Applied Software


News on the latest in design, manufacturing, fabrication, construction, and engineering technology.

Jason Porter
Jason Porter
Jason Porter's Blog

You've purchased your network software and you're ready to install it, but the burden of installing the network software is new to you and appears overwhelming.  It's actually a very easy process and only requires 4 simple steps.  These are steps along with links to guide you: Obtain your Autodesk Network License file Install the Autodesk License Manager Configure the Autodesk License Manager Install the Autodesk network software

You're ready!  You've obtained your network license file and installed and configured the Autodesk Network License Manager.  If not I recommend reading these first: Step 1:  How to generate an Autodesk network license file Step 2:  Where to find and how to install the Autodesk Network License Manager Step 3:  Configuring the Autodesk License Manager Now you're ready to install the software on the user's systems.  You have two options. . . If you only have a few users in your company you can simply install the software and point it to the license server.   In older versions of the software (prior to 2017) you set this up upon installation on this screen: In newer versions of the software (2017 and above) you first install the software and then upon the initial launch of the software you then point the software to the network server at this screen: ...

By now you've found and installed the Autodesk Netowork License Manager.  If not, I recommend reading our "Where to find and how to install the Autodesk Network License Manager" guide. If installed correctly, you should now see an LMTools icon on the desktop: Proceed to double-click the icon to launch it.  Once launched, you can follow this link to easily configure it. . . Configuring the Network License Manger on Windows Next you can either manually install the software and manually point it back to the server to obtain a license or you can create a deployment image to do this for you.   Step 4:  Install the Autodesk Network Software 

Assuming you've completed step 1 and obtained an Autodesk network license file, you're now ready to install the Autodesk Network License Manager (aka ADLM or LM Tools).   This step is the easiest step of the network installation guide.  You simply find the  license manager software and install it.  But remember. . . Last year's license manager will not work with this year's software.  For every release of the software you must install the latest and greatest license manager.  However, the 2017 license manage will work with the 2018 software.   You must install the license manager on the server (or a system that will remain on for other systems to ping).   You can also find the latest version of the license manager at Autodesk's Downloading the Network License Manager site.   Next you need to configure the license manger.   Step 3:  Configuring the Autodesk License Manager

You've purchased your network software and you're ready to install it.  The first step you need to take to install your network software is to generate a license file.   There are three ways to generate a license file:  Requesting it from within your Autodesk account - You can read more about this method in Autodesk's "Generate a Network License File in Autodesk Account" document.   Through the website -  You can read more about this method in Autodesk's "Requesting a Network License File" document. Calling the Autodesk authorization codes hotline at 866-681-4359 (be forewarned - depending on traffic volume this method may be the longest). Next, you need to install the Autodesk License Manager.   Step 2:  Where to find and how to install the Autodesk License Manager

Autodesk Infrastructure Technical Specialist, Jeff Bartels and the guys over at the Civil Immersion blog have periodically be releasing short videos on the new features of Civil 3D 2018.  Rather than you having to find them among their other amazing blogs, I've added them here for you to view in a video library.  There are some really great features.  Enjoy! Clear Corridor Bowties: Relative Feature Lines (Part 1): Relative Feature Lines (Part 2): Section View Buffer: Plan/Profile & Profile/Profile Sheets: Offset Profiles & Connected Alignments (Part 1): Offset Profiles & Connected Alignments (Part 2): Extracted Feature Lines as Corridor Baselines:  Section View Buffer:

Have you ever drawn a line from a point node and become frustrated because the Z value of the line absorbs the elevation value of the point?  Next thing you find that you have a drawing with a bunch of lines all drawn at different elevations.  Yes, there are times you want this, but there are also times you don't.   If you decide that you need to draw several lines from several point nodes and you want to guarantee the lines will be drawn at a 0.00 elevation then set your OSNAPZ system variable to 1.  The OSNAPZ controls whether object snaps are automatically projected onto a plane parallel to the XY plane of the current UCS at the current elevation.   0 - Osnap uses the Z-value of the specified point 1 - Osnap substitutes the Z-value for the specified point with an elevation set for the current      UCS If you choose to have your elevation something other than 0.00 then type in ELEV in at the commandline and set the desired value.  WARNING:  The OSNAPZ is a system variable and therefore, when ...

Lately we've been receiving quite a few phone calls regarding an issue where the installer fails installing SSA 2017 with an error 1721.   Just last week Autodesk released this solution: The Installer Fails Installing SSA with Error 1721  

Just in case you've not yet heard. . .Civil 3D 2018 and Infraworks 2018 were both released last week.   Some of the highlighted new features in Civil 3D include. . . The ability resolve corridor bowties Enhancements to the plan production tools to include new templates The ability to connect two separate alignments to create a new dynamically linked alignment and profile.  Some of the highlighted new features in Infraworks include. . . The ability to manager inventor-based bridge components within the Style Palette The ability to export quantities to a CSV file for review, reporting, or estimating costs Simplified tries to improve performance A gizmo that to make it easier to edit roadside grading Read more in-depth description about all these additions and updates here:  InfraWorks and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018:  They're Here!    

