Engineering the Digital Civilization

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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Making A Contour Plan On AutoCAD | Application of Polar Tracking

Drawing a sheet of the data obtained from the field is an extremely tedious task but it can't be ignored or left as it is a part of term work in the Second Year of engineering Under Pune University.

Well leaving the odds behind, the entire project  is interesting and fun in itself. The calculations are damn tough but using excel and a few formulas it’s just a matter of data entry, the computer does the work for you.

If you want to learn or download the spreadsheet that I used for this project, you may read my article about contour calculations on excel by clicking here.


Coming Back to the point:
AutoCAD is a handy tool to plot this time consuming and error prone sheet comfortably. In this post, I shall be sharing our experience and how we accomplished this task of eating an elephant in an extremely limited time and with minimum efforts.

  • We made two teams as there were to stations that were approximately 26 meters apart.
  • As there were about 360 readings observed from each team, both the teams using different computers plotted each of the stations complete reading.
  • Once both the readings are on AutoCAD we took both the parts on PC and then compiled it into one single file.
While plotting the readings on AutoCAD the only command of maximum use to us and the only life saver was the "Polar Tracking" feature.
The following video demonstrates how to use polar tracking on AutoCAD

Once you've learned about polar tracking all you just need to use the line command and insert the distances from the point of observation

    Like for an instance you could just take the lenght like if its 20m and RL at that point is 102 so to plot this you need to use the line command l and then lock in the angle using the polar tracking feature and then type the distance 20 and then enter after that you may place a marker like a point or a small circle with a text representing the RL of that point. In this way just by the same method complete all the entries.
 This could be an extremely boring and I would be very happy to learn about new or alternative techniques, please comment below!
I've made a short video giving glimpse of the entire procedure which is as follows:


Finally using two Softwares some complex logic and a few cups of tea I could complete the entire project sheet not to forget my companions who worked a lot with me.

After printing the AutoCAD model into PDF It looked something like below:

Clearly visible we used two stations on a mountain....


Hope this piece of text and the motion graphics were of some use, please comment below...
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