AutoCAD Civil 3D Wishes

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*Expert Elite*
BrianHailey
Posts: 2,749
Registered: ‎04-27-2005
Message 1 of 12 (2,733 Views)

Convert a surface to a solid

2733 Views, 11 Replies
04-30-2007 09:56 AM
I have a client that needs to convert a surface into a solid in order to physically model it for use in a wind tunnel. His modeling software uses the .stl format, which AutoCAD can export to but, in order to do this, you first need a solid.

Perhaps we can bypass this step as well and just export a surface directly to a .stl file.

Brian
*Dana Breig Probert
Message 2 of 12 (2,733 Views)

Re: Convert a surface to a solid

04-30-2007 11:37 AM in reply to: BrianHailey
ROCK ON.

i have tried a billion times to work civil 3d objects into the autocad 3d
world with minimal success

i have found that if you take a tin and explode it, after much horsing
around you can turn it into a solid. but it aint any fun

--
Dana Breig Probert, E.I.T.
http://www.civil3d.com
----------------------------------
Civil 3D 2007 SP3 alongside Civil 3D 2008
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 2.01 GHz
2GB RAM, 256 MB ATI FireGL V5200

AUGI CAD Matinee in Philly May 17
http://www.cadmatinee.com/philadelphia/default.asp for more complete agenda
and registration.

wrote in message news:5569354@discussion.autodesk.com...
I have a client that needs to convert a surface into a solid in order to
physically model it for use in a wind tunnel. His modeling software uses
the .stl format, which AutoCAD can export to but, in order to do this, you
first need a solid.

Perhaps we can bypass this step as well and just export a surface directly
to a .stl file.

Brian
*wfb
Message 3 of 12 (2,736 Views)

Re: Convert a surface to a solid

04-30-2007 11:41 AM in reply to: BrianHailey
Dana:

Quit worrying about those solids. You need to get me set up with using
points after they dropped my Point Groupies in 2008. Another shift from
forward to reverse in my humble opinion.



Bill

"Dana Breig Probert" wrote in message
news:5569505@discussion.autodesk.com...
ROCK ON.

i have tried a billion times to work civil 3d objects into the autocad 3d
world with minimal success

i have found that if you take a tin and explode it, after much horsing
around you can turn it into a solid. but it aint any fun

--
Dana Breig Probert, E.I.T.
http://www.civil3d.com
----------------------------------
Civil 3D 2007 SP3 alongside Civil 3D 2008
*Dana Breig Probert
Message 4 of 12 (2,736 Views)

Re: Convert a surface to a solid

04-30-2007 02:19 PM in reply to: BrianHailey
dude, i promise you they are better. they are faster, easier to manipulate
and the surveyors in your office now have one less thing to complain about.


--
Dana Breig Probert, E.I.T.
http://www.civil3d.com
----------------------------------
Civil 3D 2007 SP3 alongside Civil 3D 2008
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 2.01 GHz
2GB RAM, 256 MB ATI FireGL V5200

AUGI CAD Matinee in Philly May 17
http://www.cadmatinee.com/philadelphia/default.asp for more complete agenda
and registration.

"wfb" wrote in message
news:5569557@discussion.autodesk.com...
Dana:

Quit worrying about those solids. You need to get me set up with using
points after they dropped my Point Groupies in 2008. Another shift from
forward to reverse in my humble opinion.



Bill

"Dana Breig Probert" wrote in message
news:5569505@discussion.autodesk.com...
ROCK ON.

i have tried a billion times to work civil 3d objects into the autocad 3d
world with minimal success

i have found that if you take a tin and explode it, after much horsing
around you can turn it into a solid. but it aint any fun

--
Dana Breig Probert, E.I.T.
http://www.civil3d.com
----------------------------------
Civil 3D 2007 SP3 alongside Civil 3D 2008
*Laurie Comerford
Message 5 of 12 (2,736 Views)

Re: Convert a surface to a solid

04-30-2007 02:56 PM in reply to: BrianHailey
Hi Brian,

I had not run into an STL file before, but Wikipedia shows it's format as

solid name

Multiple instances of
facet normal n1 n2 n3
outer loop
vertex v11 v12 v13
vertex v21 v22 v23
vertex v31 v32 v33
end loop
end facet

then ends with
end solid name

It appears n1 n2 and n3 can be set to 0
so the only needed data is the v values which I expect would be AutoCAD, X,
Y and Z, or Civil 3D Easting, Northing and Elevation values.

This information is really easy to extract from a Civil 3D DTM.

If this information is correct, I'll churn something out tonight with a
dtm2stl functionality.


--

Laurie Comerford
CADApps
www.cadapps.com.au
www.civil3Dtools.com
wrote in message news:5569354@discussion.autodesk.com...
I have a client that needs to convert a surface into a solid in order to
physically model it for use in a wind tunnel. His modeling software uses
the .stl format, which AutoCAD can export to but, in order to do this, you
first need a solid.

Perhaps we can bypass this step as well and just export a surface directly
to a .stl file.

Brian
*Laurie Comerford
Message 6 of 12 (2,736 Views)

Re: Convert a surface to a solid

05-01-2007 04:22 AM in reply to: BrianHailey
Hi,

Many apologies. The triangle data of a surface is not exposed in Civil 3D
R2007. It was in Land Desktop and I had assumed it would be in Civil 3D.

