Project Explorer for Civil 3D - Part 4 AutoCAD Tables and 2D Drawings

Welcome back to this series on Project Explorer for Civil 3D. In Part 4 we take a look at how to create AutoCAD tables intended for use in your drawing and the ability to generate 2D AutoCAD drawings to share with those that do not have Civil 3D.

If you missed Part 3 that discusses the reporting capabilities of Project Explorer, I would recommend reading it. The reporting features are a highlight of the application.

Quick Report to AutoCAD Table

Quick Report to AutoCAD Table creates a static AutoCAD table and is an easy method to generate it. Another method that provides more flexibility and detail is by using Object Sets, which is the topic for next week’s blog, Project Explorer for Civil 3D – Part 5 Object Sets.

To launch the Quick Report to AutoCAD Table feature, select the object in the object list pane in Project Explorer and right click to expose the menu.

The Project Explorer Create AutoCAD Table dialog will open. This dialog provides the ability to control the content and the layout of the table. Also, settings made for any custom Layout Style or Table Style can be saved and re-used again for additional tables.

  1. Title Cell Text for AutoCAD Table; provides a dropdown list of defined parameters, text can be typed in freestyle, or both methods can used in conjunction to define the title of the table.
  2. Layout Style for AutoCAD Table; there are two options for how the Layout Style can be defined. Use Layout of Project Explorer Window will use the current layout of the columns and information being displayed in Project Explorer. Use custom Layout Style (see Fig 2a) provides the ability to customize the layout to define data columns, headings, and format for the layout. Any customization can be saved and loaded for additional tables.

The Use Object Table(s) and Use Sub-Object Table(s) controls whether just the selected object parameters are included in the table or to also include the sub-object parameters. If either of these options are not selected, that table will not be included.

  1. Table Style for AutoCAD Table; the two options for table style include Use Existing Table Style from current drawing which provides a drop down that allows you to select the AutoCAD Table Style that is defined in the current drawing to be used. This is a great option if you want your tables to have a consistent look across your drawings. Use Project Explorer Table Style is the second option and provides the ability to customize the table style which can be saved and loaded for any additional tables.

Figure 2a – Layout Options

Click on the Edit Layout Style button to open Layout Options which provides the ability to customize the layout including the format, which data columns are included, and headings. Depending on the object type selected, a drop-down column chooser allows you to define the visibility of data columns for the objects and sub-objects.

Fig. 2a

Clicking on OK will result in an instruction on the command line to Enter table insertion point: and you will need to select the location where you want the table to be in your drawing.

Quick Export to 2D AutoCAD Drawing

Have you ever been working on a project and had the need to share your Civil 3D model with someone that has AutoCAD and only wants a specific object such as contours or a polyline of an alignment, and in 2D of course? Project Explorer has the solution just for this purpose. The feature provides functionality to export specific Civil 3D objects to a DWG file that can be opened in any application that supports the file type. The exported Civil 3D model results in 2D entities representing the object in plan view.

The Quick Export method provides a simple solution to quickly get the 2D dwg file needed. The use of object sets is another comprehensive option that provides a way to manage the export, stay tuned for Part 5.

To launch Quick Export to 2D AutoCAD DWG file, select the object and right click to expose the menu, and select Quick Export to 2D AutoCAD DWG file.

In the next dialog, provide a path to folder and a name for the new DWG file. Project Explorer will give you the opportunity to also open the new DWG after it gets created.

The results of exporting to an AutoCAD 2D DWG file are AutoCAD entities, lines, arcs, polylines, etc. depending on the object type selected. Text used in labels such as alignment labels will be exported as MText and AutoCAD blocks. Corridors have a unique feature that allows you to filter specific baselines and feature lines. The result for surfaces is dependent upon the surface style assigned when it is exported.

As you can see, in addition to the efficiency that Project Explorer introduces to Civil 3D, there are also some beneficial tools that extends functionality as well. Next week we finish up the series with Part 5 and explore object sets.

About the Author

Brian Johnson

Civil Applications Expert<br><br>With extensive experience in both engineering and IT, Brian helps organizations make the most of their design technology. Whether it’s through a custom setup, training, implementation, or creation of organization-specific templates and styles, Brian helps both users and managers understand the best methods and processes to get the most from their chosen solutions.

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