Thursday, October 30, 2008

What is the difference between AutoCAD Civil 3D and AutoCAD Civil?

A few months ago, Autodesk came out with AutoCAD Civil.

So now you have a choice.

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009


AutoCAD Civil 2009

A lot of folks have been asking questions about which one is right choice for their office and their work.

My team recently put together an interactive tool to help you figure out what the difference and what is the right tool for you. Please go take a peek and let me know what you think so that I can incorporate your feedback into similar tools in the future:

Click here to Visit the Civil 3D 2009 vs Civil 2009 Interactive Site

You'll need to really sit down with your reseller and your team and figure out what is the best mix for your firm. You can have all Civil 3D, or all Civil, or a mix of the two. Many firms will find that a mix of the two are a good choice.

Another resource you will find helpful is the Autodesk Civil Engineering Solution Questions and Answers paper. It spells out a lot of the nitty gritty details about licensing, what features are included in Civil vs. Civil 3D and the scoop on Land Desktop. Be sure to check out the comparison matrix on page 2 (shown below):



Change Your Daylight Subassembly without Messing Up the Target Mapping

I heard some chatter about this trick a few months ago on some of the discussion groups, but I haven't had a chance to try it until now. Someone else may have blogged about it in the meantime, but I'm a bit fried today and my search turned up nothing. These are usually the moments when someone tells me that I blogged about it a year ago. That would be funny.


You put some daylighting on a subassembly. Then you realize, shoot, you'd like to use a different type. Today I had DaylightGeneral, but later decided that DaylightMaxWidth would be better.

1. Simply select the subassembly in your drawing.

2. Then right-click on the subassembly on your tool palette.

3. Select Apply Tool Properties to Subassembly.


4. You will see the subassembly switch. Your surface targets should remain intact- at least they did for me. I can't promise that it will stick in every situation.

A few potential pitfalls: It will literally apply the properties including left/right. You will have to go into the properties to flip it over if it comes in wrong.  Also, it won't change the name of your subassembly. So if you've left the default DaylightGeneral(4999) or whatever name, you'll be confused. So name your subassemblies something meaningful, ok?

This trick should also work for other types off assemblies. Let me know what you run into.

**I figured out where I first saw this discussed. Check out this thread on The Swamp. Also, check out some of Michael's video tutorials here.

Using the HEC-RAS Extension for Civil 3D 2009- a Video

I'm in the midst of some intense preparations for Autodesk University- I'm lucky enough to be helping out with some of the things that will likely be shown on the AEC Mainstage- so I only have a few minutes for lunch today- so this will be short.

I recorded a short video to help people see how to use the new HEC-RAS Extension for Civil 3D 2009 that is available for subscription customers. I uploaded it quickly to Vimeo as a test. There is no sound. Watch the video (full screen seems decent) and tell me if this is a good way to share quick "how-to" videos in the future.

In a few days, I'll post a more robust explaination of the tool and show you some more about it.

How to Export from Civil 3D and Import into HEC RAS from Dana Probert on Vimeo.

What is a Chicane?

I was putting together some demonstration videos a few weeks ago, and had the idea to mix in some concepts from Context Sensitive Design and Traffic Calming.


I'll post some of my videos in a few days, but in the meantime I found this very neat animation that explains what a chicane is with PLAYDOUGH, which after Civil 3D is my favorite medium.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Take a Buddy for Free (or Cheap!) to AU 2008

I got an interesting message in my inbox just now- Autodesk is offering the first 100 AU Registrants on Novemeber 5 (starting at 9AM PT) to register a friend for FREE!

Also, anyone who has already registered, or misses out on the 100 free passes can invite a friend to register for $595.

You'll have to read more to find out the details- it looks like it doesn't include hotel. Here is the link that tells you how to take advantage of this offer:

Even without hotel, that's a great deal. You can pair up with a coworker or friend from the discussion group and split the bill to share the savings. Some of those Las Vegas hotel rooms are HUGE, and you might be able to get away with sharing a room with three people if you were really looking to save cash (or four if you bring a sleeping bag and lots of deodorant.)

If you need some help convincing yourself that Autodesk University is important, check out today's AU Beat podcast here:

and check out the "Why Autodesk University" page here:

See you there!

Monday, October 27, 2008

She's Alive. Really.

I'm working on a project that will include launching a new blog inside the Autodesk umbrella.

But it might take awhile.

In the meantime, I see all of these young whippersnappers coming up with new blogs, and my brain is about to explode. I haven't had an outlet for my idea volcanoes in awhile.

So I've decided to bring Civil 3D Rocks back to life.

I've left you with two unanswered questions:

1) Did my computer ever come back to life?

2) Did I wind up touring the Paris sewers?

Fear not, faithful readers. Both mysteries will be solved in the next few days. As well as some honest to goodness techie posts.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Pedestrian Bridge

I'm in Paris this week taking a class with some of our European Technical Specialists. I'm hoping to learn about how Civil 3D has been successful here, and about civil engineering in Europe.

I had a few hours to wander this morning while I waited for my hotel room, and I found some neat bridges, catch basins, stone curb... oh yeah and some churches and stuff.

Cross your fingers- maybe tomorrow I will get to tour the sewer museum!