A Question of Power In AutoCAD Civil 3D

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If you train a bunch of AutoCAD using folk in AutoCAD Civil 3D you get some common questions. Errr. Actually these questions are usually formed as a statement. For example:

“We make a lot of stuff in our drawings that isn’t Civil 3D stuff. Civil 3D also seems to need lots and lots of Layers too. All these Layers are confusing. We probably don’t need them. Can we do anything about that to simplify things?”

Sure you can do that. You may actually end up working harder because you do.

Backwards Management

You might want to consider that you’re looking at the whole CAD management and publish thing backwards. Civil 3D in a very real sense turns these things upside down.

In AutoCAD, the ONLY things that make something mean something in your drawing is typically what Layer the thing is on and/or what the graphic specifics of the Block are.
You must worry about Layers because for the most part Layer Management the only way to get what you need to print out the door. In the AutoCAD world, you have to worry about all the silly little details ALL the time, because the sum total of all those many little details pile up on you in the end.

Aren’t you tired of that? Doesn’t that seem like a waste of time?

Civil 3D is NOT AutoCAD

Civil 3D employs a Style based management approach. Layers, blocks, and all that AutoCAD stuff is just something every Civil 3D Feature uses to “express” itself.  Get the Style, Label Style, or Set “right” and you get exactly what you want.

But there’s just regular AutoCAD stuff that isn’t Civil 3D stuff?

Really? Like what?