utility for AutoCad
Design your civil work in real 3D with this handy tool! Now with Vehicle Turning Simulations (Vehicle swept path)
Latest update: 2013-04-21 Build 681
CadTools (ToolBox) is
developed for Civil Engineers using AutoCAD. There are a number of great
software on the market supporting the design process of roads, rails
etc. For minor design work CadTools can be very useful,
it contains more than
50 commands mostly in real 3D to support
By combining separate commands through the work process you can achieve almost anything you want. When I developed the commands I certainly had some situations in mind but every command can be used in a variety of situations not only in civil work design.
With CadTools you can create your own surface models based on objects in the drawing or import triangles from DWG (other civil software). You can create profiles and cross-sections of multiple surfaces, calculate volumes and plot contours.
It's easy and fun creating real 3D models with CadTools commands, some of these commands can only be found in software that you have to pay money for.
I work as a civil designer at Tyréns, one of Sweden's leading consulting companies in the urban development sector. My main tool for civil design is Bentley InRoads/RailTrack, one of the best software I've seen. I use Inroads on AutoCAD and find that combination suitable for me. Sometimes you need something less complicated so I started developing CadTools on my laptop while traveling to work by train.
After more than five years of developing this software now is a powerful tool way beyond my first intentions. Honestly I can't be without it, hope you will feel the same.
CadTools is an out of process software and supports AutoCAD versions: 2001-2013. (vanilla and verticals i.e. Civil 3D)
Vehicle Turning Simulation (Swept path
analysis) You don't need to
be a registered user to use this! It's totally
Configure vehicles of your own and do analysis in the drawing. Much faster design than using turning templates.
Create surface cross-sections as 2D or 3D.
Display crossing reference lines
View Surface slope and direction.
Easily detect flat areas.
Perimeter of areas with userdefined slopes.
Create real 3D cut and fill by applying end-conditions to 3Dpolylines.
Very simple and powerful step by step process.
Create Give Way
Vehicle Turning is also
available as a freeware for Microstation V8.
available as a freeware for Microstation V8. MSTurn
If you find CadTools useful, why not donate and get full access to all commands! Revision history
How much should I donate? There is no right answer to that, the result is always the same no matter how much or little you donate. Ask yourself how useful CadTools is and donate with your heart. Donations are important for me, they are confirmations of real users appreciating the developing of CadTools.
Please note that donation notifications are sent to me from PayPal by email and I manually send you a registration email as soon as possible. Generally I respond at least twice a day. If you haven't recived a responding email in a couple of days, check your spam filter or post a message to me in CadTools forum.
Latest update (2013-04-21
Added: Label prefix and sufix for Polyline Area Command
New: Surface volume report now ask user if a simple report is prefered (only volumes, no triangle data)
Fix: Typing in a layer name with a ending space made CadTools halt while creating the layer. Layer names are now cleaned by CadTools.
678 had a bug in "Table Edit Polyline" command.
Added: AutoCAD version 2014 to settings (Don't know if there going to be any problems yet)
Changed: Table Edit Polyline is now extended with "Copy" grid selection. It's easy to paste directly into Excel. Elevation difference between vertices is now in the grid (green text)
Changed: Command: Edit/View Surface. While draping 3Dpolylines onto a surface you may now keep original layers for draped polylines. (MessageBox)
Added: Settings for output layers in Vehicle Turning Simulation.
Fixed: Converting 2D polylines containing arcs with radius of zero resulted in overflow.
Changed: Settings for Chord Height has changed to only accept values above zero. (Settings)
Fixed: Display reference in Cross-Sections didn't work on 64 bits AutoCAD (Overflow error)
Fixed: Load Xref settings from file halted if missing referenced DWG.
Added: Elevation difference in "profile Polyline".
Added: New option for "Densify 3D polyline".
Added: New setting for Non English AutoCAD versions. This setting makes it possible to cancel commands in localized AutoCAD versions.
Fixed: Using "Independent rear steering" option in Vehicle turning resulted in bad wheel sweep lines.
Fixed: Some commands in CadTools where designed to remain active until user hits ESC. This behavior didn't work as planned on localized versions of AutoCAD, there were no other options than terminate CadTools when using these commands (endless loop). The solution for this problem was to add a question on the command line "Continue this command? [Yes/No] <Y>:"
This reduces the simplicity while using these commands but I couldn't find a better solution.
