After changing msu=inch the quantities and stationing are correct. The machine stopped responding if I selected convert objects rather than change units without conversion. There is no argument but through discussion and sharing and presenting arguments that describe the behavior we have observed exhibited by the modelspace units we will come to a better understanding of C3D. I have observed that C3D works fine in msu=inch and have not found an exception to this.
At Granite they taught me to just pound the phone on the desk and scream do you *^$#-(^!!#@ hear me now *&%^#_((*&&
I compiled this thread and a couple other threads with several tests, the results are posted here
It's frustrating seeing things like that.
I feel somewhat responsible, in that I feel I probably failed to explain things adequately. I probably also imparted some of my own personal frustration, as I think a number of things in Civil 3D were implemented in very confusing, very roundabout ways. But your wiki entries are taking your own personal misunderstandings of how C3D currently works, and misunderstandings of what I've been trying to say in this thread, mixing it with how you wish it would work, and throwing in a bunch of core AutoCAD-related stuff that is actually not applicable to C3D users, and ending up with a gumbo jumbo.
I see some of your misunderstandings, and it makes me wish I could work with you one-on-one, and show you what's going on. Because I can see you've gotten yourself trapped in a tangent. As an early adopter of C3D, I've been there, done that. It's easy to do. C3D is very confusing in some respects, and lets us down in some ways, but your wiki posts are off-target. My fear is they will create more confusion than illumination about how things are actually occurring inside of C3D.
The problem is figuring out how to straighten out the misunderstanding in a web forum, without spending hours and hours of what I'm finding to be increasingly-limited personal time...
Wow, not sure how you came to the conclusions you did. All of your posts regarding this seem to point to confusion on your part, and not paying attention to (or are confused by) those who have offered their help.
Let's start with the video you include in the Wiki 'proving the Metric template inconsistencies'. What template did you use? I have not seen ANY metric C3D DWT's that use inches for the units. I just tested with a new C3D2012 install, started the program using the Metric shortcut, added an assembly and a lane subassembly set to a width of 7.2 meters. I then dimensioned the lane and it dimensioned as expected at 7.20. In your video the drawing's units are set to architectural, as evidenced by the coordinate display in the lower left corner. This tells me that one of two things is going on....either you did not start with a metric DWT, OR you changed the units in the DWG, and from here all the problems you seem to be having snowball into the mess you report.
When used correctly, the base AutoCAD "units" command should never need to be used, except possibly to change the precision of the displayed units. In all of your posts that talk about being able to use C3D in inches, I have yet to figure out why you are trying to force C3D to do something it was not intended to do.
BTW, what is a "VDC engineer"? In another post you said " I am a constructor and work in whatever unit works best for the specific conditions." Based on this you should realize that you MUST work in feet or meters, using the appropriate DWT, with C3D or you WILL run into a myriad of problems...just as you've been finding. The specific conditions for C3D say "use feet or meters", this means these ARE the units best for these conditions.
First, thank you for sharing your expert knowledge and taking time from your professional 'paid' time to contribute knowledge with your 'free' time; I appreciate and understand this.
Your knowledge of C3D and AutoCAD is infinitely deeper than mine and I want to understand (ungumbo the jumbo) how the software behaves, if you have time please explain:
Second, feel free to edit the wiki to move the page on-target and simply push the controversial aspects of my post to a counter section at the bottom (customary practice in Wikipedia) with a note that it is not accepted by the majority and is a minority opinion.
Last, to answer why I am "trying to force C3D to do something it was not intended to do;" well that is what I do to pay my bills. I use a dozen software applications and every one of their technical support technicians have asked the same question. This leads to "what is a 'VDC engineer'?" You will soon know, the simplest answer is everyone using C3D is a VDC engineer to a degree. As for units - civil engineers use engineering units but if you walk into the field and ask a field hand if they use decimal or fractional inches - they will say fractional, such as 1/32, 1/16, 1/8, 1/4. So, if I provide a virtual 3D model to the field hands on a tablet PC the units should be in the units their tape-measures are in. But, when modeling, I prefer to use decimal since it is easier to calculate in an excel calculator and when I review the model engineering units is preferred. So, easily changing the units depending on the specific conditions is a nice feature and I'd like to know how C3D behaves.
Per your excellent expert review I will revise the technical wiki to better document that the model is a dgn 2D import to a C3D metric template, a dimensional C3D corridor model is built on this, and that then the units are changed to english. Also, it was not clear that the test is with only a polyline. For the next week as I takeoff quantities it will become clear if the current 'inch' msu setting does not work with area, volume, or C3D corridor surface. Is there documentation or have others posted the problems encountered with 'inch' msu - sometimes the developer simply did not test the condition and so it is not 'intended' but still works fine. For an example of product specification limits, my laptop specifically is intended for 2GB of RAM but 8GB runs just fine and I suspect 16GB would as well (nevermind why I would use 16GB or tried 4GB then 8GB). The laptop manufacturer simply tested to 2GB, called it good and said that is what it is rated for, they never tested more then 2GB so it is not intended for this - meaning they are not responsible or will provide support for more.
The video was made with the Metric template and at that time I did not know how to change the unit or ambient settings - it was a 2010 install so maybe it has been fixed or as you suggest I unknowingly changed something - it was not a documented test since it is the 'discovery' that led to the current interest in looking 'under the hood' of C3D units function and behavior. Since, I have discovered that there is almost no documentation for the C3D units other than a generic 'do it this way' and not much on why - my wiki post is intended to seed this missing chapter.
