Thursday, December 18, 2008

Impressions of AU 2008

Day 1
First of all the flight was late (go figure) didn’t check in until 11:00 pm. Stayed at the Venetian, all I can say about that place was WOW! Got there right at the time when the casinos were going full tilt, had to go to bed.

Day 2
Arrived at the mess hall at 7:00am, figured I would get there an hour before my first class. Do you know what it takes to feed 10,000 people? Had to give the Venetian Credit for that. Attended classes all day. I found a lot of classes very basic, I was hoping for more advanced content.

Day 3
Finally took a class that had advanced content, it was on Creating Custom Water Parts in Part Builder. Part Builder has been one of my nemeses in C3D! Attended the Beer Bust that night had a lot of fun meeting new people and Networking with C3D users.

Day 4
Starting to get the knack of the process here at AU. Today is when I realized that the important thing to attending classes AU is not so much the content, as it is the instructor. Had some really good classes today and more importantly had good instructors. Attended the AU Party this night. They had a comedian/engineer named Don Mc Millan, he was a riot! Great content for the AU crowd.

Day 5
Flew Home to Colorado and 4” of new snow, ouch! - compared to the 68 deg weather where I had been!

In summary: AU was a great experience, especially with all the new found friends that I met while I was there. I would highly recommend to anyone. I could go on and on but just wanted to keep it short and to the point.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Civil 3d 2008, Fire Hydrant Label

Hello and welcome to the CAD Café. First let me introduce my–self, my name is Ken Martinez, and I am one of the newest Civil 3D Applications Engineer here at Comm. Tech. This is my first Blog entry, and I hope you like it.
Lets talk about the infamous FH label that so many of us dread using. In land desktop we always had to query a surface elevation then add 0.3’ – 0.5’ to come up with the flange elevation, not to mention always having to edit the Station and Offset also. I wrote this simple label that incorporates a Surface and an Alignment Feature. The beauty in this one is that it automatically adds 0.3’ to the surface to set the flange elevation, and of course wherever you move the label the Station, offset and elevation will update.
Due to popular demand from customers I thought I would post how to do this Fire Hydrant label for your Utility and Overall Utility plans. In addition, this label also contains a very simple expression. Let’s start by making the expression. Since the expression requires a surface component it will have to be created under the Settings Tab>Surfaces>Label Styles>Spot Elevation. Single click on expressions, then right mouse click, select new.

The Name will be called “Fire Hydrant Label”, the description will read “Adds 0.3’ to surface to obtain the Flange Elevation”. I would like to emphasis the importance of a description, this gives users a brief explanation of the expression and what its doing. We then start building the expression clicking the “Insert Property” button then adding Surface Elevation, followed by the + sign, followed by the 0.3, using the keypad on the expression builder, then OK it. We are now done with the expression, let’s create the Fire Hydrant Label. Navigate back to the Settings Tab>Surfaces>Label Styles>Spot Elevation. Single click on Spot Elevation, then right mouse click and new.

Under the information tab type in Fire Hydrant Label. Then under the Layout tab delete the component name of Surface Elevation by clicking the red X. You will then have an empty Component Name box. Since this label will have an alignment component lets get that first. Click on the “Create Reference Text Component” then click on Alignment. You should have the following entry.

Once you have added the alignment component then click on Text>contents so you get the three ellipses. Once you click the ellipses you are now in the Text Component editor. Once in the Text Component Editor, go to the properties drop down and add, Station Value, Offset and Offset Side. This will give you all your alignment information. Once this is in place type the rest of the entries as shown, then click OK.

Our last portion of this label will be to add the surface component with our new expression tied to it. Next click on Create Text Component.

Once you have added the Text Component, go back and rename it to Surface Elevation. Once this is renamed go into the Text>Contents and click on the ellipses to get into the Text Component Editor and click on the properties pull down and add our new expression named Fire Hydrant Label. Also add “Flange Elevation=” as noted below.

And that’s it; you now have a custom Fire Hydrant label that adds 0.3’ to the surface elevation, to obtain the flange elevation. Don’t worry to much about what the label looks like in its normal state. This label is used about 98% of the time in the drag state. One additional item is that you will notice I left two XX’s in the place of the amount of D.I., you can simply single click on the label itself, then right mouse click and select Edit Label Text. Once this is done you can type in the amount of D.I. pipe that is required.

Below is a completed label.