NCS Classic Utility Layers AddOn

Tags NCS, Layer Standards, utility, CAD Standards, Civil 3D 2018, Civil 3D 2017, Civil 3D 2016, spreadsheet, standard keys, Major Key, Minor Key, color, layer color, ACI, RGB

People ask how come our Framework of Civil 3D products don’t use the classic NCS utility layers? Honestly, most civil engineering and survey organization customers tend to like our NCS compliant set of utility Keys and Layers better. Who knew?

People do tend to forget or overlook that the NCS is large building and building project centric. Simply put, the utility infrastructure inside a building or a campus isn’t the same thing as the general or common infrastructure outside that scope.

Managed Levels of Nuance

Historically, the Framework’s Layer Key scheme simply clarifies that real world issue. To date, no one has reported back to us their plan set was rejected in any project because of the use the four-character utility Keys and Layer scheme. The utility Key scheme conflicts with no known set of public NCS keys. It works.

Frankly, the Framework for Civil 3D already includes Layer Standards Spreadsheet Tools that allow you do pretty much do anything you want with the Layer scheme. Those tools include formulas that allow you to replace any Keys in the Pattern with anything you like.

Our goal, as always, is to make the Framework for Civil 3D as agnostic as possible about these details. Civil 3D doesn’t care what your Layer plan is. Civil 3D only demands that you have a detailed plan. Why should we make it a big deal? We don’t.

Actually, we have more than a few customers who buy the Jump Kit to get the included Spreadsheet Tools. As one customer put it -the Spreadsheet Tools are…

Worth Every Penny

Ok. You do have to understand a bit about Excel string formulas, the AutoCAD script commands, and the application of the same. Surprise. We even document the essential details, mechanics, and process how tos in the Members section. You can Register and check that out. Tweaking Layer things really isn’t rocket science when you have well-engineered tools in your hands.

If your idea of Layer Systems Management for AutoCAD-based application is to use the internal AutoCAD Layer Manager, you have some things to learn. Call it CAD Manager 101.

I promised recently to reduce these hassles even more.

NCS Classic Utility Layers AddOn

If you downloaded the AddOn in the first week, you need to download the updated version of the AddOn.
See the News item about the NCS Classic Utility Layers AddOn Update.

We released this week a new NCS Classic Utility Layers AddOn.
The new AddOn includes new canned versions of the Layer Standards Spreadsheets Tools for both STB and CTB. These produce all the scripts to adjust the utility scheme to the classic AIA keys in all current Framework for Civil 3D products.

Also included in the AddOn package:

  • The essential rename scripts that automatically rename all the Framework Core and City Layers
  • New Layer Standards files for the classic NCS Utility Layers

If you are a current Jump Kit or InstantOn customer in any Release 7 version you can now download the new AddOn resources, from the respective download pages.

The NCS Classic Utility Layers AddOn is free.

Image that. More robust and adaptive Layer Standards with little to no work.

Let's chat about that...

How to Use the NCS Classic Utility Layers AddOn

The download should be extracted added as new folder in your current 00_Resources/Layer Standards folder.

The supplied script resources rename:

  • All utility UT@@ Layers to the classic AIA keys
  • All the VIEW-SCTN layers are changed to VIEW-SECT

If you have not modified the Layer scheme in your templates or drawings, the supplied rename script will modify any of them. The script will not change any Layers you added to the scheme. The rename script will also update any and all Layer States in the template or drawing. Again it will not change any Layers you added to the Layer States.

Carefully, test the scripts on copies of templates and/or drawings. We strongly suggest that you test things on copies of your (or the previously supplied) Layer Standards files first.

If you have modified the Layer scheme in you version of the supplied templates, you will probably want to process your scheme through the either the new STB or CTB version of the Layer Standards Spreadsheets Tool.

The update process:

  1. From inside the AutoCAD Layer Manager tool Select the entire list of Layers
  2. Paste the results into a blank and empty Excel spreadsheet
  3. Select and copy only the Layer Name column
  4. Paste that into the supplied Sheet in the Spreadsheet tool
  5. Check and validate the resolved new Layer Name results inside the Spreadsheet
  6. Adjust the Trans table in the Spreadsheet tool to correct issues
  7. From the Spreadsheet tool create the new Rename script from that column

Run the revised script into an existing Layer Standards file to again validate the results. The rename script will also update any and all Layer States in the Layer Standards file.

Any supplied Jump Kit Library styles resource drawings can be modified:

  1. Use INSERT (with Explode checkbox checked) to insert the previously supplied STB Layer Standards dwg files into the drawing.
  2. Run the supplied rename script in the Styles Library resource drawing.
  3. Check the results
  4. Remember to PURGE all the unreferenced Layers and all Regapps afterwards.

Large Project and Detailed NCS Discipline Support

Shsssh. Don’t tell anyone. The new Layer Spreadsheet tools will also allow you to convert any or all the Layers to employ the two-character Discipline Keys in the Layer scheme.

Hoorah. More robust and adaptive Layer Standards with next to no work.

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