Fixed: "Match Blocks with Lines", Overflow while evaluating huge models fixed
(2012-05-27 Build 668)
"Region to Excel", added information of region Centroid (X- and Y values)
Added: "Solid to Excel", added information of Volume
Fixed: Bug in "Edit block Attribute Text" fixed. This bug was for 64Bit only.
(2012-04-09 Build 667)
"Triangle Volume", speed and accuracy improved while using the "Almost Exact"
New option "Create Isopach Surface" in Triangle Volume command. For more information look in the helpfile
New option for "Isopach Surface" in Sutface Contours. For more information look in the helpfile
Fixed: Reference lines
plotted at wrong layer (Surface Profile Command)
Added: AutoCAD 2013 in the Settings (current version)
(2012-03-18 Build 665)
Enhancements: Increased triangulation speed about 20%.
Added option for "Vertical text with
layeraname" in Surface Profile command
Added option for Invert Level or Centerline in "Create 3D solids from 3D polylines"
(2012-02-21 Build 664)
Fixed: Create Surface Command: The option "Set Duplicate Tolerance" didn't work as designed. This option has been changed to reduce decimals only. Filter Object Elevations is now applied before the user select objects and the result of the filtering is displayd as reducing of "Number of Points". Triangulation halted and reported duplicate points on huge dataset, this has been fixed. Also added info about triangulation time, this information is displayed in the status bar when all is done (saving or plotting)
Fixed: Pasting more then 32 000 rows from Excel into "Draw from Coordinates" resulted in a error, this has been fixed.
New Command: MText Font override Remover
Fixed: Stationing command, Using zero for decimals could produce a decimal separator at the end of the annotation
Added: Stationing command, Added option to get annotations at polyline elevation
Fixed correct number of decimals is shown in "Volume by Elevation". The number of decimals is now always same as in your interval even if you type ".10"
Some users have problems canceling commands with ESC. I can't promise this is fixed because I can't reproduce same behavior myself. I've done some changing in the code, hope it helps.
"Check for updates" is rewritten and implemented. Fixed bug: Vehicle turning command. Minimum turning radious displayed incorrect value for units other than meters
Removed "Check for updates" This function needs a makeover, sometimes CadTools freeze.
Fixed a bug in "Trickle" command. Pressing Enter to get default arrow size didn't work.
Fixed a bug in "Surface Cross-section" command. Cross-sections right and left axis offset was wrong when using other spacing than zero (Output settings)
Fixed a bug in "Annotate Cross-Section" Annotation didn't work with only one item in the list.
Added a "Check for updates" once a day when starting CadTools, if there is a update available CadTools will inform the user.
Added support for a number of drawing units in the Vehicle simulation command. The code base in this part was based on meters. Using units smaller than meters would result in slow performance. This is fixed now.
Fixed a bug in "Annotate Cross-Section" pasting table to a nonexisting layer didn't work.
Added multiple axels for some vehicle types in the drawing output for Vehicle Turning. There is no option for the user to manipulate this
Added Layer Name same as text in Draw from Coordinates (Text at Point). This option is useful if you get a file with coordinates and a tag (text). You can easily create layer names same as the tag and draw the text at that layer.
Fixed: Issue with saving edited triangles, CadTools always claimed: "Couln't find any CadTools triangles to save (no matching X-data)".
Changed: "Tranverse 3D lines between 3D Polylines" has been changed. If elevation difference between the polylines was huge the offset din't work as expected. Offset was set to follow the transverse line direction, now it is set to follow horizontal direction.
Changed: "Polyline area" command. Added messagebox with a warning if you have 3DPolylines in your selection.
Fixed another bug in "Track station and offset from polyline". Incorrrect calculation of stations in arc segments (sometimes)
Fixed a bug in "Track station and offset from polyline" length was wrong when picking more tha one point. Fixed some focus issue after message box with result was closed (returning focus to DWG for next point)
New command: Delete Points, Circle and Text In/outside polygon. This command can be found in the "Miscellaneous menu"
Fixed: Problems with default values for offset 3D polylines, using zero for eleveation diff didn't work
Fixed: Problems with default values in "Slope arrows on 3D polylines".
Changed: Unregistered users now can plot surface profiles with max alignment length of 200!
Changed: Unregistered users now can plot surface cross-sections with max alignment length of 200!
Added: Length calculation, send result to Excel now contains information about LineType
Changed: Station/Offset from polyline command now repeat itself until user press ESC.
