October 17, 2014

Plant 3D and Autodesk ReCap

If you are not using ReCap to register, index and manipulate your point clouds and then dropping them in AutoCAD Plant 3D to do as-built designs, you are missing out!

Come to Autodesk University in Las Vegas this year and attend my class on this very subject.
PD6092 - Simplify As-Built Modifications in Plant 3D: Autodesk ReCap and AutoCAD Plant 3D - 12/3/14 (Wednesday) 4:30 PM
Scott Hallmark

October 16, 2014

Odds and Ends – A variety of things I have found for 2015

While I have had good experiences over all with the Autodesk 2015 products, as with any software there were fixes along the way.  Here are my discoveries of some of those obscure and maybe not so obscure.

    1)  AutoCAD 2015 Cursor trails:  Moving your cursor along would leave pixels everywhere.  Turning off Hardware Acceleration would clear up the problem.  Install the Service Pack and you can turn Hardware Acceleration back on.

2)      Plant 3D 2015 Extension 1: The Plant developers are not waiting on new releases to give more functions in P3D.  However, the Extension 1 was not compatible with AutoCAD Service Pack 2.  You cannot even install the SP2 for a particular vertical, such as AutoCAD MEP, without it affecting P3D.  But, there is a fix that fixes the fix that broke the Extension 1.  After installing any AutoCAD 2015 SP2, run the .BAT file.

      3)      AutoCAD Electrical 2015: The error could come with several messages.  The main one I have seen is:  Unhandled Exception C06D007E(Delayload “acewstr.dll” Module Not Found) at address FCFA940Dh.  Just running a Repair or Reinstall will not help.  The fix is to uninstall the Microsoft Access database engine 2010 and reinstall from the install path, and may be a variation depending on install method:

…\...\Autodesk AutoCAD Electrical 2015\3rdParty\AceDataEngine\x64\AceRedist.msi.

4)      Recap 2015: Will not open a .FLS file format:  While the File of Type shows it, an error will keep coming up that says it isn’t a supported file type or is corrupted.  You will need to install the Faro Scene 5.3 SDKs and register new DLLs.  This is done all manually, in that there is no MSI to run to fix it up.

    5)      Multiple Suites Install:  Most of you probably will not run into this, but in my world it is standard business to need to install multiple suites.  If Factory Design Suite is one of yours, install it first.  When you install it, the Application Manager will want to update a lot of the applications.  Don’t do it until you are finished with the other suites.  I have found that, for example, reinstalling a suite or the subsequent suite install will want to install the BIM360.  But if it is already upgraded, the install will message that a newer version is already installed and then close out, without installing the applications needed.  The fix if this happens, is to go back and uninstall all the BIM360s.


April 17, 2014

What's New in Autodesk® AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2015?! Here's the scoop!

Wondering what the new features are in the recently released Autodesk® AutoCAD® Civil 3D®  2015?
Read on for a comprehensive review brought to you by Autodesk! As a Autodesk Platinum Partner, we want to share this great piece of information with you and please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Corridor modeling enhancements
Experience greater flexibility when designing and displaying corridor models.
  • Corridor frequency (target and baseline)
  • Corridor sampling improvements
  • Retain corridor targets when substituting a sub-assembly

Profile layout enhancements
Experience greater efficiency when creating profiles.
  • Extend curves and tangents to profile extents
  • Create Free curve using Pass Through point
  • Change Parameter Constraint (selected curve)
  • New “Profile Locking” controls and display notifications for impacted Vertical Alignment entities if Horizontal Alignment changes

Production drafting enhancements
Create production deliverables more efficiently.
  • Re-associate various Surface and Alignment labels to different Civil 3D source objects
  • Stagger “Corridor Point” section labels

User Interface
Work more efficiently on daily tasks.
  • Improved consistency between the AutoCAD Civil 3D and AutoCAD ribbon / command set.
  • Improved graphics, enhanced visual feedback and object selection.

Subassembly Composer
Build custom subassemblies more easily. Improvements includsupport for “Voids” in shapes, Axis of Rotation, and Rail Cant.

Geographic Location (Online Map Data)             
Geographic Location functionality is significantly streamlined and enhanced including a new capability to capture and embed Online Map Data (e.g., aerial map information) for offline viewing and plotting.

Reality Capture
Improved performance and more flexibility when working with point cloud files.

Interoperability and Data Exchange
Help improve collaboration with new and enhanced functionality.
  • Enhanced export capabilities for DWG and DGN
  • Export Civil 3D model elements (corridor models, surfaces, alignments/profiles, and gravity and pressure pipes) and 3D solid AutoCAD modeling objects to Keyhole Markup Language (KML).
  • Open and edit AutoCAD Civil 3D 2015 drawings in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014 and 2013 software.

About Autodesk® AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 
A civil engineering design and documentation solution that supports Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows. Using AutoCAD Civil 3D, infrastructure professionals can better understand project performance and intent, improve and maintain more consistent data and processes, and respond faster to design changes, all within a familiar AutoCAD® environment.

Visit our online learning website: LiveLab Learning for more training information!

