Tag Archive | MicroStation

“I can see clearly now…..”

by Seth Cohen, CADmanage.com

The other day, a user called me about visualizing her project, and she was trying to get rid of some “lines” that were not making her design look nice.  This was in Civil 3D, but I thought this would make a great tip.

In MicroStation, the way you make the display shade is to use something called Display Styles.  They are quickly accessible in the View ToolBox in any view window.

Display Styles Drop-Down

Display Styles Drop-Down

So the problem the user was having was that the Edge Settings was set to have Visible Edges toggled on.  If you want to edit a display style, simply open the Display Style dialog box.  To turn off the Visible Edges, simply toggle it off…….done.

Display Style dialog box

Display Style dialog box

In AutoCAD, the way you make the display shade is to use something called Visual Styles.  They are quickly accessible in the Visual Styles Control in any viewport.

Visual Styles Control

Visual Styles Control

So, in AutoCAD, the problem is Edge Settings was set to have the Show category set to Isolines.  If you want to edit a visual style, simply open the Visual Styles Manager palette.  To turn off the edges, simply set the Show drop-down to None…….done.

Visual Styles Manager Palette

Visual Styles Manager Palette

And now, a pretty picture of a rendered intersection.  Can you guess which “CAD” this was rendered in?  Feel free to comment and be the first to guess.

Pretty Intersection

Pretty Intersection

“Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”  …………G.I. Joe

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Parallel CAD Parking – Drawing objects at the angle of another object

by Seth Cohen, CADmanage.com

The scenario:

You need to place an object parallel to another linear object.  How do you do it in MicroStation and AutoCAD?

MicroStation – In MicroStation the best way to do this is to use AccuDraw.  First, start the command, in this example, let’s say the SmartLine command.  Next, with focus in the AccuDraw window, type RE (ACCUDRAW ROTATE ELEMENT), and hover over the object you want to grab the angle from.  Now with the Rotate AccuDraw by Element command you have a few options as well, you can move the origin of the compass as you hover over objects, and update the current ACS if this is something you need to do.

Activating AccuDraw Rotate Element

Activating AccuDraw Rotate Element

Next, click in the drawing, and the AccuDraw compass will update to the rotation of the object you clicked.  You can then use smart lock (press ENTER with AccuDraw window having focus), to lock in the parallel angle.

Image

SmartLine at Object Angle, Smart Lock Enabled

AutoCAD – In AutoCAD it’s a little simpler, but you don’t have some of the options like you do in MicroStation.  First, you pick the first point of the object that you are creating, then, use the temporary snap override (Shift+ Right-click) to select the Parallel snap, and hover over the objects angle you want to grab.

Temporary Snap Override, Parallel

Temporary Snap Override, Parallel

 

Parallel OSNAP Activated

Parallel OSNAP Activated

Then, move your mouse in the same direction of the parallel line, and the line will track at the angle of that line.

You have officially been given your first lesson on parallel CAD parking, now you are on your way to passing your CAD driving test.

“Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”  …………G.I. Joe

“I can do this in AutoCAD, How do I do it in MicroStation”

by Seth Cohen, CADmanage.com

Here at CADmanage, I am a multi-CAD user.  What that means is that I teach/use AutoCAD, MicroStation, Civil 3D, and InRoads (and Map 3D as well).  More and more, I am noticing many AutoCAD users also using MicroStation (and vice versa), and I realized that there really wasn’t a blog that discussed tips/steps to using both.  In other words, the people who ask themselves “I can do this in one CAD product, how do I do it in the other?”

So let’s talk about one of the basic functionalities in AutoCAD, OTRACKing; how do you do this in MicroStation?  The equivalent functionality in MicroStation is a combination of using AccuDraw and AccuDraw shortcuts.  Let’s say I want to start a polyline perpendicular from a point.  In AutoCAD, you acquire the point, and as long as you have Perpendicular on as a running OSNAP, AutoCAD will track it, and you can type in a distance you want to be from that point.

Perpendicular Tracking

Perpendicular Tracking

To do this in MicroStation, first type RE in the AccuDraw Window (make sure it has focus).  RE runs the ACCUDRAW ROTATE ELEMENT command, which will rotate the AccuDraw compass to the angle of any object.  Make sure you toggle on Move Origin in the Tool Settings window, and click on the point that you want to be perpendicular from.

AccuDraw Rotate Element

AccuDraw Rotate Element

Lastly, move your cursor in the general perpendicular direction, and invoke the Smart Lock shortcut by pressing Enter on the keyboard, and enter your distance.

Press Enter for Smart Lock, and Enter Distance

Press Enter for Smart Lock, and Enter Distance

Keep looking to our blog for additional multi-CAD tips.

Thanks for reading.

by Seth Cohen, CADmanage.com

Cell Rotation – MicroStation VBA

Want the rotation of a cell about the Z-axis? This is how I get it using the Bentley object model. 

Public Function getCellRotation(oCell As CellElement) As Double
    Dim rAngle As Double
    getCellRotation = 0
    If (Matrix3dIsXYRotation(oCell.Rotation, rAngle)) Then
        getCellRotation = Degrees(rAngle)
        Debug.Print Trim(Str(Format(Degrees(rAngle), "#0.0")))
    End If
End Function

Matrix3dIsXYRotation passes the rotation matrix to the method and then sends back the angle (in radians) back to rAngle. The method returns true when there is a rotation about Z. If the cell is skewed or mirrored the method will return false. Be careful not to assume that if the function returns false that there is 0 rotation. You can make this assumption if your application controls the orientation of the cell and you can then predict that cells won’t be skewed or mirrored.

VBA Shortcut Methods

Bentley Systems does a great job of making MicroStation VBA easy. With each new release of the object model there are new objects, methods, and properties.Most support new functionality, but in some cases these additions help improve readability. For example,

GetLastValidGraphicalElement is a shortcut for GraphicalElementCache.GetLastValidElement

I recommend checking the Remarks section of the help documentation and the version for the methods you use. Especially if you are writting VBAs for older V8 releases. You may have to use the long form instead of the shortcut if you are writting a macro for an older version of MicroStation. I’ve also noticed that the documents don’t provide the precise release versions. So even though the new method was implemented in V8 2004, it may not have been added until a later release of V8 2004. In this case replace the shortcut with the long form of the method.