Changed: Using closed polylines as breaklines in triangulations is now supported by CadTools.
Added: Input box for Horizontal line intervall in Create Surface Profile.
Fixed: Wrong table header label for East and North in "Draw from Coordinates", could be misinterpreted.
Fixed: "Export Block to Excel" Block attributes containing values like 1/5 where formatted as dates in Excel.
Fixed: Default values stored by CadTools for offset and slope arrows command didn't work if they where smaller then 1 (i. e 0,5).
New: Added column for circle radius override in "Draw from Coordinates"
Fixed: Some issues when running on 64Bit AutoCAD. Following command didn't work with 64Bit: Blocks, "Match Block With Lines" and Lines, "Set 2D polyline elevation by nearest text"
Fixed: "Annotate Block elevations". Some bugs in text height, added number of decimals.
Fixed: "Stationing", sometimes the last station was placed elsewhere (this bug has been around for a while).
Fixed: User selection for current AutoCAD-version wasn't saved correct, this could cause problems when using multiple versions.
Fixed: Smoothed polylines isn't a supported linetype in CadTools! I've tried to manage them but I gave up. I'm sorry but the solution is to change the polyline property "Smoothing" to none before executing any CadTools command on the polyline. User gets a message informing of a "Unsupported line".
Fixed: Start with major ticks in "Slope and Road Signs" worked in opposite way
Fixed: "Slope arrows on 3D lines" didn't work as planned
New: Vehicle turning. Option for "Plot Swept Vehicle Envelope" (perimeter)
Fixed: Abort in printing dialogs didn't work
Fixed: Freeze Xref layers, dialog text not cleared after command
New: User setting for Datum prefix and suffix in Surface Profiles and Surface Cross-sections.
New: Option to start with minor or major ticks in "Slope and Road Signs" and "Transverse line between 3D polylines"
Fixed: Fixed minor bug in "Slope arrows on 3D polylines"
Fixed: Removed swep lines for Tow bars in the "Vehicle turning"
New: Cross-Section, calculated areas are stored in a table that can be pasted into Excel.
New: Last used settings in Create Cross-Section and Create Surface profile are now saved when closed.
New: Enhanced settings for Surface profile, set datum and clearance for profile frame.
Fixed: Display reference in Surface profile now displays the alignment correct if used as a reference.
Fixed: Bug in the triangulation, some selected objects was excluded! This resulted in incorrect surfaces!
Fixed: Slope arrows on polyline (3D) gets at least one arrow if the line is shorter than selected interval. Last used settings is saved and default next time.
Fixed: Triangulation on huge datasets is significant improved.
Fixed: The "Set 2D polyline elevation by nearest text" command now runs in one step. This is handy if you leave the computer while processing.
Fixed: Minor bug in the "Vehicle turning" command, the vehicle could stop before max angle was reached.
New: Profile and Cross-section annotations, the command is located in the "Drafting" menu. This simple command can be useful in many situations.
New: Lock to lock speed in the "Vehicle turning" command. The minimum radius is back! Now with some explanation in the help-file
New: Enhanced color, level and linetype settings for output
Fixed save intersections to tempfile (Stationing). Added draw sphere, cylinder and box in draw from coordinates. Added "number of decimals" in polyline area. Added option for slope of interception elevation in "Create longitudinal features". You can set a slope for the plane in the alignment direction. This makes it very easy to design ditch bottoms
Fixed some issues in Surface profile and Surface cross sections when using AutoCAD 64bit. Fixed issues in Surface profiles and cross sections with constrained surface triangulations. Added Formatting for stations (Surface profiles, Surface cross sections and stationing)
Added truck wheel sweep path and options for wheel sweep path color (Vehicle turning command). Disabled "Min Turning Radius" label due to misinterpreting
Disabled "Min Turning Radius" label due to misinterpreting. Added option for decimals in the annotate cross section/profile slope.
Added three new vehicle types in the Vehicle Simulation command. "Trailer Tow bar Semi", "Double Tow bar Semi" and "Tandem Trailer". Note! Default vehicle files are not replaced by the installation, you must replace them by downloading and saving them in CadTools folder. Imperial library doesn't contain any sample vehicles for the three new types.
