Civil3D Zero Screen–No Vault Option


Just a quick note… For those that might be using Vault already, this will not be news. For those contemplating / testing Vault for your firms, this will help you past a stumbling block.

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First, the issue… Some firms like to have Civil3D startup at what’s called the zero screen as shown above. It’s a clean place to start your work effort. You’ve got a list of Recent Documents front and center. You’ve got templates available to start new drawings, and so on. What you don’t have is:

  • Open File from Vault
  • Open Sheet Set from Vault

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Working with Civil 3D templates


How do you start creating a new Civil3D template? As most people know, Civil3D ships with a few templates as shown below:

Default Templates

Default Templates

Basically, the choice boils down to either “acad.dwt” OR “Civil 3D NCS.dwt.” Of course, acad.dwt is completely empty of any style or setting including no layers, text styles, etc. While Civil 3D NCS.dwt contains the national cad standards with several styles and settings pre-defined.

If you use the national cad standard layers, then that template would be a great starting point. But what if you don’t use those cad standards? Do you start with the blank acad.dwt and add all of your content? Do you start with the NCS template?

The answer you chose could very well create undesirable results down the road. Let’s take a look at your options after the break…

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Infraworks Model Location


Just a quick tip to keep track of the roller coaster that is Infraworks 360.  When you use Model Builder to generate a quick model OR are using the collaboration aspects of Infraworks, the application will download a model to a default location on your hard drive.

Infraworks download model

Infraworks download model

For most people this default location (C:\Users\<username>\Documents\Autodesk InfraWorks Models) might be satisfactory. For me, I need to manage the location and subsquent models without having to dig too deep on my hard drive. I prefer to use my secondary drive and a specific folder, in this case D:\Autodesk InfraWorks Models. That defines the requirement. You might prefer to use a folder in the root of your hard drive as well. How do you set a new location? Read more of this post

Profile Abbreviations broken?


I know everyone is well aware of drawing settings in Civil 3D. And in those settings is a tab for various abbreviations used throughout Civil3D. That dialog box looks like this:

Default Drawing Settings

Default Drawing Settings

If you collapse all of the headings, the very last group is for profile label abbreviations. Yeah, yeah, get to the point.

They don’t work.

See, be careful of what you wish for.  All other properties work in each group except for PROFILE.  Wait a minute… Civil 3D has been out awhile and so has abbreviations. This can’t be right, could it? So here’s the details….

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Infraworks offerings got you confused?


visual storytelling

For those keeping up with the Autodesk offerings of Infraworks, there are several flavors to choose from. We have the following choices:

  1. Autodesk Infraworks – included in the Infrastructure Design Suite Premium & Ultimate as well as Building Design Suite Ultimate, no direct access to cloud collaboration and tools.
  2. Autodesk Roads and Highways Module – new functionality in the 2014 version of Infraworks
  3. Autodesk Infaworks 360 – subscription benefit for owners of the various Suites mentioned earlier. Added cloud collaboration and tools to Suite version.
  4. Autodesk Infraworks 360 Pro – Rental option for those without the Suite; reduced functions compared to the Suite version
  5. Roadway Design for Infraworks 360 Pro – additional road design functions in the rental version to match the Suite version

Sadly, even with the brevity I used above, I barely keep the various offerings organized in my head. If you have happened to download the subscription update to Infraworks (R2), this added to the confusion with several icons on your desktop.

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And, only one version would work depending on what you were actually authorized to use.

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Well, as of tomorrow, Autodesk has thankfully decided to reorganize a bit to help reduce confusion by defining two key points; where are various functions and who has access to those functions.

  1. For those with the various Design Suites
    1. Autodesk Infraworks – included version in the Suite
  2. For those using the Rental option
    1. Autodesk Infraworks 360 – renamed without the PRO label, only way to access cloud based features
    2. Roadway Design for Infraworks 360 – requires 360 license; moved roads and highways functionality from Suite to Rental version
    3. Bridge Design for Infraworks 360 – requires 360 license; NEW functionality added today!

These changes DO NOT affect the software you currently have installed, only new purchases using the updated installer will be affected. So, the additional roads and highways module in the new release will be there for current installations.

Here’s my takeaway:

  • if you don’t collaborate on the infraworks models, then you will be happy with the Suite offerings.
  • If you need to collaborate (use cloud services), chances are good that you are working on transportation projects so the Rental option will be applicable to you.
  • If you need to collaborate or share the model but aren’t doing transportation work, you will still need the Rental version, sorry. There is no current option to include those cloud services in the Suite version of Infraworks.

GIS Data with Google Maps or Infrastructure Map Server


Good morning.  This is just a quick note for those government agencies that publish GIS data. I just discovered that Google has a Public Data program to make the information available to a wider audience. Organizations simply need to fill out a form to apply to the program.

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I also found out that individuals can create their own maps using the Google Maps Engine Lite.  For me, this will provide a great venue to present my project history. You may have similar needs as an individual. But if you want to create online maps for your business, they also have something called Google Maps for Business. It appears that this service will only let ESRI users connect directly…

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If you don’t want to pay a subscription, you could setup your own web mapping service with Infrastructure Map Server. With this application, you can publish and share GIS data as well as CAD data with a web-based or mobile browser interface! And Map 3D /  Civil 3D will natively work with this option!

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Service Pack time…


Design features include dynamic model updatesComplementary workflow features for better collaboration

Just your friendly reminder that a service pack for Civil 3D 2014 has been released.  Go get the update here.

In a continuing effort to provide high quality products, Autodesk has released Autodesk® AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2014 Service Pack 1, which fixes or addresses a variety of issues discovered by Autodesk’s internal testing team and by customers using the Customer Error Reporting Utility.

If you’re wondering what’s in the update, well you’ll need to read the notes. There are lots of little fixes, resolutions and enhancements. So if you’re that firm that waits for the first update, here ya go!

 

{EDIT – For the industrious few, there is a “master” update page that all support references are shown. That link is shown below. It unfortunately does not have an RSS feed. So you will have to check it occasionally or just continue to let us do the heavy lifting!}

www.autodesk.com/supportupdates

 

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