The ESRI plugin for Autocad / Civil 3D allows us to connect to Esri maps, services, and more.
1) Combine the transparent command ‘CAL with MME to get a point in the middle two selected locations
2) For 64-bit computers an optimal setting for virtual memory can be 2X your physical memory. If you have 8 GB of ram set your virtual memory to 16 GB
3) Turn off Dynamic Tessellation to help speed up Civil 3D
4) Values in the toolspace can be copied to the clipboard
5) Export Civil 3d files to native Autocad formats using “ExportToAutocad” command
6) View corridors can be analyzed using the “Zone of Visual Influence” tool and some creativity
7) Assign aliases using the alias editor for AEC commands you use a lot. Assign them to your left hand to be more productive (maintaining one hand on your mouse at all times)
8) Civil 3D can be used for much more than just civil applications, check out the commands “extrude”, “slice”, and “revolve”
9) Explode parcels to extract the parcel polylines, useful for multiple applications
10) Explore the “mapclean” command, which can be used for a multitude of tasks such as weeding polylines or checking line work
11) Not only can viewports be split, but they can be joined as well. By splitting and joining viewports, we can configure them in virtually any format we want
12) The modify option to insert PI works with featurelines, polylines, parcels, and more
13) With “paste special” we can insert lines and text from an excel file
14) To help clean up a surface’s boundary experiment with the the max triangle length option
15) XML files can be opened with notepad and can contain useful data
16) SYSVDLG command contains short descriptions of all variables in Civil 3d
17) To convert a volume surface to a tin surface, simply create an empty tin surface and paste in the volume surface
18) In the xref manager, the name of an xref can be changed. This allows us to xref the same drawing twice, giving us layer control over each xref
19) The daylight from a grading object can be offset to create a 3d polyline
20) Fields can be used to read object data, be formatted to display with various units and precision, and be updated dynamically.
21) Customizing CAD using Autolisp and applicable programming languages can simplify life and streamline workflow. If you have a task you’d like to see automated, feel free to give me a shout, I might be able to help.
22) Autolisp is a common language to customize Autodesk drafting and design applications. Creating one is simple. Here’s an example:
(defun c:anycommandname ()
(setq anyvariablename 1)
(setq anothervariablename 1)
(setq total (+ anyvariablename anothervariablename))
That’s it. If this was loaded and we typed “!total” in the command line it would list “2” as the result.
23) Are you aware that for many cases you can modify a surface’s contours by drawing your own then adding it to the definitions? Simply add it as a “user contour” and it will adjust appropriately.
24) Civil 3d has a series of ‘transparent’ commands useful for a multitude of tasks. For example, ‘stae used with polylines or points allows user to locate a position in a profile based on selected locations in plan view.
26) Autodesk developed a way to create a pipe catalogue with custom parts for use with Civil 3D using Inventor and Infraworks. It’s cumbersome and inefficient but essentially the steps are: Construct the part in Inventor (or in Autocad then import them into Inventor), assign parametric dimensions. Use the plugin for Inventor to export for Infraworks (only available when Infraworks is installed). In Infraworks, export the catalogue to use with Civil 3D. The workflow is pretty painful and feels clunky (especially since Autocad already has a 3d-capable modeling system) but it’s there. To go from Inventor to Infraworks watch the video here: Inventor to Infraworks To go from Infraworks to Civil 3D catalogue a tutorial was provided by Civil 3d Plus that I’ve stored here: Infraworks to Civil 3D