Turned off demand on World UCS in the "Aling Text to UCS". Added Abort process by hitting ESC in the DWG for "Slope and Road signs" and "Transverse 2D lines Between 3D Polylines"
Fixed issue with 3Dpolyline as vehicle path in Vehicle Turning. Added a ToolButton for vehicle turning.
Fixed some issues with Vehicle Turning. You can cancel the operation by pressing the cancel button. If Vehicle path exceeds 1000 units you will get a warning but you can still continue.
Fixed some issues with max vehicle plot spacing parameter in Vehicle Turning. Added "Save intersection to tempfile" in the stationing command.
Fixed bitmaps and documentation for Vehicle Turning, the parameter WB2 was wrong in images and helpfile. For trailers WB2 should be distance between truck pivot point and trailer turning point. Textboxes for parameter values is now wider and there is also a vehicle file in imperial units for AASHTO vehicles.
Fixed "remove Duplicate Points" (Polyline tools), sometimes duplicate points was missed. Fixed "Best Fit" (Polyline tools). If 2Dpolylines was selected the command didn't warn.
Fixed Vehicle Turning Simulation command to work with 3Dpolylines. Added option for reversing vehicle path direction. Complete new installation (not the update)
NEW! Vehicle Turning Simulations
Fixed Contours command, contour lines was missing if triangle legs had same elevation as the contour line.
Almost all commands could give odd values in other UCS than World. Now CadTools rejects commands if the drawing isn't in the World UCS
Filter for Object Elevations in Create surface, this is handy if you would like to exclude certain elevations. This makes it easy to exclude objects with bad elevations before triangulation.
Fixed bug in "Annotate Cross Section", using vertical exaggeration combined with "Add points to table" resulted in wrong elevation value.
(2010-04-05) Added support
for AutoCAD 2011. Region to Excel
showing switched values for area and perimeter. Missing
columnheader for Triangle volume by elevation when exported to Excel is fixed.
Changed command "Transverse 3D lines between 3D Polylines (3D Slope signs)" and "Transverse polylines...." to accept 0 as value for minor, when set to 0 no minor tickmarks are plotted.
Added three extra columns for alignment coordinates in the "Export text to excel", this is handy if text is aligned and you want to use these coordinates in the "Draw from coordinates" function.
(2010-03-30) Fixed a couple of minor bugs: Annotate slope in cross-sections didn't work for slope with 1:1. Fixed missing column headers for exporting polyline length to Excel. Changed Freeze X-ref by layer to work without stopping (ESC to Cancel) Polyline length and area calculations now has separate buttons for sending result to Excel
(2010-01-17) Added support for 64-bit AutoCAD.
New command: Station equations” is a simple method to deal with railroad alignments (kilometers can be shorter or longer than 1000 meters). This method can be used in with the “Draw from coordinates” to put text or block at correct station. To make this method possible some changes has been done to the "Text and Block Station/Offset from Polyline to Excel" command.
New command:"Annotate Cross-Section/Profile Slope” is a new handy command for annotation of sections and profiles.
New command:"MText Color override remover”
Fixed CadTools SpreadSheet, increased speed while updating.
Added offset side to the: "Text and Block Station/Offset from Polyline to Excel" and some other stuff.
(2010-01-17) Fixed two bugs in "Annotate Cross Section" (Clear
table resulted in error and paste resulting table with only one point didn't
work). New command: Annotate Cross-Section/Profile Slope.
Added offset side to the: "Text and Block Station/Offset from Polyline to Excel"
command (Miscelanneous). Fixed CadTools SpreadSheet, increased speed while
New Command: MText Color override remover.
Fixed minor bugs and added rownumbers to CadTools SpreadSheet. Extended "Draw from Coordinates" with a command to draw text at polyline station and offset. Added new command for registered users; "Text and Block Station/Offset from Polyline to Excel", a command that process multiple block or text objects in a drawing. Result contains information of blocknamne or text string, station and offset from selected polyline. This command can be found in "Miscellaneous"
(2010-01-11) Fixed bug in export polyline coordinates to SpreadSheet
(2010-01-09) Added a solution for users that don't have Excel
installed. All "Export to Excel" can now be targeted to a internal SpreadSheet
window an then copied to Windows clipboard.
Extended "Layer Freeze by object" with some missing functionality. Fixed Simplify 3Dpolylines, closed polylines didn't work.
(2009-11-09) Fixed bug in "Insert Line-aligned text", using the command on 3D polylines didn't work as expected.