If your Civil 3D software is experiencing major performance degradation where files take too long to open (depending on complexity), plotting is slow, purging is slow, and AUDIT does nothing to help alleviate the issue, then you may want to attempt the recommendations within this Autodesk document:   Civil 3D Performance Degradation Please note that the downloadable zip file mentioned in the solution is at the bottom of the page. And one last very important note:  The update needs to be implemented on every user’s machine. The performance problem will return if an unpatched version of Civil 3D is used to open a file. The performance problem is fixed at the time a file is saved in the updated version of Civil 3D. The first time a user opens a file the update will not be evident. Performance will greatly improve after the first save. External references will need to be resaved to see the benefit of the update.  Check this to verify if your software needs the new DBX file:

You're attempting to download your Autodesk software but you keep getting errors or it keeps backing out of the download. The odds are you're probably downloading your software via the "Download Now" or "Install Now" method.   There are three methods to download your software and they can all be read about in depth in Autodesk’s Download Methods for Autodesk Account document. The three methods are Install Now Download Now Browser Download I recommend the browser download method since we’ve come to find it the most reliable. It’s the longest method, but it is the most reliable. For information on how to use the browser download method I recommend you read Autodesk’s Using the Browser Download Method for Autodesk Account document. There is also a fourth option that is rarely discussed . . . the Autodesk Virtual Agent . If you don’t have access your Autodesk Account, then you can use the Autodesk Virtual Agent to download your software. To ...

Are you one of those companies who names their layout tabs to reflect the actual sheet numbers?  Are you finding yourself updating layout tab names only to have to return to the layout to update the sheet number?  Are you not using the sheet set manager to manage the sheet numbers?  If so then, you may want to try using a field that reflects the layout tab name.  Here's an example . . . Here I have a layout tab titled "A-1".  I'd like my title block sheet number to reflect that layout tab name: So in the title block (either use the block editor or edit the title block prior to inserting it) I use the FIELD command to add a system variable ctab field: Adjust the justification and height as needed, but when done you should have something similar to this: Now (after you close the block editor and save changes or upon the insertion of the title block) you will see that your title block sheet reflects the layout tab name: And it should follow throughout your project for any tab ...

John Sayre, Technical Marketing Manager for Autodesk, and Eric Chappell, Civil Community Evangelist for Autodesk, put together this great video that explains the way to use the Autodesk Shared Reference Point productivity pack tool to seamlessly share a file between Civil 3D, Revit, Navisworks, and Infraworks so that the content of the files locates itself on the site correctly.  I highly recommend watching this video:

Yesterday AutoCAD 2018 was released by Autodesk.  If you don't yet see it in your Autodesk account or you don't yet have an Autodesk account then you can download your free trial here: AutoCAD 2018 Free Trial.   So what's new in this release of AutoCAD?   First and foremost, it must be known that the drawing format has changed to 2018.   Some of the highlighted enhancements include: Updates to PDF imports including better importation of geometry, SHX font files, fills, raster imagery and True Type fonts. The ability to fix broken external reference paths for externally referenced files. A stronger object selection to include items you've selected even if they pan or zoom off screen.  Updates to the user interface to include some of the more commonly used tools. High-resolution monitor support for the best possible viewing experience, even on 4K and higher resolution displays. And much more!!! Here is a general overview of the new features: Here is a link to all the ...

We recently had a pickle of a support issue that I felt needed to be shared with everyone.  Upon the time Autodesk announced that they were no longer going to be selling perpetual licenses we had many people run out and purchase some for future use.  We had a company purchase several licenses of AutoCAD for Mac.  Recently, they decided to install the software on a system, but they wanted to know if it was possible to install it on a PC instead.  According to this document, Windows and Mac Cross-Platform Licensing for AutoCAD, it’s possible: The problem we had was that we attempted several installs using the correct serial number and the product key for the PC.  It appeared as though the software was treating the activation as a term license though and wanted the user to login.  But that was not correct.  It should have worked.  Well, after some back and forth with Autodesk and our support team we were at our wits end.  Then someone decided to just attempt to install it on the PC with the ...

