Dynamo for Civil 3D: Getting Started

in this video we will cover the basic features and functions of dynamo for civil 3d now dynamo is not a complex programming language just for programmers it is actually intended for engineers architects and designers who want to save time improve design efficiencies and enhance their workflows dynamo is a programming platform with a visual interface and this allows users to construct logical routines that automate workflows and help to save time and please note there are a number of additional learning resources for dynamo and those are shown here the workspace contains standard menus and toolbars and dynamo contains an extensive library of nodes and commands that are organized by category nodes are classified by three behaviors the green plus represents nodes that create an element the red lightning bolt represents an action method and the blue question mark represents an input or property query when the user expands the node tree they can hover over a node and a description will appear as well as the inputs and outputs for that node users can also search nodes by name in the search field any node with the inputted information is going to appear on that list and the execution bar allows users to select either automatic or manual runs now notes are placed in the work area and the user can actually toggle between the script and the output view to see their results and we’ll work through a very simple example here to illustrate some of these points we’ll specify a point and our point coordinates are going to be 0 and we’ll copy that number and paste it there and we’ll specify our x and y as 0 and 0 we’ll select another point but for this point we will select number sliders so that we can adjust these points and see how that changes on our screen and so we’ll connect those as the X and as the Y value as well and as we adjust these we can see on our output that point has moved if we set that to manual and then we adjust it it won’t move until we tell it to run so let’s set some values here 5 and 7 and we actually want to create a circle but we’ll do this by a radius and so we’ll select a distance to node to provide our radius input and next we’ll go under geometry curves and circle and we’ll select that by radius so that we can create a circle from those two points and when we hit run those have adjusted and that creates that circle for us we can adjust that slider run it again on either side and our output provides the circle that we have created now the anatomy of a node is such that as we hover over the different inputs we can see what values are required as well as what output is expected and after we run we can actually hover over the auto area and see the actual values that this node is returning we can see our x and y values correspond to our slider and our Z value is set to 0 next we’ll get into using code blocks if we want to create a note a single line note in a code block we do that with a double forward slash if we want a multi-line note we’ll do that with a forward slash and an asterisk and here we’re just creating a note saying that we’re gonna specify a couple of variables after this note to close the note you’ll do that with this asterisk and a forward slash as well here we wanted to specify one variable and we’ll set the value to one we’ll set variable number two or be a 2.35 and if we want to setup a string we need to do that with quotes and here we’ll just set up et WS edge of travel way as one of our strings and if we want to create an equation or a formula we can specify that in here as well and so this provides four different outputs that we can actually use in a script dinamo will also notify us anytime we have an error in our scripting in this case we have a point by coordinate but we’re going to input a string value when we hit run our node turns yellow indicating that we have some sort of an input error our node will turn red any time we have a syntax error in this case we need a zero before any decimal value and once we provide the correct values and then rerun the script we will see that point appear in the view area now a very useful tool in dynamo is to freeze a node this is great for troubleshooting a script because we can isolate certain areas of our script everything up to that node will run but that node doesn’t run until we unfreeze it once we unfreeze it we can see that point reappear with our corrected values as our script progresses we can group notes together and indicate the function of the group we can also change the color of the group by right-clicking on the area node connectors indicate the workflow direction so this generally moves from left to right and for more advanced users dynamo supports Python nodes and those can be customized to the users specific requirements there are several classifications of inputs and they include boolean x’ or true/false inputs as functions or values numbers and those can come from a slider or can be user specified values or a string or a text the output will display the value that we connect to it if we change the execution to manual those results don’t display until we rerun the command there are several functions for AutoCAD and for civil3d first will specify the document that we’re working in and there are a variety of functions with inputs that are described in the notes for instance we can import a block and that looks for text values boolean values and the document we’re working in or we can create lines and circles and other elements again all of those have values that will input in civil3d we can identify corridors that we worked on or baselines feature lines or even point codes that are contained within our corridor with these elements we can label points or slopes we can insert objects along the corridor or we can extract properties from the corridor dinamo is a powerful tool with a lot of capabilities and we encourage you to jump in and get started

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