The Subassembly Composer has myriad user interface options, and is customizable based upon what type of workflow you have. This video introduces finding the Subassembly Composer; and once open, the interface and general location of all components within the Subassembly Composer. We discuss different interface layouts/options and their use as well as user settings and commonly misplaced items. Lastly, this video will introduce what our "Hello World" subassembly will be: a duct bank.
- [Instructor] Let's start our journey together through the Subassembly Composer by developing a deeper understanding of what the Subassembly Composer is, where it comes from, and what it does. Specifically we'll look at the general layout of the interface and where we can find all of the important tools for your use. Lastly, we'll introduce the hello world subassembly we will be creating. The Subassembly Composer allows users to build custom subassemblies that allow for total control over their corridor models. The Subassembly Composer is installed with Civil 3D or any suite or collection that includes Civil 3D. It allows users unfamiliar with the Visual Basic coding language and the Civil 3D API to visually create subassemblies for Civil 3D, specifically for the corridors used within Civil 3D, and this is the most important part of the Subassembly Composer, you actually are able to create subassemblies using Visual Basic in Microsoft Visual Studio, however, the learning curve is tremendous, and if you're not familiar with Visual Basic, you'll likely get caught up in the details.
Contrary to popular thought, the Subassembly Composer actually has a very shallow learning curve, at least to get started. You'll see throughout this course that with very little input and very little information, we can create tremendously powerful subassemblies that we can use in Civil 3D for grading. With that said, though, there's a huge mastery curve. You can get into the Subassembly Composer and find out very quickly that some of the more complicated subassemblies take a great deal of learning before you'll feel comfortable. For this course we'll be using the 2017 version of the Subassembly Composer, which looks like the software on your screen right now.
When you open your Subassembly Composer 2017, if it doesn't look like mine, you can always go to the View tab, and you can select Restore Default Layout, and it will look exactly like what you see on your screen. The interface is comprised of five major components, the first being the toolbox. The toolbox is generally where we're gonna pull information from in order to create our subassembly. So we'll pull geometry like points, advanced geometry like fillet arcs, auxiliary geometry like auxiliary surface links, workflows, and miscellaneous, which are things like parameters. We'll take from the toolbox and place into the flow chart.
The flow chart will give you a visual representation of the subassembly as you create it, allowing you to see what's available for each and every component of the subassembly. As you add geometry, decisions, switches, and numerations to the flow chart, you'll have to add properties to them, and that's conducted here in the bottom pane below the flow chart. Every piece and component within the Subassembly Composer has properties associated with it. This is really where you tell the Subassembly Composer how you want each piece of geometry to interact with the others and with itself. As you add information to the flow chart and properties, you'll see the Preview pane change as you go.
The Preview pane is really where you're gonna see whether what you're coding visually in the flow chart and properties is actually what you intended to code in the preview, and this is really the only place in the Subassembly Composer where you get any feedback on your subassembly before you ship it to Civil 3D and actually test it. Lastly, we have our Settings panel down here in the bottom right hand corner. This allows you to set simple things like the subassembly name, description, help file, and image, but we'll also spend some time in this course on input and output parameters and target parameters, and you can also see the event viewer which will give you some feedback if you have errors before you ever go to Civil 3D.
So now that we have an understanding of the interface, what we want to do for our next series of videos is we want to create our hello world subassembly. Like any good developer, hello world is always first, and what we're gonna create for our hello world subassembly is a simple duck bank that we'll use to model subsurface utilities. And now that we understand this background and what we're gonna be working on, let's get to it and start defining our subassembly.
- Creating a plan of attack
- Defining subassembly properties
- Adding input parameters, points, links, and shapes
- Testing subassemblies
- Adding targets
- Using Visual Basic code in subassembly development