Monday, November 24, 2008

Speeding Up Civil 3D 2009

I have found a few things that can help the performance of Civil 3D 2009. Please consider these options:

1.) Upgrade to Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 – I found this one most beneficial. I immediately saw my system performance improve after installing it. Download it from here.

For those interested, here is the technical scoop for item #1:
It improves memory usage and WPF graphic speed. WPF is what Autodesk uses for their toolbar/menu's in 2009 products

Excerpt from Microsoft's .NET website:

>>> [i]"The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 delivers:[/i]

>>> [i]Performance increases between 20-45% for WPF-based applications – without having to change any code "[/i]

Autodesk built the 2009 products using WPF for the interface. So if you have .NET 3.0 installed on your computer from 2009, then installing .NET 3.5 SP1 should make things a little smoother.

2.) Update your video driver
Use Windows Update. Use the “Custom” option, then select from hardware update. Windows Update can be found in Internet Explorer. You can also go to the manufacturer's web site to see about updates as well. We run nVidia cards at my office (nVidia Quadro FX 570).

3.) Set LAYERDLGMODE =0. This will set the Layer Dialog back to “classic” mode. The new Layer Manager can be a drain on system resources if you have a lot of layers (+1000).

4.) Turn off “Show Rollover Tooltips” if you don’t use them. This can be turned off in “Options” (see image below)

5.) Make sure you have Civil 3D 2009 “Version 2” installed. To check, open Civil 3D, go to the ‘Help’ menu, select the last item “About AutoCAD Civil 3D”, select “Product Information…” on the splash screen. You should see that the Product Service Pack is listed as “Version 2".
To be quite honest, I’m not sure how I got Version 2. I was expecting to see “Update 1” instead. If you have “Update 1”, you should be fine as well. In any case, the item should not be “blank” or read “0”.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Grading and FATAL ERRORS - C3D 2009

I've had a lot of problems with FATAL ERRORS lately within my grading projects. It seems like after a few days of editing and re-editing the grading file, the drawing comes to a point of critical mass where the internal errors start stacking up. If you run the "AUDIT" command, you'll see. But it doesn't seem like AUDIT ever repairs the errors it finds as it reports. And sometimes there comes a point where you can't even run AUDIT or even save the drawing, which renders the drawing session useless. I can't remember right now the exact error message in the dialog. I'll make sure I post a screen cap next time it happens. But I do know that when that dialog appears, you can do nothing except CTRL-ALT-DEL out and end the AutoCAD session with no save. Then restore your last previously saved file. Not fun.

I don't have any magic remedy for this here. The advice I received from Autodesk was to take the previously saved drawing, run "-PURGE", then run "AUDIT". Works for a little while until I get the previously mentioned dialog box again. It usually happens within a few minutes of editing the drawing, usually when editing a feature line or grading.

So what I've done is to redefine the "QSAVE" command to run "AUDIT" before the save. This seems to help cut down on errors created by editing feature lines, gradings, etc. I use this QSAVE often when editing grading files, especially before a "major" edit.

Here is the simple AutoLISP code that you may copy to a .lsp file, then load into your startup application suite "APPLOAD".

(command "_undefine" "_QSAVE")
(defun C:QSAVE()
(command "audit" "Y")
(command "_.QSAVE")