(2009-11-09) Added column for block rotation in "Draw from Coordinates". This extra column makes it possible to use a time saving procedure for inserting block at start and endpoints of hundreds of polylines. The procedure is described in CadTools forum (Tips and Tricks section)
(2009-11-01) Drag'n drop surface files from Explorer to CadTools is now
supported. Added a new button for scaled length and annotation in one step
"Draw from Coordinates", "Block at Station/Offset from polyline" now support 3D-polylines (how could I miss that?). Also added a setting for Block elevation relative polyline elevation in the same command.
In the settings user can set a folder for reports and temporary files. This can solve problems with read and write access under Vista.
(2009-10-15) Minimize property for all forms. Region area to Excel (miscellaneous). 3DSolid volume to Excel (miscellaneous). Rotate annotation for respond label (Mode Slope), rotation angle is found in settings.
Now you can use settings for decimals in Surface cross Sections (settings)
(2009-09-28 Build 545)
Automatically refresh surface commands if a included surface has been modified since loaded. Redesigned the "Transverse 3D-lines" command and added option for elevation difference. Added annotation rotation to the "Stationing" command. Fixed another bug in "Stationing" (lines with many short vertices was rejected)
Position marker option for the
"Table Edit polyline" command.
Fixed bug in "Stationing", turned off support for polylines with arcs in "remove duplicate points"
Added text rotation to "Draw from coordinates"
(2009-09-03 Build 530)
Fixed a bug in "Place Sloped text", added rotation and layer name to "Export text to Excel"
(2009-08-16 Build 529)
Added vertical text with layer name for reference lines in Cross-sections, great for annotation of borders n cross-sections. Added "Line start at:" in the Draw from coordinates, block at station. Useful if alignment station is other than zero.
Updated reference manual!
(2009-07-28 Build 528)
Fixed a bug in the "Place sloped text", problem due localization (decimal separator)
(2009-07-28 Build 527)
Fixed a bug in the Create 3D alignment (Surface profile). If user picked left vertical frame as elevation reference the resulting 3D line (alignment) was wrong. Similar command in the Profile polyline worked fine.
(2009-07-24 Build 525)
Fixed a bug in the Join 3Dpolyline command. Changed behavior of the "Create 3D alignment" now you get a question if you want to keep the unprofiled line in the drawing or replace it with the profiled line. Changed the triangulation command to create better triangulations, the breakline part has been rewritten and seems to work more stable now. Added support for booth 3Dpolylines, polylines and lines in the "Multi offset command"
(2009-07-10 Build 524)
The Trickle and Trickle All command (Edit/View surface, Tools) wasn't doing the job correct, sometimes the trace path stopped. This has been corrected in this update. I was testing some refinement for the triangulate algorithm and discovered that sometimes the algorithm could result in overlapping triangles, this is corrected in the update (no refinement is implemented). Added "Zoom to Surface View" in the "Edit/View" command, located under "Surface". This zooms AutoCAD's window to fit the loaded surface boundaries.
(2009-06-30 Build 520)
Added new command. Under Miscellaneous you find a "Dist" command for horizontal length and slope that can be used with Autocad's snap on. Fixed a bug in the "Table edit polyline". Added "Northing/Easting" in column headers in the "Draw from coordinates" command.
(2009-06-19 Build 514)
Made som enhancements to constrained triangulation. Fixed problems with "Create longitudinal features" in surfaces with holes. Added option to simplify (weed) longitudinal fetures.
(2009-06-13 Build 511)
New command for calculating Cut and Fill and component areas in cross sections. The command work for all kinds of cross sections not only those generated by CadTools and it will manage exaggerated scales. The result can be annotated as a table of points containing offset and elevation and a cut and fill area. The table can be useful as input in other software (Pizer EARTH's Cut & Fill Calculator)
Surface profiles now support crossing lines similar to the cross-section "Display references". The profile plot can be annotated with major and minor ticks and labels, you can annotate surface elevation for minor stations. A nice feature is displaying projected lines in the profile, you pick 3D polylines in the drawing and then CadTools displays it as a projection. This can be useful in many cases, as an example you could offset a couple of lines from the profile and drape them on the surface and finally display them as projected reference lines. By this you can get information of the surface elevation at any offset from the profile line.
New command, "Export Hatch area to Excel" useful for quantity calculations
New command, "Place sloped text" makes it easy to place elevation text based on a basepoint and a slope.