Civil 3D Assembly Display

Sometimes you need to change the display of your assembly in plan view or in your sections. Today I had a call on the topic that reminded me that there a few nuances to the process that are probably worth writing down. So, here’s a little tutorial on changing the display of your assemblies.

  1. On the Prospector tab of Toolspace right click your assembly name and click properties.
  2. On the Codes tab of the Assembly Properties click Edit Current Selection next to the code set style drop down.
  3. Find the code you’d like to change. For this example I’ll use the SubBase shape.
  4. Click the button next to the style associated with SubBase.
  5. In the Pick Shape Style window click the drop down and click Copy Current Selection.
  6. On the Information tab of the Shape Style change the name of your new style.
  7. On the Display tab of the Shape Style, select the Plan or Section view direction. For this example I’ll choose plan.
  8. Change the colors for the border and/or fill and the pattern for the fill.
  9. Click OK in every box to get back to the model.
  10. You should see the shape change its display.

The important workflow here is that each assembly uses a code set style, each code set style assigns shape styles to shapes, and each shape style controls display.

Once you understand the process it becomes pretty straightforward. However, I had a call recently where the above did not seem to work and I wanted to share the resolution in this post. What happens if when I change my shape style display settings nothing happens? I’ve gone in to the shape style and given the shape a nice hatch pattern and changed the color, but all I see is a big blank spot where the SubBase should be.

The problem might be in the code set style. In the image below notice that the highlighted shape name is ‘SuBbase’. Capitalization is important in these code names so that they match what’s actually in the sub-assemblies. They are case-sensitive. Because this weird capitalization somehow snuck into the all codes code set styles, no shape style was being assigned to SubBase. All it takes to remedy the situation is to change the upper-case b in ‘SuB’ to lower-case.. So, if you’re ever having trouble changing the display of a sub-assembly, check your code set style.

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