Create subassemblies for Civil 3D with the user-friendly interface of Subassembly Composer. The Autodesk Subassembly Composer has been. When it comes to corridor modeling, Civil 3D provides a large number of subassembly parts right out of the box. Since these parts are also. One of the most common Sub-Components I get asked about is the Subassembly Composer for Civil 3D and so I am writing this helpful guide.
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AutoCAD has some verticals with specialized tools to design and draft elements pertaining to different industries. Those tools are great the way they are, but we can make them even better through customization and by using Autodesk Subassembly Composer.
In this article we will see how to use the Subassembly Composer; we will look at its components and create two subassemblies to see how it works. When we customize a tutoorial or a graphical user interface it usually is because we want to modify the way things look and behave. In AutoCAD we have been doing this for years by using workspaces containing specific combinations of tools, user profiles with specific composdr for system variables, and templates with pre-existing objects and styles.
When we customize a program we enhance our productivity because we adapt it to our specific needs. Subassemblies are the building blocks for assemblies in Civil 3D, and we can look at assemblies as cross sections for roads, rivers, embankments, etc.
Subassembly Composer is a program where you can create subassemblies from scratch and then use them in Civil 3D just like you would with any other subassembly.
Subassembly Composer has five sections: Toolbox is where you find all the elements that make up the subassembly such as its geometry, operators that determine geometry, tools to organize these elements, etc. Flowchart is where you lay out the workflow: Properties is where you set the properties for each of the elements you bring in from the toolbox; properties include geometry, calculations, and overall behavior. Preview is where you see how the subassembly looks as you are putting things together.
Packet Settings is where you create and set up the subassembly parameters, targets, and so on. To understand what Subassembly Composer does, we need to review how subassemblies work, what their components are, and what they do; specifically, we need to understand codes, points, links, and shapes.
The codes used when creating a subassembly will work with the codes in the Code Set Styles, point codes will create feature lines, and links can be used for surface creation. Figure 1 shows the basic anatomy of a subassembly with codes, points, links, and shape. The information found in the help menu for each subassembly gives you more information about each subassembly, shows you its anatomy, the components for which you can override dimensions by using targets, etc.
All of this information can help you to reverse engineer these subassemblies, have a better grasp of how they work, and create parametric subassemblies in Subassembly Composer. As an AutoCAD user, you are accustomed to drawing lines in a very visual way. This makes the way Subassembly Composer works seem a little weird, so when you design a subassembly it is always a good idea to start by drafting an outline by hand. Subassembly Composer also requires communicating with the program using its own language, almost like coding; in this case it uses.
All of this will make more sense once we start working with Subassembly Composer in the following exercises. You can solve this in Civil 3D if you create a closed polyline, turn it into a subassembly, then assign codes, links, and shape and it probably would be fine.
The problem is that if you want to use different dimensions, you would have to create a new one. At this point the subassembly is ready and it should look like Figure 3. You can now save the file and close Subassembly Composer. Hover over one of the tabs in the tool palette, right-click and select New Palette. Name the new Palette Custom Subassemblies. Switch to the Insert tab and from the Import panel select Import Subassemblies. In the Import Subassemblies dialog, browse to where you saved your subassembly and open it.
This subassembly works similar to the LinkWidthAndSlope generic subassembly, but this one keeps the length constant regardless of the slope. Figure 5 shows the schematics of what we want to do and how it will look. At this point you have already calculated all the parameters you need, so now it is time to create a point and a link using those parameters. We want to be able to use positive and negative grade values because depending on that, you will draw something different.
And because we have two different options, we will use a conditional operator. From the toolbox, drag and drop a Decision operator, which is in the Workflow category. Drag and drop an Auxiliary point and place it below the True label. Auxiliary points are used as references for other points and they are not shown in the subassembly. Add a point below the auxiliary point you just created and set its properties as shown in Figure 7.
Drag and drop an Auxiliary point and place it below the False label.