February 24, 2014

Plant 3D 2014 and Ortho folder setup

I have had many calls about this issue with Plant 3D 2014, so I thought I would go ahead and let everyone know the issue with creation of the Orthos folder when a Project Template is used.  This issue seems to only show up after installing the Extensions (Extension 1 & Extension 2 are available via your Subscription website).  The background: When creating a new Plant Project without a Project Template, all goes well.  But, as soon as you point to a Project Template, you discover that Ortho creation doesn't work.  Furthermore, in some cases, you get an endless loop of new drawings being created, affectionately referred to as being "spammed with new drawings".
So what happened and what should have happened?

To the left shows what will happen with the folder structure for Orthos, if the Project Template option is used and the standard setting for Orthos/DWGs is selected.  The results of this folder structure will cause the Ortho creation to fail.
Note the Orthos/DWGs folder contains a duplicate of DWGs and then the Orthocube Library and Styles folders.

To the left shows the proper folder structure for Orthos, and requires a change to the settings adopted from a Project Template during creation of new project, and then a change post-creation of a new project.
Note that the DWGs, Orthocube Library and Styles folders are listed under Orthos/ 

Steps to insure proper new project creation for the Orthos folder structure when using a Project Template. 


Within the Project Setup Wizard, Page 4 of 6, the standard setting for the Orthographic output directory: is ...\Orthos\DWGs as shown in the pic to the left.

Backspace out the DWGs folder so that the Orthographic output directory points to Orthos\ folder as shown in the pic to the left.


Continue on through the Project Setup Wizard, accepting the default settings, but do not check the box on Page 6 of 6 to “Edit additional project settings after creating project”.  I have found that if I do check this box and make the needed change, it still messes up.


Leave the check box blank and allow the new project to be created.

Once the new project has been created, it is now safe to make one last edit to the Project Properties need to insure that Orthos will be generated properly.

Note that now, as was set in the Setup Wizard, the Ortho drawing output folder is set to the …\Orthos\ folder.  The setting will need to have the DWGs folder added.


Note the setting now for the Ortho output folder ends with the DWGs folder.


January 14, 2014

Inventor 2014 Service Pack 1 and Update 2 of Service Pack 1

As the title implies, there is a Service Pack 1 for Inventor 2014.  After installing SP1, over time I began to see a pattern of problems, particularly with Content Center, in that it would just stop working and would lock up the application.  Also, I found that if I renamed a file in a project, then launched Inventor, that new named file would have problems.  I guess I wasn't the only one, because Autodesk released an Update 2 to Service Pack 1.  Odd name, but basically a fix for what SP1 and Update 1 broke.  The Update 2 to Service Pack 1 includes Update 1 so you will only need SP1 and Update 2. The link below will take you to the Update.
Update 2 to Service Pack 1

December 4, 2013

Plant 3D 2014 - Extension 2

Nerd Cat says: Access the download for Plant 3D 2014 Extension 2 via your Subscription website.  Extension 1 will need to be installed first.  From my initial tests, this is a good release of an Extension in that I haven't found any bugs.

August 9, 2013

PLANT 3D 2014 :: Extension 1 - DO NOT INSTALL-To Everyone Until You Test

On the Plant Exchange, there is a new (sorta new anyway) Extension that has alot of promise for BOMs in Orthos and Center of Gravity calculations, as well as some Isometric improvements.

However, upon installing, I started getting errors, crashes, problems problems problems with my Plant 3D.  I tried to uninstall the Extension, but ended up having to completely uninstall and reinstall the Plant 3D.

So, at this time, I would not recommend installing the Extension.  Other links to reference on the Plant 3D Discussion board:


Here is what I have found with my reinstall of Ext 1 on a fresh install of Plant 3D.
REGENALL must be performed on all Orthos and all Isos, what I mean is:  
If i have multiple Orthos open, and toggle between them, I will need to REGENALL.  This will also happen if I have multiple Orthos and Isos open.  When I toggle from an Iso to an Ortho, I must REGENALL.
If I have multiple ISOs open, similar to the Orthos, provided I am looking at the ISOs in model space.  Seem ok if I am viewing the ISOs in PaperSpace.

My original problem that caused me to reinstall P3D in the first place has not come back, which was locking up during Ortho creation.  One note, I definately believe the dialog that says "this may take several minutes" when creating Orthos.  The only thing I can think of that is different is I did uninstall/reinstall .NET Framework 4.5.

Some have reported anomolies in ISO creation, but I am not seeing that.
All my orthos have xrefs, and seem to work fine.
Dimscale looks good.
Properties Palette good.
All my tests were with existing projects.
I tested on another PC that had only Plant Design Suite, no other suites installed.  Same issue with REGENALL, but none of the others problems people have reported.

So, at this time, for me, I think I will put up with having to REGENALL in exchange for the added functions/capability of the Ext 1.  

I recommend that in any given environment, that one person on the Plant team install the Extension and do some detailed testing before everyone on your team installs it.

And I do request any feedback from others on this issue.  I do believe the Plant Team at Autodesk is always pursuing quality with this product and will be attentative to all issues.