Again, thank you for providing your expertise.
Obviously I am not Jeff, but I would like to address your third question:
"where is the boundary between ACAD and C3D (which commands are which"
If you type HELP in the command line, you should (in 2010) get the Autocad Civil 3D 2010 HELP screen. Select the contents tab and you have 3 choices:
AutoCAD 3D Help
AutoCAD Map 3D Help
You can readily determine what command each product uses. What my main concern now is that in Civil 3D 2012 the powers of the great Autocad in the SKY have eliminated this help portion. If I am wrong, good, please show me where it is.
Granite: The last statement is not directed to you.
[SOLVED] preliminary until reviewed
The specific problem this thread originally asked for help with is the profile view text height - I solved it this morning; the solution was to change the profile view style settings.
My third question given below should have been more specific. The question is within the context of Jeff's comments. It should have been "what specific core AutoCAD-related stuff that is not applicable to C3D did I throw in a bunch of ".
Also, the HELP command works fine in my C3D 2012 install - it brings up internet explorer by default without an obvious option to change to other browsers.
I'm not Jeff either, but I can try to answer a little bit.
The confusion seems to start with this idea that you can simply flip units in C3D and everything will convert. That actually doesn't really fit into what happens in the real world.
In the real world, we have projects that are either Metric or Imperial. We don't "flip between them". The two types of projects are fundamentally different, typically using different typical sections and standard details. As but one simple example, take hieight of curb (or kerb). If we work on an Imperial project, our typical curb height might be 6 inches. However, on a Metric project, the typical curb height is likely to be 150mm. 6 incehs is not the same thing as 150mm. So we can't flip between Imperial and Metric projects simply by flipping our units in our drawing.
This is very similar to the underlying reason why you don't want to try starting with a Metric template for an Imperial project, or vice-versa. The Styles are pre-set for the correct units, applicable to that type of project. You can't simply convert units and get the right results. For example, in a Metric project, I might want contours at 0.5m intervals. in an Imperial project, I might want contours at 1 foot intervals. It would not make sense for me to start with an Imperial drawing that has contours at 1' intervals, change the drawing units from feet to meters, and end up with a drawing that has 0.305m contours.
What I'm trying to get at is the entire premise of flipping between Metric and Imperial by simply changing drawing units is flawed.
Also, there's a big difference between the drawing units (aka modelspace units) and the units used in a label (display units). Sure, some of the people on a job site might work in inches. But that doesn't mean we change our drawing modelspace units to inches. It means we leave our modelspace units set as feet, and use a label that displays inches. We can even model in feet, and create labels that display measurement in meters. Or, by using Expressions, in any other unit we might desire. (Except, unfortunately, for something like fractional inches... This is where Autodesk let us down. If we use standard Autocad Dimensions, then we can label our drawing with fractional inches. But Civil 3D labels do not include an option for displaying fractional inches... This is a failure of design in the current versions of Civil 3D. True, in the Civil industry, we usually want to label things in decimal feet, but we DO regularly also need to label various things in fractional inches, and Autodesk failed to consider this. There are ways to work around this problem, but they usually involve round-tripping data through Excel, or some other arduous workaround like that.)
All of this is even more critical when plotting comes into play. (I don't know what you mean when you way you're a "VDC Engineer" and therefor have no use for plotting - if you have no use for plotting, why label things at all? But I digress...) Once upon a time, we had to manually calculate the correct height of text in modelspace units, in order to get our plots to look correct. Now, this can largely be automated, by using Annotative objects and Civil 3D labels and elements, which makes our job as drafters significantly simpler. However, it also means we need to use these features in the way they were designed. When it comes to Civil 3D Styles, all of these are designed using the assumption that your modelspace units are feet (or meters), and your paperspace units are in inches (or millimeters). If this is true, then all the calculations happen correctly and automatically, everything happens easily, all text gets sized correctly, and everything looks great. If this is not true, then you end up fighting the software, as you discovered. Most of your Wiki post details how you are fighting the software because you are trying to use it in a way it was not designed. Really, the Wiki post can't be cleaned up by a few edits - it pretty much needs complete replacement.
Now, there ARE times when we might have data in a different set of units from the rest of our project. So we might need to actually convert data from Feet to Meters, or vice-versa. But we do that by actually converting the data. We don't just jump into a drawing and change the drawing units.
Thank you for your clear and concise explanation. Your key points are knowledgeable and valid, but I raise a few more.
I am not labeling anything in the model; the only outputs from this model are the quantities for the CPM schedule and the visual surfaces for a 4D model. If it is used in the field then it will be either for TopCon controllers or tablet PCs with the inquiry tools used for distance (in the field they would actually use Navisworks since it has lighter hardware requirements and a tape-measure tool). Labeling a meter msu model in english units does nothing for the QTO or Navisworks file that will be meshed with files from other design teams.
The inch modelspace units - while fundamentally wrong and you may be correct have no 'reason' - are so far working fine; it is actually like it was made to use this way, there is no 'fighting it' outside a few issues like profile text height.
Consider this scenario: an integrated project team of contractor and subcontractors are creating a shared virtual model of the project - the roadway is in meter but the underground sub is in feet. As it is now, one or the other must 'fake' the dimensions or the roadway will be a small speck on the underground model.
The intent of the wiki post is to describe the C3D msu and u nit of measure behavior - found through essentially bashing it against a wall for awhile and observing what happens. The idea of a wiki like this is new so what is valued and what is not only time will tell.