Archive for February, 2016

Webcast on Animation in InfraWorks

February 29, 2016

Total CAD Systems

Animation in InfraWorks 360


Bring InfraWorks to life with animation.

Join us in this one hour webcast to discover the animation workflow in InfraWorks 360. Learn how to search for models on Trimble 3D Warehouse, bring them into 3ds Max, animate it, and then bring it into InfraWorks.

See how you can take full advantage of your Infrastructure Design Suite and put it to good use with this webcast.

Limited spots available so RSVP today. If you have any questions, please email Nhi Nguyen.




March 23rd


10am to 11am


Your Desk


Register Now


Update on the Civil 3D User’s Group

February 19, 2016

For those of you that will be joining us for the Civil User’s Group held at our office on March 16th, I will be giving away the book “A Practical Guide to GIS in AutoCAD Civil 3D”, authored by Rick Ellis and Russell Martin.

You can check out what it is by visiting their website here.

Also, for those that are unable to attend, we have decided to record the whole session and will be posting a link to it the next day for your viewing.  After viewing, we are asking that you email us with feedback on the session.

I will be sending out a survey the following week to get more feedback about the session to all of the attendees, and the ones that viewed the video.

We are super excited about this and we are hoping for great success so we can start holding these monthly.

If viewing the video, please email your feedback to:

Todd Rogers

Nhi Nguyen

Patricia Padamada

Steve Houlder

Manhole Labels in Profile

February 15, 2016

Some time ago, I posted about creating manhole callouts in profile view.  I got some good feedback and said that I would post more to it at a later date.  Well I have finally got around to doing it today.  Below is step by step instructions on how to accomplish this.  Enjoy!

As many of you know, the label style for structures used out-of-the-box (OOTB) are not very compliant to what is needed in a production environment. Most people prefer the structure callout to be at a 90-degree direction, at the bottom of the grid, and with a line projected from the middle of the bottom of the structure. That is what we are going to accomplish. Our finished product will look like the image below…

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The first thing you will want to do is copy one of the existing styles from OOTB. In this example, I am copying the Name Only (Sanitary) label style from under Structure>Label Styles…

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On the Information tab, give the style a name. I am naming mine Proposed Sanitary MH (Profile).

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Now click on the General tab. Here you will assign your layer and text style. The only thing I am changing here is the text style. I am changing it to ROMAND. I am leaving the layer set to C-SSWR-TEXT.

Now click on the Layout tab. This is where the magic begins. Notice under the Component name, the only component in the list is Structure Text. We will start with that. The first thing we will do is go to the Text Contents and start our label style. Click in the Value column, Contents row, under Text. An ellipsis will appear. Click the ellipsis…

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This will open up the Text Component Editor. Highlight <[Name(CU)]> on the right side of the dialog box and delete it. You should now have a clean, blank box. Place your cursor in the blank box and type PROP. SAN. MH, then hit the ENTER key to start a new line of text. Type RIM ELEV. = …

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Now click on the Properties pulldown and select Insertion Rim Elevation. Click the arrow to insert it under the PROP. SAN. MH…

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Place your cursor after the string and hit the ENTER key to start a new line of text. Type STA. [space]. Under the Properties pulldown, select Structure Station, change the precision to 1, then click the arrow to insert it…

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That’s all we need for this part of the callout. Click OK. You will see the results to the right in the Preview box. Alternatively, you can opt to place the offset after the station, but that usually is for the plan view callout.

Now we will put the flowlines (inverts) on the label. To do this, we need to create a new component. Then new component will be Text for Each. Click on the arrow to the right of the Component Name and select Text for Each…

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There will be a dialog box that pops up to select the type. Select Structure All Pipes and then click OK…

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Under the General property for Name, change the Name to INVERT. For the Anchor Component, change it to Structure Text. This will anchor it to the text we just created prior to the flowline (invert). Change the Anchor Point to Bottom Left.

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Now we will create the text for the flowlines. Just like before, we are going to click on the ellipsis for the Text Contents…

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Highlight the text “Label Text” and delete it. Notice there is a Format tab besides the Properties tab. Click on the Format tab and change the justification to Left. Click back on the Properties tab…

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From the Properties pulldown, select Connected Pipe Inner Diameter or Width, change the Precision to 1 and hit the arrow to insert it. Place your cursor after the string and type the quotation mark “ [space] FL = …

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Go back to the Properties pulldown and select Connected Pipe Invert Elevation, keep the Precision at 0.01, then hit the arrow to insert it. Place your cursor at the end of the string and hit the spacebar for a space, then type an open parenthesis ( …

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Now, back under the Properties pulldown, select Connected Pipe Direction and then click the arrow to insert it. Place your cursor after the string and type a closed parenthesis ) …

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We are now finished with this portion of the label. Click OK.

You will now need to change the Attachment to Top Left. Notice that the flowlines are now lined up with the rest of the label…

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The last, portion of this is to add another component for the line. Then we will go back and tweak a couple of settings for the other components, as well as the Dragged State.

Under the pulldown arrow to create a new component, choose Line…

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For the Name, rename it to Line Extension. Change the Use End Point Anchor from False to True. For the End Point Y Offset, change it to -3.0000”…

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If your label style looks like mine in the Preview pane, as shown above, then you are doing everything correctly so far. If not, you will want to backtrack to find out where you went wrong.

Back under the Component Name, select Structure Text. This is the first component we created…

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Under General, change the Anchor Component to Line Extension and then change the Anchor Point to End…

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Under Text, change the Rotation Angle to 180.0000, the Attachment to Top Left, and the Y Offset to -0.1650. I am changing my color to Yellow because that is my “proposed” pen color, and it works good with the ROMAND text style…

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We are almost there. All we have to do now is change a couple of settings in the Dragged State. Click on the Dragged State tab. Once there, under Leader, change the Arrow Head Size to 0.0000”. Now under Dragged State Components, change the Display to As Composed…

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Our label style is complete. Click OK. Now let’s test this out! Create a profile with some structures, or use an existing one. Add this label style to the structures in profile view. Once you add the label style to the structures, you should see this in profile view…

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It’s still not quite right. Do you happen to know why? Don’t forget the Dragged State. Click on the label and grab the grip at the end of the line. Turn on your Ortho, and drag the label to the bottom of your grid. And there you have it, a nice line from the BOTTOM of the manhole attached to your text…

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This label style will also allow you to stagger the labels by adding vertices to the line in dragged state. If you liked this article, and you would like to know how to stagger the lines, let me know and I will post it. Thanks for checking this out!

Can’t Attend the Civil User’s Group?

February 15, 2016

We are conducting a poll on if you would be able to join the user’s group, live, via WebEx. If you are not in Houston, or you are unable to make it to the office, please take the poll below…

Civil 3D User’s Group Official Date RSVP Now!

February 15, 2016


Save the Date


Wednesday, March 16

6pm – 8pm


Houston Civil User Group Meeting

Have you been looking for an opportunity to network with other Civil professionals? Join us at the first official meeting of the new Houston Civil User Group to network with your industry peers, share ideas and experiences, discuss production pain points and the Civil PowerPack, and so much more. Also, you’ll get the chance to meet our new President, Steve Houlder, as he answers questions and concerns about our "new" company.


Location: Total CAD Systems, Inc. Office

480 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. E., Suite 234


We are in the early stages of building the foundation of these User Group meetings; we would love your ideas and input to transform this into a successful monthly event.


To reserve your seat today, email Nhi Nguyen.