Thursday, July 19, 2012

Making Tool Palette Hatches Annotative

Since tool palettes first came out, I've had a standing wish list item to make tool palette hatches annotative.  As far as I know, you can't.  So, as is done by many of you who read this blog, I had to come up with my own way.  Here's what I did.

First I wrote this simple LISP routine:

(defun AnnoHatch (HATCHPATTERN HATCHANGLE IMPSCALE HATCHLAYER)
  (setq CURDWGSCALE (getvar "CANNOSCALEVALUE"))
  (setq HATCHSCALE (rtoS(/ IMPSCALE CURDWGSCALE)))
  (setvar "CLAYER" HATCHLAYER)
  (command "-bhatch" "P" HATCHPATTERN HATCHSCALE HATCHANGLE "AN" "Y")
)

What it does is scripts the command line version of the BHATCH command by using the pattern (HATCHPATTERN), angle (HATCHANGLE), scale (IMPSCALE), and layer (HATCHLAYER) specified for the arguments.

Then, instead of hatch tools, I created command tools that ran this routine with the appropriate argument values for the hatch I was trying to create:

Now I can use the tool palette to create hatches that are annotative and work for whatever scale I happen to be in.

If you have a better way...please share.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another Chance to Win a Free Copy of Mastering AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013

Last week's giveaway was so much fun that we're doing it again this week.  By the way...congratulations to Lisa Pohlmeyer last week's winner!

Same deal as last week except that the deadline is 4:00 ET on Friday, July 20th.  Reviews posted last week ARE eligible for the drawing (except Lisa's since she already won).  Here are the details:

  1. Get a copy of AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 Essentials - If you already have one, this step is done!
  2. Post a review of the book to Amazon.com by this Friday, July 20th at 4:00 p.m. ET.  If you've already done this, this step is done!
  3. Send an e-mail to civilessentials@[the 7th letter in the alphabet]mail.com claiming responsibility for your post.  Please include the name under which you posted the review.  You don't need to provide your mailing address, if you win we'll get that from you later on.  Don't forget this step, it's a requirement.
  4. Your name will be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of Mastering AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013
  5. The name will be drawn and announced this Friday, July 20th right after 4:00 p.m. ET.
So get on over to Amazon.com and post that review.  Good luck!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review Essentials 2013 - Enter to Win a Free Copy of Mastering 2013

AutoCAD Civil 3D Essentials and Mastering AutoCAD Civil 3D go great together!  So Wiley, Louisa Holland and Kati Mercier (authors of Mastering AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013), and myself, are having a little promotion.  Here's how it works:

  1. Get a copy of AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 Essentials - If you already have one, this step is done!
  2. Post a review of the book to Amazon.com by this Friday, July 13th at 4:00 p.m. ET.
  3. Send an e-mail to civilessentials@[the 7th letter in the alphabet]mail.com claiming responsibility for your post.  Please include the name under which you posted the review.  You don't need to provide your mailing address, if you win we'll get that from you later on.
  4. Your name will be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of Mastering AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013
  5. The name will be drawn and announced this Friday, July 13th (yikes, Friday the 13th) right after 4:00 p.m. ET. 
So post that review...and good luck!

BTW - Do you already own Mastering but not Essentials?  Stay tuned to the Interweb...if this giveaway goes well there will be a separate one offering the chance to win a free Essentials book for those who review Mastering.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Don't Forget the Shoulders

Lisa Pohlmeyer asked me to post this on her behalf.  Thanks Lisa!  Nice find!


When the Superelevation is calculated for the alignment in a drawing, the shoulder control parameters are often overlooked, because you may not often use them.
Defining the superelevation is the only place you can specify the shoulder controls, NOT later. If you don’t specify shoulder controls, there’s no column in the tabular editor to modify them later.

The dialog box looks like this when you don’t apply shoulder controls (there’s no column for the shoulders):


If you specify 0 for the typical shoulder width, at least you’ll have that control later.  The effect of not setting the control is that your shoulder sub-assembly will not follow the super, even if you tell it to.  The dialog for setting the shoulder controls:


Now you have control over the shoulders:




If you don’t have shoulder controls and you need them, you have two options:

1.       Recalculate your superelevations for the entire alignment

2.       Modify the sections in the section editor.



Thursday, July 5, 2012

Removing the XML File Dependency From A Surface

This question has come up several times for me so I went in search of a solution.  The procedure below is the best I could come up with.  If you have something better...please share!


  1. Use a style to display the triangles and boundary for the surface
  2. Extract the triangles and boundary
  3. Create a new surface and add data using the Drawing Objects data type.
  4. Add the 3D faces extracted in Step 2.  Be sure to turn on the "Maintain edges from objects" option.
  5. Use the boundary you extracted in step 2 as a boundary for the new surface.
Bada-bing, bada-boom you've got a new surface that is an exact copy of the original, but with no XML dependency.