Here at Ideate, we are always looking for tips or features that can help make our customers’ jobs a little easier. Recently, while teaching an AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 course, the class got into a discussion about the use of revision clouds. One of the attendees used revision clouds quite often, but mentioned that he relied on the “Object” option because he found it difficult to draw and adjust revision clouds on the fly.
In the 2015 and earlier releases of AutoCAD-based products that was definitely the truth. However, in the 2016 release revision clouds have been enhanced to be better and easier to use than ever before.
When looking at them side by side, the revision clouds in AutoCAD 2015 and 2016 appear identical. What has changed are the options for creating the revision clouds and the grip editing behavior of revision clouds after they have been created.
The previous options for creating revision clouds included Object, Arc Length, and Style, with Object being the only option for drawing a cloud that was not free-hand. In the 2016 release, new options for Rectangular, Polygonal, and Freehand are now available for revision cloud creation. Also added is a Modify option that allows a user to add to an existing revision cloud and trim overlapping areas.
An even better enhancement in 2016 is that after a revision cloud has been created, it also maintains the primary object’s grip editing behavior. That means a rectangular revision cloud will have the same grips as a rectangle polyline when it is selected for editing. The same behavior is also carried over to polygons and circles, making it much easier to modify and adjust existing revision clouds. Arc segments are currently not supported by this feature and are converted into shorter connected polyline segments when part of a revision cloud.
Here’s a screenshot of a rectangular revision cloud in 2015 after it has been selected.
As you can see, each segment of the revision cloud is an arc that is independently grip edited by selecting either the endpoint or midpoint grips, making it very difficult to quickly adjust the area covered by the revision cloud. Grip editing this object typically just creates one larger arc in the series that is connected to the smaller segments, which isn’t very useful.
The same type of revision cloud in 2016 appears much different when selected. Because it was created from a rectangle object (or using the Rectangle option), it includes the same grip editing features and behavior as a rectangular polyline. Four corner grips and four midpoint grips are all that we need to modify and edit the existing revision cloud. The cloud pattern also dynamically updates to conform to the newly edited shape.
Adding segments to a revision cloud is also much easier in 2016. Just like a polyline, hovering over the midpoint (bar shaped) grip allows a user to stretch the segment or add a vertex to the existing shape. Hovering over an endpoint (square shaped) grip also includes the Stretch Vertex, Add Vertex or Remove Vertex options.
The Modify option also provides another quick way to draw additional pieces and trim the overlapping areas without having to erase or redraw the original revision cloud.
Whether you’re a current user of the REVCLOUD command or if you’ve tried it in the past and weren’t quite satisfied with the behavior, the enhancements made in the AutoCAD 2016 release are a definite improvement.
For more, view this video: Autodesk AutoCAD 2016 Revision Cloud Enhancements
For more information on the software solutions, training and consulting Ideate provides, please visit the Ideate, Inc. homepage.
ENI Manager & Senior Application Specialist
Matt is an ENI Manager and Senior Application Specialist in Ideate, Inc.’s Seattle office. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and is a licensed Civil Engineer. Prior to joining Ideate, Matt worked as a civil engineer, using Civil 3D on a variety of projects including site development, roadway improvements and infrastructure design. With over 10 years of experience in the civil engineering industry, Matt now provides training, consulting, technical support, and implementation strategies for organizations transitioning to Civil 3D. Matt is an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI), as well as an Autodesk Certified BIM Specialist: Roads and Highway Solutions. Additionally, Matt is and Autodesk Certified Professional for AutoCAD, and AutoCAD Civil 3D. Find Matt on Twitter.