Original Article Date: Sept 20, 2002
2004-04-05 Fix broken link.2004-06-21 Added information about setz.2004-11-08 Added nifty keyin from Phil and cool tip from Julie.
So, you've just inherited a 3D file and the elements need to be move to the same elevation (or flattened). Here are a few methods to accomplish just that.
Use Align Edges:The Align Edges tool can be found in the Manipulate tool box and can be used to quickly flatten your file. You can gather up your elements with either a Fence or put them in a Selection Set. Then activate the tool, adjust the Alignment to Top and select a Base Element. The Base Element will determine the elevation of the selected (or fenced) elements.
Do a Fence Scale:Another method of flattening your file is to do a Fence Scale. First set up the Active Depth that you want to flatten the elements to. For example, if you want to send all the elements to a depth of 3 in the Top view, keyin AZ=3 and enter a datapoint in the Top View. Then gather up the elements with a Fence and select the Scale Element tool. Adjust the X-Scale and Y-Scale to 1 and the Z-Scale to 0.00001. Then just enter a datapoint to accept.By the way, Phil Chouinard offers this nifty keyin to somewhat 'automate' this workflow:view on 1;vi=top;selv 1;az=0;selv 1;xs=1;ys=1;zs=0.0000001;choose all;scale;xy=0,0,0;choose none;as=1;nullNote, the choose all command in the above keyin will select every element in the active model whether you can see them or not. This also includes any element on levels that are turned off or not displayed.
V8.5 - Use the new XY= keyin that allows for relative coordinatesJulie posted this cool tip on the v8.general discussion group:"...keyin xy=#,#,500 will move all elements relative 0 in the X and Y planes, and absolute to 500 in the Z plane. Substitute whatever you want for 500."To see this keyin in action, take a look at the bottom of Placing Elements at Absolute CoordinatesExport to 2D:If you really don't need the file to be in 3D, then you can also flatten it by exporting to 2D. Take a look at File > Export > 2DUse CivTools:You could also use the Bentley Library utility Civil/Site Tools ("CivTools"). This V8-MDL contains a suite of tools specifically designed for civil type work, including one to move your elements to a particular elevation.
Use SetElemZ:You can also use this slick little V7 app to move your elements to the proper depth. It's called SetElemZ and can be found on Bear's site [broken]Use ModZ for MicroStation V8:Another free utility is Bob Biggar's ModZ which is available from The IDDEA Group [broken]. Thanks Bob!Use SetZ for MicroStation V8:In the V8MDLExamples.zip file (available from the Free Downloads category of SELECTservices Online), you'll find a nice little MDL called SetZ that allows you to move elements to a common elevation with a single button. Note that the MDL is uncompilied.Use 2D:Finally, there's a free utility on Tim's page [broken] called 2D. This little macro will flatten all elements to zero.
AskInga Article #123