I work for a construction contractor and we currently have another company build models for our GPS files. We get the CAD drawings for the project from our state DOT and we then give these files to the person who builds the models for us. These files then go on our Data collectors or the computers in our heavy equipment and are used for layout, alignment, grading, elevations, etc.
Seeing as this usually costs us more than $1500 a project I've decided I would eventually like to be able to do this for our company. Unfortunately, I've been having trouble finding any tutorials, training, or even information on the process of creating these models. Does anyone here have experience with this or could point me in the right direction? I suppose I could continue to attempt to teach myself the entire process but it would be nice to get a solid foundation from an expert.
I hope I've explained that well enough.
The firstest place to look is to your local Autodesk reseller, one who specializes in Civil applications. They will have staff available for consulting/training.
Next would be a remote Autodesk reseller or consultant who can work with you via an internet connection and a telephone. This forum is not really meant for making business connections, so if you want to talk further about this, you can contact me outside the forum, by telephone 530.221.2994 or email email@example.com.
Also, there is an Autodesk classifieds new group where it is appropriate to post requests for services or to offer services.
One thing to watch for: Some firms who specialize in training will try to force a multi-day class down your throat. That's good for them, but not necessary for you. If you're comfortable around the computer and AutoCAD, a one-to-two day class should suffice to prepare you to create your own models, depending on the complexity of the projects. Discuss that with the training firm before agreeing to a course.
You probably are going to want custom training so you don't go to a training center and sit there creating parcels and adjusting traverses when what you need is the ins and outs of surfaces, grading, and probably corridors. Be sure to tell the trainer if you need to model roads with superelevation as that will add another few hours to the class.
I have a different method than Tim. My Topcon supplier is Hayes Instrument and they offer expert advice to handle this process and quit frankly make it rather simple.
For machine control files I used C3D 2012 and get the Trimble add on to export surface files.. I am not sure if these surface files would work with Topcon but the linework and stakeout files should. I actually just wrote a 12 page paper on this for my thesis. As long as you can get your surface files out and create your linework files thats all you really need, along with a calibration file (for what I do anyway) I also use site vision office to set up the projects.
To what Corey said about training, if you know Civil 3D real well you could probably learn how to set the rest of the stuff in a few hours. Most of the work is in cad itself and then you just have to learn how to get the usable files you need out of it, whether it be a .tin or .ttm file, etc... The rest is just importing it into another program to write the cards for the machines and put it into data collectors.
I found this post and see that it is a few months old.
I am in the exact same situation and I was wondering if you found any good resources?
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.