Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Water Treatment Plant Visuals

I've been working on a small visualisation project recently using Infraworks. There are a series of existing water treatment plants where the client wishes to power the plant using renewable energy. The project requires the installation of a wind turbine and PV panels on site. Our end has been to create a visualisation to examine the visual impact of the turbine and PV panels, particularly in relation to the nearest dwellings. Some screen shots below. Not photorealistic but getting a good balance between time spent doing the modelling and quality achieved from Infraworks. The majority of videos, demonstrations and marketing material from Autodesk is aimed at larger scale projects but IW is well suited to smaller scale projects also.

Here's two additional images for anyone that recognises the area...!!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Stone Hatch Patterns

I regularly get asked about stone hatch patterns - where to find them and what to do with them once you do find one that suits.

I was working on a job recently and needed some different type stone hatch patterns. A Google search should give you plenty of options - I found some useful ones here -

Once you have downloaded the files (they will be in .pat format) what do you do with them? The best solution is to copy all of your custom hatch patterns to a folder (C drive or network) and then set up a Support File Search Path pointing to this location. To do this type OPTIONS in AutoCAD. On the files tab select Add and browse to the location where you saved your hatch patterns.
Once this file path is set up you will then have access to your new hatch patterns from within the hatch command.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Importing Point Files - warning message

If you are importing point files into C3D and you are getting an error message like below:

Your point file might be in one of the typical formats (PENZD) when you open it and look at it but C3D still doesn't appear to recognise it. This usually happens because there is something in the file that C3D doesn't understand. Typically this will be a number in a column where it is expecting alpha characters or vice versa. Check your point file to make sure that, for example, the 'P' column contains only numbers. Looking at my file I see that the first point was a base station and this point does not have a number, rather it uses the STN code in the 'P' column.
C3D doesn't know what to do with the STN as it is expecting a number. Edit the point file and try reimporting and it should work ok.

Friday, 28 February 2014

UKIE template - Dynamic Section Chainage

If you are using the UKIE drawing template and create cross sections using the default options (_Design and Existing Levels with Offsets band set), the chainage label on the x-sections is not dynamic.
The label used in the band set above is taking the sample line name as it's value. The sample line name does not update if the sample line moves. What you can do to add a dynamic label is delete the part of the band set that is displaying the chainage and then insert a label by editing the section view style instead.

First, select the section view and click on Section View Properties on the ribbon. In the bands tab delete the chainage band, see below:
Next select the section view, right click and select edit section view style. In here on the Graph Title tab we will add a label in the graph view title that reads the section view chainage, see below:
You can edit the position of the label. Also on the Display tab make sure that the Graph Title display is turned on.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Stringing Survey Points

An oldie but a goodie. Worth posting as it can save literally hours for anyone that is manually stringing survey points - (If you don't have Civil 3D set up to automatically process survey data). The drawing used below is from the Civil 3D Essentials book by Eric Chappell.

If you have surveyed a string of points and the numbers are sequential then you can use transparent commands when you are joining them in Civil 3D to speed up the process. Below I have a fence that was surveyed from start to finish (1 to 5 in the image).
There are 27 points surveyed along the fence, starting at point number 123
and ending at 150...
To string these quickly start the 3DPOLY command (or polyline command). Select your start point by clicking with the mouse. When it looks for the end point type 'PN (apostrophePN). Then press enter. Type 123-150 and press enter. Civil 3D will automatically string all the points between the numbers for you.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Cogo Points from Text

Very often I come across survey drawings that have AutoCAD blocks and text representing the surveyed points.
If we want to create a surface in Civil 3D from these points we will need to add in the blocks (cross where the point was surveyed in image above) if they have levels. If they have no levels then second best is to add in the text (13.18) if this has a level. (the insertion point of the text wont be at the same location as the surveyed point but the difference this would make for a topo survey would be negligible in most cases). In my case neither has any level information - they are both at zero elevation. There is a workflow available that uses queries in Map 3D to raise the text up the elevation value in the text itself. I am going to show a different approach here using the AutoCAD Data Extraction command to create a csv file which contains the x ,y coordinates of the text and also the contents (elevation). we then import this back into C3D as cogo points.

First isolate all the 'elevation' pieces of text. Then type DATAEXTRACTION. On page 1 of 8 create a new extraction and save it. On 2 accept the defaults and click next. On 3 tick Text or MText - whichever the elevation text is, click next. On 4 on the RHS tick Geometry and Text, on the LH pane tick Contents, Position X & Position Y, click next.
On 5 untick Show Count Column and Show Name Column, click next. On 6 select 'Output to external data file' and choose a save location and file type. Step 7 is skipped if you just export to external file so on 8 just click finish. Job done. You now have a csv file with x,y,z for the survey points (with the point location at the insertion point of the text but close enough for a lot of surveys!)
You can then inport this back into Civil 3D as you would normally and create cogo points from it. One thing to be aware of is the first line of your csv file will be header info so delete this before trying to import into C3D or it will fail.