing all of the blocks within the current drawing.  The INSERT command no longer displays the usual block insert dialog box, it now runs the BLOCKSPALETTE tool, displaying the new blocks palette.  The new CLASSICINSERT command displays the old block insert dialog.

  • The purge command now indicates the reason why some objects cannot be purged.  This has been a request for many releases.

  • Use the Quick measure tool to more efficiently measure objects.

  • Access to drawings saved to online services such as Box and Dropbox has been streamlined.

Civil 3D 2019 Update 2

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

A new update for Civil 3D 2019 has just been released.  You can find it in the usual places; the Desktop App or your Autodesk Account.  Here is the ReadMe; note that AutoCAD 2019.1.2 must be installed prior to this new Civil 3D update.

See this video outlining some of the new functionality.

As always, updates contain fixes to known defects and some new functionality.  Here are the notable new features:

  • Transparent commands are now included in their own ribbon.
  • Transparent commands can now be accessed via the right click menu.
  • There is some new transparent command functionality with Alignment Station and Offset.  This in the name of efficiency and it’s an excellent addition.
  • Linear crossings in profile views.  This is, in this blogger’s opinion, is arguably revolutionary!  For many years users have requested the ability to display in profile where something crosses your alignment.  Another alignment, feature line, etc.  now we can.
  • UNC paths for projects.
  • Sample lines data shortcuts are “Vaultable”.
  • Property set data is supported in LadnXML.
  • Rail platform edge improvements.

SolidCAD Collaborates with Leading Data Management Solutions Developer, Accruent

By Mark DiPinto, Marketing Assistant at SolidCAD

SolidCAD, Canada’s premier technology solution and professional service provider, has teamed up with Accruent for Autodesk University 2018.

For several years, SolidCAD has been a reseller of the leading data management solutions software developed by Accruent and will be demonstrating how their solutions can leverage clients workflows throughout the conference.

Connecting around 10,000 professionals from construction, manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and media creation; Autodesk University (AU) is developed for those who design and make the world around us. The three-day conference will feature some of the largest names in the tech industry including Intel, Dell and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Additionally, four of SolidCAD’s Technical Specialist will be presenting six AU sessions; one of which will be live streamed on November 13 at 7:30 (PST). If you’re attending AU be sure to visit SolidCAD at booth #B924 in the Construction & Fabrication section.

To learn more about AU, click here

Infrastructure Road Show Series – Recap

By Matt Kolberg, Application Specialist at SolidCAD

Recently the SolidCAD civil team conducted the first Infrastructure Road Show series across Western Canada!

Our roadshow series was designed to uncover emerging technologies and new software, share best practices and industry trends and provide you with the best tips and tricks to streamline your workflow and finish your project faster.

As those who attended know, there was a lot of information shown so feel free to download the Powerpoint files and view them at your own pace.

Point Clouds

Design Roundtrip

Tips & Tricks