Thursday, June 30, 2011

AU Bound!

Got my notification yesterday and I'll be teaching four classes.  Hope to see you all there!

CI5241: Islands in the Asphalt - Parking Lot Grading for Commercial Site Projects
Parking lot grading is one of the most daunting tasks for a commercial site design project. Knowing the right tricks and techniques is crucial if you want to build models quickly and accurately and be able to modify them easily. In this class we'll explore industry-proven design techniques that will result in stunning designs that are accurate, dynamic, and extremely useful in many aspects of the project.

CI5251: Creating Custom Storm Inlets Using Part Builder
Many states have requirements for drainage inlets that are more than just a box. For example, in some states, the most common inlet types require a variable-width flow pan that cannot be modeled with the out-of-the-box parts that come with Civil 3D. In this class, I will demonstrate how to build a custom drainage inlet that goes above and beyond the parts that come with Civil 3D.

CM5262: Training Your Users with No Training Budget
Times are tough and companies are having a hard time justifying the cost of training. On the other hand, as a CAD Manager it is your responsibility to ensure that your users are trained in the tools that they use. What if you could provide the training they need with little or no budget set aside for training? What if you could train them with very little impact on production? This session will give you some great ideas about how to accomplish just that. And, you may find that some new approaches to training not only reduce the cost of training, but also provide better results.

CM5272: CAD Standards vs. Office Politics - Winning the Battle
Are office politics getting in the way of the CAD standards that you know your company or organization needs? Take it from someone who knows, the successful implementation of CAD standards has much more to do with people than it does with technology. In this class we'll explore how to defuse typical sources of resistance that prevent good standards from happening. You'll be surprised by how a few simple techniques can get your company where it needs to be.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How Suite Is It?

Recently Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite became available and I'm assuming you all got a "nudge" from your reseller to opt in before the deadline.  After getting the low-down it really seemed like a no-brainer to me.  A whole lotta software for not a whole lot more $$.  With IDS Premium we now have a matching license of NavisWorks Simulate and 3DS Max to go along with our Civil 3D licenses.  Of course the Autodesk website lists a bunch of other stuff but when it comes down to it, if you're a Civil 3D customer on subscription, you're already getting all of that except the Navis and 3DS Max.
So why did I post this?  Well, to let you know it's a good deal...if it is.  Or to have folks out there tell me (and the rest of us) that I'm missing something...if I did.  Feel free to provide a comment to help us all feel more at ease about the decision to opt in.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012 Essentials Errata & Stuff to Know

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've already taught a class with AutoCAD Civil 3D Essentials and even after the extensive editing cycles that the book went through, there were a couple of  things that I noticed.  As time goes on and I use the book for future classes, I'll continue to update this post and grow the list.  Also, if you use the book yourself and notice anything not quite right, please let me know by e-mailing

  • Page 31:  In steps 7 and 10 of the exercise you are presented with a warning dialog box that the drawing must be saved.  You must save the drawing before proceeding.
  • Page 33:  The Essentials and Beyond exercise was written with the assumption that you would use the current project to do the work.  If you create a new project, you will get some warning messages informing you that the Parcels.dwg drawing is not associated to it.  You must associate Parcels.dwg to your new project before continuing.
  • Page 56: In step 15 of the exercise, you are instructed to click one of the magenta road centerlines.  The property lines are also a magenta-ish color so make sure you (or your students) are not confused.
  • Page 72:  The last sentence in step 4 of the exercise should be omitted.  It is repeated at the beginning of step 5.
  • Page 106: In step 11, the road name should be Madison Lane, not Madison Court.
  • Page 119: Step 5 of the exercise can be omitted.  A new drawing is opened for the next exercise so keeping the current one open is not necessary.
  • Page 168: There should be a Certification Objective icon next to the Intersections heading.
  • Pages 172-175:  One or more alignments in this drawing have the warning symbols turned on in the alignment style.  This tends to be a distraction/annoyance so you may want to edit the alignment style and turn those off (or instruct your students to do so).

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's Finally Here!

After nearly 8 months, I have finally held the book in my hand.  In fact, by the time I got around to writing this post, I had already taught a class with it! Of course I knew the contents of the book but now that I've touched it and looked at every page, I'm very impressed by its quality and very proud to have been involved in the project.  The back and front cover images are quite stunning, the feel of the paper says pure quality, and the images inside are crisp and clean...and COLOR!

Pure luck would have it that a group of college and high school students would be joining us to begin their internships one day after the book became available for order.  I don't have proof but I'd be willing to bet that they were the first class to use the book and I was the first instructor.
So let me be the first to provide a review for the book and assess its use in a class was great!  I was very pleased with the match between the difficulty of the material and the students.  The students had little to no trouble completing the exercises, some of which we did together, and others they did on their own.  There were essentially no issues with the drawing files (must admit I was a bit nervous about that - a lot of moving parts) and the many sidebars and margin notes were useful in providing some background info to go along with the Civil 3D nuts and bolts.  Overall I can honestly say that I'm very pleased with how this book came out.
Of course, I didn't produce this book by myself  - there are many who deserve the credit.  In the Acknowledgments I recognize just a few of the folks at Wiley/Sybex that made this book possible along with others who helped along the way.  It truly was a team effort.  I'd mention names here but I know I wouldn't be able to stop and would end up rewriting the Acknowledgments all over again.
Thanks for letting me share my excitement about finally completing this project.  It really was a great feeling to see and touch the book in printed form.  In fact, it was so special to me that I started to open the box and then stopped, hauled it out to my car, drove it home, and opened it with my family.  It was a special day that I was so happy to be able to share with them.