Add a point below this new auxiliary point. Set its properties the same way you did for the previous point. Now the subassembly is ready and it should look like Figure 8. Save the file and close Subassembly Composer. Add this subassembly to the Custom Subassemblies palette the same way you did with the other subassembly. Now you have two parametric subassemblies made from scratch.
Customizing with Subassembly Composer | AUGI – Autodesk User Group International
I hope these two exercises shed some light on how to use Subassembly Composer. These subassemblies are rather simple, but I think you can see the potential of Subassembly Composer. Think about the subassemblies you use when building corridors. Some of them use targets to override slopes, widths, etc. In Subassembly Composer you can also create subassemblies that work with targets.
The process is similar in that you have to create parameters and use those parameters to define targets. Now that you know how to use Subassembly Composer, go ahead and create your own subassemblies, draw them in your mind, then on paper, and then build the subassembly.
Customize it and make it yours! He has worked in construction management and design since and has implemented and trained companies on Civil 3D for the past year. Miguel can be reached at mmedina prosoftnet. Home Articles Customizing with Subassembly Composer. Customize It and Make It Yours When we customize a program or a graphical user interface it usually is because we want to modify the way things look and behave.
Subassembly Composer and its Applications Subassemblies are the building blocks for assemblies in Civil 3D, and we can look at assemblies as cross sections for roads, rivers, embankments, etc. The codes used when creating a subassembly will work with the codes in the Code Set Styles, point codes will create feature lines, and links can be used for surface creation Figure 1: Subassembly parts Figure 1 shows the basic anatomy of a subassembly with codes, points, links, and shape.
The steps below outline the process to create a simple slanted subassembly. This is the name that this subassembly will use in Civil 3D. Set the side to Right.
Click Create Parameter to create a new parameter. The direction is input because it is an input parameter, meaning that the user will input the value. Make sure the type is set to double, which is the type of parameter that will let you input values with decimal figures. Name compoxer parameter TopWidth with no spaces. For display name, type Top Width. The display name can have spaces and that is how it is going to display in Civil 3D. Set a default value for this parameter of 0.
At this point this value is unitless—the units will depend on the units tutoorial use in your drawing. Repeat the previous steps for the other parameters and make sure your parameters match what is shown in Figure 2.
From the toolbox under the Geometry category, compossr a Point component and drop it into the Flowchart window. This point will be compoder as the origin and as a reference for positioning the next point.
For this point there is no need to modify anything else. Drag and drop another point component.
Customizing with Subassembly Composer
This point will use a point code so a feature line can be created when connecting multiple sections using this subassembly. The location of this point will be measured in terms of deltas in the X and Y direction with respect to the origin point. It will be directly below the origin at a distance of negative Depth, which is a parameter previously defined, and no displacement in the X direction. For this link there is no need to modify anything else.
Add another point element, which will be the bottom right corner of the subassembly.
For Delta X type BottomWidth—in this case it is going to go to the right from P2 so the value would be positive. For Delta Y enter 0. Add another point element, which will be the top right corner of the subassembly. Add a link component to the flowchart; no need for points here because the link will connect to existing points. At this point the subassembly is closed, but it is empty. Slanted curb in Subassembly Composer At this point the subassembly is ready and it should look like Figure 3.
Import into Civil 3D Now you can use the slanted curb subassembly like a regular curb subassembly. Constant Length and Varying Slope Subassembly This subassembly works similar to the LinkWidthAndSlope generic subassembly, but this one keeps the length constant regardless of the slope. Hand-drawn schematics Figure 6: For this subassembly we will use output parameters that can be viewed as variables used for calculations.
Notice that here you have to use both input and output parameters. For the output parameters there is no need to type in a display name because the user will not be able to edit these values. These values are calculated and used for other parameters. Add a point component by dragging it from the toolbox and dropping it into the flowchart window. This will be the origin and insertion point. Add an output parameter.