Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Civil 3D - Naming Assembly Groups and Subassemblies

Ever try to create a corridor, and when you get to the "Set Targets" you have no clue which one of the thirty or so subassemblies it is you are targeting?


Because you, (like everyone else) dont take the time to rename subassemblies in the properties box.  Its simply too easy to continue on with the good intention that "I will name them later..."  right... like that ever happens.

Well, good news!  AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 now has the ability to prompt you for the naming of assembly groups, and subassemblies as you place them on the drawing.


Look no further, here is the method for allowing the prompts to appear.

On the prospector, go to the settings tab, and expand the subassemblies collection, and the commands collection under that.  Now right click, and select "Edit Command Settings".  You will see the settings box (partially show here:)

Set the Assembly Group Name Prompt, and the Subassembly Name Prompt to "ON" as shown with the red arrows above.
Now when you insert an assembly in to the drawing and select a subassembly for insertion, you will see the following promt to name the assembly group.   There are two "groups" one on the left and one on the right, name them appropriately.

Next you will see the Subassembly Name prompt.  Typically this is shown as the name of the subassembly you are inserting.

I would advise at the very minimum to add the word "left" or "right" (as appropriate) to the name of the subassembly as shown.

You certainly do not have to do the naming in this manner, however... make sure you come up with a naming convention which will make it easier for you to determine which subassembly you are using to set the target.
Hope this helps, as always make sure you contact me or visit any time you need help.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

5 Easy Tips For Better Civil 3D Production (By Larry Young)

    How would you like to be more productive with the tools you already have.  Well you can, simply by using these few great tips below.

    Civil 3D is a great design tool.  In fact it does a great job of "drafting" while the design is being established.   Here are a few tips to help you be more productive and you bottom line look even better.

1.  Right click is your friend!   Yes, you heard me..  in Civil 3D, at almost any time you can right click the mouse to bring up menus.  These will most often be shortcuts and are of course quicker than clicking your way through the ribbon menu system. 

2.  Which brings me to point number two, the ribbon is a great thing, and its dynamic abilities will have you at the required menu quickly.  Simply by selecting a C3D object, you can get to the menus of all things possible/useable for that particular object.  So the tip here is "Dont turn the ribbon off".

3.  Use Styles (not layers) to hide Civil 3D objects.  When freezing and thawing layers to hide a Civil 3D object, you run the risk of turning off other objects or "pieces" of objects.  This could be a problem when you suddenly realize you cant see those points (because they happen to be on the same layer your alignment was on).  The problem arises when you try to figure out which layer(s) you froze or turned off.  This could take a while.. not only that but when you turn the layer back on, you may have more on than you wish which could take you a while to figure out how to solve this problem.  The tip here is to have an invisible style for everything Civil 3D.. IE: surfaces, alignments, corridors, sections etc.

4.  Use the Object Viewer for data validation or data integrity.  You can try this by selecting a surface , "Right Click" (see tip one) and select "Object Viewer".  The tip here is to rotate the surface to a side view, this will show quickly any problem areas such as an erroneous elevation on a point causing a spike, or an entire area too high or too low due to a survey mistake.

5.  Use Civil 3D labels whenever possible rather than placing normal AutoCAD text.  This is a two fold tip, first the labels will regenerate to the proper text height in any viewport scale.  You can try this yourself by changing the scale on a viewport, regen the viewport (or regenall) and watch the text height go back to the correct size.  The second part of this is just as powerful, that is that Civil 3D labels are dynamically linked to the object they are created from.  Try this by placing a bearing and distance on a parcel line, or a point elevation on a surface.  Now when the line or surface is changed, the label will change as well.  This happens with EVERY Civil 3D label, and will NOT happen if you simply put text on the drawing indicating the bearing and distance, or the elevation.

Well there you have it, 5 tips, 5 ways to save you time and 5 ways that we "Save you money 5 minutes at a time.  Thats our slogan, thats our business here at YOUNGS VOS.  Visit us for many more tips, videos, and valuable information.

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