Archive for autocad

BIM 360: BIM in the Cloud

Posted in Civil 3D with tags , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by Kyle Nishioka

So I woke up at 5 a.m. to catch Autodesk’s webinar about BIM 360. My first impression is that BIM360 is going to be the preferred way to publish completed designs to your project team. The integration of Navisworks and Infrastructure Modeler into Autodesk’s cloud services is a natural fit to round out their Design Suites. Create a Civil Infrastructure model for feasibility analysis or conceptual presentation and push it up to the cloud for others to view and comment on it. Then pull the revisions back to your desktop. Sounds pretty cool and it’s definitely worth checking out, however I just can’t see it being a big part of my workflow. The Navisworks sharing to the cloud looks more promising for my day-to-day work. If a design team could push a model of their progress sets up to the cloud and create a cloud-based Navisworks clash detection report, that would would certainly be worth pursuing.

Anyway, check out this series of videos demonstrating BIM 360.

Pipe Structure Shows Up at Wrong Station in Profile View

Posted in Civil 3D with tags , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by Kyle Nishioka

Memo to my future self. If a pipe structure should appear at station 0+00, but shows up somewhere totally wrong, verify the insertion point’s location. The insertion may have snapped to some object near, but not quite on, station 0+00. Because of whatever algorithm Civil 3D uses, the result may appear odd. This catch basin was inserted a fraction of a foot to the left of station 0+00 and Civil 3D somehow placed it at station 15+XX.

Plan and profile view of a pipe network gone wrong

If a structure shows up at an unexpected place on the profile view, check the insertion point of the structure.

AutoCAD font corruption when plotting to PDF

Posted in AutoCAD with tags , , , , on March 7, 2012 by Kyle Nishioka

I recently had to troubleshoot a plotting problem that would occasionally corrupt the text when we made PDFs using AutoCAD’s DWG to PDF.pc3 plotter driver. Most of the text would render properly, but occasionally some text objects would be unreadable. They would appear as blank boxes, or other aberrations.

Font corruption problem

The root cause is the choice of font and how fonts are displayed in PDFs. TrueType fonts have often been a problem for AutoCAD and I’m pretty sure this is one of the more obscure problems that could happen when you use TrueType fonts in your drawings. When a PDF is opened in Adobe Reader, text is displayed using the fonts loaded on your computer. When you send that PDF to your friend with another computer, the text is once again displayed. But the text is displayed using the fonts installed on your friend’s computer. If your friends doesn’t have the exact same fonts that you had when you made the PDF, this font corruption can happen.
How to fix PDF font corruption
Modify the default DWG to PDF.pc3 plotter driver. There is a semi-advanced setting that can help AutoCAD render fonts correctly regardless of what fonts happen to be installed on the computer viewing the PDF.

1. Start a new drawing and click the “Big A” button, go to Print and the click Page Setup.

How to get to the Page Setup dialog box

Launch the Page Setup Dialog box

2. Click the Modify button. Select the DWG To PDF.pc3 plotter driver and click Properties

Page Setup dialog box

Edit the DWG to PDF.pc3 plotter driver

3. Now you’re in the Plotter Configuration Editor. Open the Custom Properties for this plotter driver and change the Font Handling settings to “Capture all” and check the box “As geometry”. This will make AutoCAD plot every text object as a bunch of lines rather than as text. This way, it will not matter what fonts are installed on the computer that opens the PDF.

PDF plotter settings

Settings for Autodesk DWG to PDF plotter driver to embed fonts within the PDF

4. Save the changes to DWG To PDF.pc3. I would also rename the .pc3 to avoid overwriting the original DWG To PDF.pc3.I’ve been using this modified .pc3 driver for a few weeks now and I haven’t seen any recurrence of the font corruption problem. When I was researching this problem I read that this could make your PDFs larger. However, I have not seen any significant uptick in file size. Not that file size would matter when your title sheet is messed up.