Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a project, part of Civil 3D Essential Training.
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- Up to this point, we've been working with drawings where all of the data is contained in a single file. It doesn't have to be that way. Civil 3D can mantain dynamic relationships between objects, even if the objects exist in multiple drawings. This means the existing ground service could be in one drawing. I proposed center line alignment could be in another and we could use those items to pull a surface profile in yet a third drawing. Being able to break projects up into multiple drawings means that several people can work on a model at the same time. With each being responsible for their own component.
One person may be working on utilities while another is editing the roadway. While still another is revising the proposed grading. Civil 3D shares data between drawings through the use of data shortcuts. In the next couple lessons, we'll explore how to create and maintain these shortcuts. In this lesson, we'll start the process by creating a project. As you can see, I've just launched Civil 3D. I'm going to minimize the application momentarily. We'll jump out to the desktop. I would like to simulate a real-world environment. I'd like to save my CAD projects to a network drive, we'll say.
To simulate the network drive, I'm going to right-click here on the desktop. And I'll choose New Folder. I'll call this folder, N Drive. I will then double-click to jump into the folder and I'm going to create a directory. I'll call this CAD Projects. This will be the folder where I'd like to store all of my Civil 3D projects. Let's close Windows Explorer. And I'd like to show you one more thing. I'm going to bring Windows Explorer back momentarily. I'll jump to the C drive.
Notice right here we have a folder called Civil 3D Project Templates. This folder is created when you install Civil 3D. I'm going to open the folder. In here, we have a directory called Sample Project. Let me double-click to open that. In this directory is a sample directory structure that you might want to use for organizing projects. That being said, you can certainly use your own directory structure as well, if you'd like. I'm going to back up. We'll back up again. If you wanted to create your own directory structure, you could just create a new folder here called My Project and then create all of the empty directories within that one that you'd like to use for organizing your project.
For the purpose of this example, we're going to be using the Sample Project structure. Once again, I'll close Windows Explorer. Let's return to Civil 3D. To create a project, I'll select the Managed tab. And then in the data shortcuts panel, I'll choose Set Working Folder. This is where we tell Civil 3D where it's going to look to create or select a project directory. From here, I'm going to look on the desktop. I'll open up the N Drive and then I'll select that directory we made called CAD Projects. I'll click OK.
Once the working folder's been established, I can then create a project folder. I'll do that by coming up and I'll choose New Shortcuts Folder. Right here we can see the working folder. For my project name, I'll call this 999001. We'll assume we're using numeric project names. I will then give this a description. I'll call it Sycamore St. Connection. If I was to do nothing at this point, just come down and click OK. What I will have done is create a project folder within the CAD project's directory.
I'd like to take this a little bit farther. I'm going to choose Use project template. This is how I can set up the directory structure of my project. Note that after I choose that setting, this is the directory structure it's going to use, Sample Project. If you'd like to use your own directory, you could place it inside this directory. Or, you can click the ellipses button to navigate to your own folder. I'm going to click OK. Once the project directory's been created, let's minimize Civil 3D, and we'll take a look. We'll open up the N Drive folder. I'll open up CAD Projects.
I'll open up the 999001 folder and we can see the directory structure has been created. Let me back up one level. If you look closely, you'll see that Civil 3D created an additional folder called Shortcuts. This is the directory Civil 3D is going to use to maintain the dynamic relationships between the drawings. I'm going to open this for just a second. You can see there's a lot going on in here. In the big scheme of things, there's no reason for us to be in the Shortcuts directory. Civil 3D will take care of everything in this folder for us.
We can do anything we want with the other directories. We can create additional ones if we want, but it's really best to stay away from the Shortcuts directory. I'm going to close Windows Explorer. We'll return to Civil 3D. And I'd like to create another project. Once again, I'll come up and choose New Shortcuts folder. We'll call this one 999002. Description? I'll just call this Bridge Project. This time I'm not going to use a project template. I'll just come down and click OK. Once again, we'll minimize Civil 3D and we'll take a look.
Right here we can see the New Project folder. Let me open this. Notice there's no directory structure in here. Now I could create folders manually at this point if I wanted to. The reason why I created this directory is just to show you that Civil 3D really only cares about the Shortcuts folder. When you create a project, Civil 3D is really just saying where is the directory that I can use to maintain my stuff? Let's close this. We'll return to Civil 3D. In fact, that's why this is called New Shortcuts Folder and not New Project Folder. Now that we have more than one project, let me show you how you can set a project current.
I'll do that by choosing Set Shortcuts Folder. When I do, Civil 3D will look in the working folder for any directory that contains a shortcut folder. Right now I have two. I'd like the Sycamore St. Project to be current so I'll select that one and I'll click OK. Just for a second, let's take a look at the Prospector tab. Remember, the Prospector tab is where our data is stored. Note that it's divided in two halves. The current drawing. And if I pull this down a little bit further, and hover over Data Shortcuts, we can see the name of the current project.
So everything up here at the top shows us the data that's stored in the local drawing. Down here below, we'll find the data within the project that we've made available to share with other drawings. Now that we've created a project, we can use this project as a means of organizing and sharing our design data. In our next lesson, we'll look at how to share data between drawings using data shortcuts.
- Exploring the design data in drawings
- Creating, connecting, and grouping points
- Customizing label styles
- Defining existing ground surfaces
- Designing horizontal alignments
- Controlling alignment properties
- Creating profiles and profile views
- Sharing design data
- Creating and managing parcels
- Building assemblies
- Modeling advanced roadways
- Defining gravity-based pipe and pressure pipe networks
- Creating sections and section views
- Analyzing designs
- Generating plan sheets
Skill Level Intermediate
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1. Laying the Foundation
2. Creating and Managing Points
3. Defining Existing Ground Surfaces
4. Designing Horizontal Alignments
5. Creating Profiles and Profile Views
6. Sharing Design Data between Drawings
7. Creating and Managing Parcels
8. Creating Basic Roadway Models
9. Exploring Advanced Roadway Modeling Concepts
10. Modeling Gravity-Based Pipe Networks
11. Modeling Pressure Pipe Networks
12. Managing Sample Lines
13. Creating Sections and Section Views
14. Exploring Grading Tools
15. Analyzing Designs
Using the Inquiry Tool6m 7s
16. Generating Plan Sheets
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