It is still possible to program to write the SLT, but it would require the
user to make a copy of the surface - display it as 3D faces - explode the
surface back to 3D faces and then write the SLT file from the 3D faces.

It also appears there is no real interest in a program as no-one has
bothered to confirm my information about SLT files.

--

Laurie Comerford
CADApps
www.cadapps.com.au
www.civil3Dtools.com
"Laurie Comerford" wrote in message
news:5569853@discussion.autodesk.com...
Hi Brian,

I had not run into an STL file before, but Wikipedia shows it's format as

solid name

Multiple instances of
facet normal n1 n2 n3
outer loop
vertex v11 v12 v13
vertex v21 v22 v23
vertex v31 v32 v33
end loop
end facet

then ends with
end solid name

It appears n1 n2 and n3 can be set to 0
so the only needed data is the v values which I expect would be AutoCAD, X,
Y and Z, or Civil 3D Easting, Northing and Elevation values.

This information is really easy to extract from a Civil 3D DTM.

If this information is correct, I'll churn something out tonight with a
dtm2stl functionality.


--

Laurie Comerford
CADApps
www.cadapps.com.au
www.civil3Dtools.com
wrote in message news:5569354@discussion.autodesk.com...
I have a client that needs to convert a surface into a solid in order to
physically model it for use in a wind tunnel. His modeling software uses
the .stl format, which AutoCAD can export to but, in order to do this, you
first need a solid.

Perhaps we can bypass this step as well and just export a surface directly
to a .stl file.

Brian
Active Contributor
mpeterson79
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎12-01-2005
Message 7 of 12 (2,736 Views)

Re: Convert a surface to a solid

05-17-2007 07:38 AM in reply to: BrianHailey
While STL is ultimately the solution that works well, we try to maintain our drawings as clean & uncluttered as possible. Having to duplicate & explode a surface not only increases drawing size significantly, but creates unecessary drawing entities. Also, having to run LISP routines or multi-stepped functions only increases the chance for user error. As Brian stated, not only is the LISP routine processor intensive, but it's not also the quickest tool in the world.

With the advent of Civil3D 2008, we now have the ability to export a surface as a DEM. This functionality was not available in 2007 (to my knowledge). By utilizing the DEM export ability, combined with some secondary program processing, we are able to quickly & easily generate STL files.

Until we have an STL export function, this seems to be the quickest & cleanest way to achieve and STL file from a surface. The DEM export was definitely a step in the right direction from Autodesk, for our needs. We're getting closer!
*Laurie Comerford
Message 8 of 12 (2,736 Views)

Re: Convert a surface to a solid

05-17-2007 03:30 PM in reply to: BrianHailey
Hi,

Once the STL file is written, there is no reason to keep the data in the
drawing.

A system could easily be made with a menu call to copy the surface, set the
style of the copy, explode it and then run the program to write the STL file
and lastly delete the 3D faces, so that the drawing ended up unchanged.

There is no reason to expect the code would be run slowly whether done with
lisp or VBA or anything else. If done in this way it would almost certainly
be faster from start to finish than any other process which involved the
user exporting a file and then finding that file again with an external
program.

The only user input needed would be to start the program, select the
surface, browse to the required output directory and type the output file
name
If the Surface name was used as the Output file name and the drawing
directory used as the output directory then user input could be reduced
again.

--

Laurie Comerford
CADApps
www.cadapps.com.au
www.civil3Dtools.com
wrote in message news:5589151@discussion.autodesk.com...
While STL is ultimately the solution that works well, we try to maintain our
drawings as clean & uncluttered as possible. Having to duplicate & explode a
surface not only increases drawing size significantly, but creates
unecessary drawing entities. Also, having to run LISP routines or
multi-stepped functions only increases the chance for user error. As Brian
stated, not only is the LISP routine processor intensive, but it's not also
the quickest tool in the world.

With the advent of Civil3D 2008, we now have the ability to export a surface
as a DEM. This functionality was not available in 2007 (to my knowledge). By
utilizing the DEM export ability, combined with some secondary program
processing, we are able to quickly & easily generate STL files.

Until we have an STL export function, this seems to be the quickest &
cleanest way to achieve and STL file from a surface. The DEM export was
definitely a step in the right direction from Autodesk, for our needs. We're
getting closer!
Active Contributor
Efren
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎05-18-2007
Message 9 of 12 (2,736 Views)

Re: Convert a surface to a solid

05-18-2007 12:53 PM in reply to: BrianHailey
Hi,

I have created a VBA program to extrude the 3D face, vertically to a specified datum. It uses Civil 3D surface.
Performance depends on data-density.

Tell me if you're interested...

Efren
*Brian Hailey
Message 10 of 12 (2,736 Views)

Re: Convert a surface to a solid

05-21-2007 09:54 AM in reply to: BrianHailey
Hi Efren,

I found a lisp routine that basically does the same thing. If you want to
post it here, I'm sure someone will utilize it. The lisp routine I
referenced can be found here:
http://discussion.autodesk.com/thread.jspa?messageID=5305011. I wrote about
this in my blog as well:
http://cadcafe.blogspot.com/2007/04/you-want-solid-from-your-surface.html.

--
Brian
http://www.ctcivil.com
http://cadcafe.blogspot.com


wrote in message news:5591096@discussion.autodesk.com...
Hi,

I have created a VBA program to extrude the 3D face, vertically to a
specified datum. It uses Civil 3D surface.
Performance depends on data-density.

Tell me if you're interested...

Efren

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