Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Northern Pacific Civil Consortium - Open House

Next Thursday, January 24, 2008, from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm, the Northern Pacific Civil Consortium (NPCC) will host an "Open House" meeting in Sacramento, California. The NPCC's main focus is to "Educate, Enhance, and Enlighten its members in the effective application of Autodesk software products".

At the open house meeting there will be two primary sessions. I will be presenting "Civil 3D - Grading on a Dime" where I will demonstrate Civil 3d's grading capabilities that anyone can use with VERY LITTLE OR NO TRAINING! Additionally, there will be a CAD Manager's Tips & Tricks session, where knowledge to improve our AutoCAD productivity will be shared.

Pizza and soft drinks will be served and there will be door prizes. The grand prize is an iPod NANO (you must be present to win).

I encourage you to consider this opportunity to network and learn with our peers. This is a great way to start 2008, investing in improvement.

Contact Doug Matchell at to RSVP.
Be Better!

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Hydraflow Extensions

I was told that beginning today, January 14th, subscription customers would be able to download both of the other Hydraflow applications, Hydraflow Hydrographs and Hydraflow Express, as extensions to Civil 3D 2008 from their subscription center sites.

Hydraflow Hydrographs give us the ability to do watershed analysis and detention pond design.

Hydraflow Express is a collection of calculators that solve hydraulics and hydrology problems for culverts, inlets, channels, and weirs.

Please inform the appropriate internal personnel to acquire these extensions.

Be Better!

Friday, January 11, 2008

User Groups

Last night, I was at the Autodesk Civil Engineering Solutions (A.C.E.S.) User Group of Southern California.

The Hydraflow Storm Sewers Extension was review by a member, Dave Couch of Walden Associates, and there was a presentation about "Civil 3D Do's and Don'ts". The meeting ended with a very imformative discussion about Civil Engineering Industry Trends. Some very wise members shared their thoughts and advice about dealing with the current economic environment.

There are many groups that are being either being created or are experiencing growth in memberships at this time. Some of the interest is by those wishing to participate in the Civil 3D knowledge swap. Other growth is due to the downturn in certain market segments (i.e. Land Development) and companies and individuals are investing in themselves while they have some breathing space.

If you are interested is attending a user group you may wish to begin by contacting your reseller. You can also do a search for User Groups in the Civil Engineering Community website on the "Events" tab. Select "User Group" in the "Event Type" dropdown. You can also specify a "State/Province" and "Product" to refine your search.

A quick search for "User Group" "CA" "AutoCAD Civil 3D" returned the following groups:

Northern Pacific Civil Consortium (I happen to be presenting at their next meeting)
City and County of San Francisco Autodesk User Group

I am aware of, and try to attend meetings of the...

Hawaii Civil User Group
North Bay User Group
Civil 3D Users Group - Los Angeles
Inland Empire Civil 3D User Group
San Diego Civil 3D User Group
Orange County Civil 3D User Group
Palm Desert Civil 3D User Group

If you are familiar with a civil engineering related user group in California, Nevada, or Hawaii that you would like mentioned please let me know.

Be Better!


I had not yet used the RECOVERALL command. Actually, it is a command I had forgotten about. I recently saw a it mentioned and was greatful for the reminder.

Here is how it works. When you type RECOVERALL at the command line the following dialog box appears.

Pressing the "Help" button provides further information.

If you run Civil 3D as AutoCAD or have generic AutoCAD this command can be found on the menu at "File" > "Drawing Utilities" > "Recover drawing and xrefs..."

Be Better!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Las Vegas Civil Users Group

Last night, I had the pleasure of presenting to the Las Vegas Civil Users Group. The members represent public agencies and private engineering and construction firms in the Las Vegas, Nevada area.

They are dedicated to...
An equal exchange of knowledge and experience for the benefit of all members and to Networking

The topic of my presentation was "Civil 2008 - Grading on a dime". I explained what can be done immediately, with VERY LITTLE training, that will help companies with their grading design challenges. Many in the group are Land Desktop users and were very surprised with what WE designed together in 1 hour and 15 minutes.

A secondary theme was "Don't Leave Money on the Table" by doing things in an inefficient manner.

I will initiate an "...On A Dime" series of posts that will help those that have not yet transitioned to full use of Civil 3D where they will find things that are possible with no, or very little, training.

I will close this post by thanking the members that were present yesterday. I had a GREAT time.

Be Better!

Two New Civil 3D Knowledge Base Entries

These two entries recently were added to the Knowledge Base. I am sure that some will be helped by them...

Running Survey Link from Civil 3D

Adding Survey Link to Survey menu in Civil 3D

The second item is the same Survey Link that is launched by the C3D Extensions CUI that my co-worker Jerry Bartels created and has shared. Pete Kelsey recently blogged a link to Jerry's CUI and Tool Palette additions.

Be Better!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Skill Builder

I am not certain when this particular Skill Builder became available, but there is one available titled:

Managing an AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008 Project with Autodesk Vault

This Skill Builder is a 20 page .pdf file that demostrates how to set up a AutoCAD Civil 3D project using Autodesk Vault, how to modify project structure with Vault, and contains some best practices.

For those that are just starting down this road this can be very useful. For others this can be a good refresher.

Be Better!