public agencies are not and cannot be…

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Civil 3D CAD Standards for Government

Tags standards, CAD Stamdards, ncs, ncs 4.0, ncs 5.0

CAD Standards for AutoCAD Civil 3D in public agencies are not and cannot be the same as they were for old CAD based software. All of those CAD applications improved upon hand-drafting, by reduction of the replication of basic drawing work and adding some “design” tools to do that faster. The result: work took fewer the man-hours. We could also be more detailed in less time. We shared the same exact details.

Double Jeopardy

Successful repeatable results required a lot of prescribed and exacting graphic detail. You all know the game. The drawing file replaced the sheet but that might be out there for anyone to touch. “Bob! YOU messed with my drawing?” Every single little dot and tittle (every CAD primitive) had to be in the right place (on a Layer in AutoCAD) to produce acceptable published and plotted output.

Drafting standards (were they really that standardized?) were replaced decades ago with the mantra of CAD Standards. Today we even got a National CAD Standard (NCS) to make things “official”.  

Sessions in CAD Standards and CAD Management still remain one of the most well attended tracks at Autodesk University. Register for AU 2013 here. Over the years I taught more than a few.  AutoCAD geeks are passionate about the standards stuff. It was a necessity.

The why behind the CAD Standards has morphed.

Along Came a Spider

Along came model-based, data-centric design software and the Standards world began a mandatory change.
Do BIM Standards replace CAD Standards?
Why would they do that? What’s the difference?
What is that all about? It’s simple,

Publish the “Right” Data in the Best Form

If the contractor employs GPS driven grading equipment on a public works project, handing the firm contour lines on the sheet of paper is not helpful.
If you need the voting public’s buy in on a roadway project, classic Plan and Profile sheets are just about meaningless in a public meeting.
If another department employs another CAD or GIS application, can your deliverable remain the same? How do you get your consultant’s work delivered in an acceptable and easy to use form?

More is Required

Standards for AutoCAD Civil 3D are not and cannot be the same as they were for our old CAD primitive based software.  Yes, internally we do need consistent ways and means to validate the data in the models we and others construct. These must be published in many forms from AutoCAD Civil 3D.

Internal new Standards must not constrain our internal productivity, new workflows, or our data publication capacity.

We chant, “Work the Same Publish On Demand.”

Separate the Value

Our internal graphic standards, processes, and workflows must maintain the increasingly valuable separation between the data-centric model and the published and/or submitted result.

BIM, CIM, BIM for Infrastructure, or whatever we want to call it is about that added value of iteration - more choices in less time. Call it more Intelligent Design. No matter what it’s called, it is guaranteed that what is required of all design civil engineering and survey professionals in the future will increase in complexity, detail, and in more and varied forms of publication.

We developed our Production Solution products from the ground up with this essential truth in mind. Our solutions are both structured and systemic for the simple reason that Standards and project work must be managed.

A Standard to Build Standards On

We base all our products on the NCS and other recognized civil engineering and survey recommendations that are accepted by public works agencies.
We take great care to make all the parts and pieces compliant.
They work together within AutoCAD Civil 3D in an integrated and user friendly way. This is critical to standards adoption and use.

Better Standards Empower Work and Productivity

We believe that specific and fully documented details are a given. Information clarity is a practical necessity for a technically demanding Standard for AutoCAD Civil 3D that works.

We are committed to a Standard that is flexible and graphically adaptable. Our products and resources can be customized with limited levels of basic AutoCAD or AutoCAD Civil 3D user skill. Any customization requires a limited man-hour commitment in both training and execution.

Seamless support for multiple releases of AutoCAD Civil 3D is mission critical requirement for any model-based Standard. Organizations with infrastructure projects and public works projects that may span years cannot be confined by upgrade, compatibility, and conversion issues.

If we err as product developer and Autodesk Developer Partner, it is and will be on the side of too much choice. The real world is a demanding place.
Our foundational production seat product, InstantOn Basic alone includes over 2000+ Styles.
Our Jump Kit in-depth Style libraries for Civil 3D include style tools that number in the thousands.
Jump Kit includes the largest NCS compliant block content library for AutoCAD based applications available anywhere – the Symbol Set NCS.

There’s a host of reasons why many federal, state, and local government agencies and particularly public works and survey departments employ our Production Solution products all across America.

It Makes More Sense