You've gone through the procedure of creating an Infraworks model and you'd like to have the model appear in another group.  Well, you cannot have a model appear in two groups.  That's simply not possible.  So how do you move the model from one group to another?  Well, that's not possible either.  So here is the workaround. . .  1. Open the model.   2. Within "Settings and Utilities" navigate to the "Duplicate" button: 3. In the newly duplicated model, click on the "Publish" button: 4. In the "Publish Model" dialog box select the group you want to add the model to:

Do you have the latest version of Infraworks installed?  Don't know?  Here's how you find out. . . 1. Click on the button with the 3 vertical lines in the top left of the Infraworks homepage and select Application Options: 2. In the "General" section, click on the "About" button: 3. You'll see the version in the dialog box that appears:

At times it can be difficult to know if your computer is capable of running a particular Autodesk software product, even when presented with the published prerequisites. The Autodesk Prerequisite Checker analyzes the hardware and software environment of your computer and provides an output to let you know if you will be able to install and run a particular Autodesk product, or if you might run into difficulty.  Read more about it here:   Using the Autodesk Prerequisite Checker

When launching Civil 3D you receive a message similar to this: Autodesk has provided several solutions to resolve this. . . 1. Uninstall the AutoCAD 2017.1 update OR 2.  Install the AutoCAD 2017 SP1.1 OR 3. Uninstall the Bridge Module If you choose this option, simply go into your Control Panel and find the Autodesk Bridge Module, right click, and select "Uninstall": You can read more about it here:   Error: "Rex startup failed" when launching AutoCAD Civil 3D

I met with a client who had a need to make his quick profiles a permanent part of this drawing. This is a quick way to accomplish this. And yes, I know we could have simply drawn an alignment and made a profile as well.

Last week the Civil Immersion blog site released a video that explains how to extract a point list that notates a point with station and offset in respect to an alignment in your drawing.  I highly recommend watching this video, especially if you're a surveyor.   While watching the video it triggered in my memory the very first blog I ever posted back in 2010 for a site that no longer exists.  In my post I go in the opposite direction of the video.  I import points that have stations and offsets and create a point label style that expresses the values.   Here's the original post. . . A few weeks ago one of our clients called me up with an uncommon question. He had an Excel file (CSV format) that had point numbers, northings, eastings, elevations, offsets, and station numbers as follows: (I’ve replaced the column headings with the correct title to make the file format clearer.) His desire was to import these points into Civil 3D with a label style that would only express point numbers, elevations, offsets, and station numbers as ...

NOTE:  This cannot be done directly in Civil 3D because Civil 3D overwrites the command sequence and therefore the output is incorrect.    Therefore you must begin this process in Map 3D and then complete it in Civil 3D. First let’s discuss the setup needed in Excel.  Setup the columns in your Excel file so that each column represents the needs of your transparent command, quadrant, appropriate ENTER placeholders, bearings, and distances.  Similar to this: Notice that in order to add the single apostrophe in the transparent command cell you must enter two apostrophes in the Excel formula line: Now select the cells and copy them to your clipboard: Now, launch Map 3D and turn off object snaps, object snap tracking, and dynamic input.  I found these had to be disable for this to work correctly.    Start the line command and pick start point. Click your cursor in the commandline, right-click and paste. Here is the image of the linework from the above spreadsheet beginning at 0,0 and continuing from there: Save the file and, if you need to convert it to a parcel or label it, ...

In AutoCAD you notice that the text within menus, the ribbon, dialog boxes, and palettes is rather large and may overlap other elements within the user interface or not appear at all.   The cause of this due to the fact that the Windows operating system governs how the user interface text is displayed in AutoCAD, and a high definition or high DPI monitor can make the program interfaces appear very small on the screen.  Scaling up the text size to compensate for this can have an adverse affect on how user interface text shows in AutoCAD. Current versions of AutoCAD-based products are optimized for monitor displays with a resolution under 2000. The solution is to install update 2017.1.1 for AutoCAD 2017 and AutoCAD LT 2017 and other AutoCAD 2017-based vertical products.  However, you cannot simply go to the Autodesk website to install this update.  The AutoCAD 2017.1.1 update can only be downloaded and installed via the Autodesk Desktop App.   To read more about this issue and resolution read this:  Odd text display within user interface elements in AutoCAD

"I'm fine with my current version of AutoCAD.  There's no need to upgrade."  "My current version of AutoCAD does everything I need." "There are no new features in the new software that I need."  We've all heard this before.  I hear it almost daily.  Why are some folks so reluctant to make that move?  There are several factors that prevent users from making the move forward to the newer version of software. .  . Comfort - Some users are just satisfied with their current version. Cost – Some users believe that the cost of implementing the new software will be grand.  Time – Others believe that they’re just too busy to make the move right now.  Don’t allow these factors to put you so far behind the curve that playing catch up is almost difficult to accomplish.  Every year there are updates to the software that are implemented because users have requested them or because technology is driving us there.  If you adopt these changes in one release at a time they’re ...

When at attempting a standalone or network version to launch AutoCAD 2017 (or any 2017 vertical product) for the first time the software opens and then displays a dialog box titled "Licensing Error" and the message inside reads, "The License manager is not functioning or is improperly installed. AutoCAD will shut down now."   Autodesk provided a solution for this problem here:  The license manager is not functioning or is improperly installed