A Line of Type A Considered Opinion

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We talked about the need for out Release 5 AutoCAD linetype resources for AutoCAD Civil 3D last time. We support both NCS 4.0 and NCS 5.0 CAD Standards in our Production Solution products for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014, AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013, and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012.

I’d argue we need to consider what we do with these flexible and adaptive linetypes carefully. Why? How you employ them may significantly affect the man-hours in a Civil 3D project.

I believe you should ONLY allow linetypes in a publish/output drawing. What? I know. This may horrify some CAD folks.
It’s all about Work the Same and Publish on Demand.

Working Templates

That means Linetypes are never a part of a Civil 3D template – what we call a working or production template.

If you simply MUST have something to differentiate meaning by linetype in your working template, only employ generic ACAD linetypes to accomplish that. Employ as few linetypes as possible.
Spank users and principals who don’t.
Ok - maybe that’s not politically correct.
So just wack them upside the head like Jethro Gibbs of NCIS. He remains popular.

People adjust to a generic graphic approach really quickly. There’s a neuroscience reason for that. I won’t bore you with human virtues of neuroplasticity.
Simply put most Civil 3D users breathe a vast sigh of relief.
You save time and wasted energy across the board.
Everyone wins.

The InstantOn templates only include references to Continuous and Hidden intentionally by default.
Of the thousands and thousands of Civil 3D Style tools we sell and support in InstantOn Basic, InstantOn Survey, and Jump Kit, I think only ONE Style includes an explicit linetype reference.

The Jump Kit Civil 3D Style Library resources include many innovative and creative Style tools to help you avoid linetype use almost altogether. Once users get that form of Style replacement in Civil 3D, people find the Style tools really useful, flexible, and adaptable.

Publish Templates

Linetype in Civil 3D publish templates are another matter entirely. Publishing templates are useful beasts. They allow you to pump out the civil engineering and survey project data in any graphics form your customer requires.

At that point we want to be graphically specific to faithfully convey exactly what we mean to others in the language they understand.
Obviously, standard linetypes have an important part to play in that game.

Employ the Tools

You can still make managing the AutoCAD’s linetype Style a lot easier. Yes. Linetype is a Style by definition.

The best trick is to always employ tested and standardized Layer States. Layer State development is a significant part of AutoCAD Civil 3D customization. It’s so simple and, like the nose on our face, it is way-to-easy to ignore and leave up to chance and preference.

In more current releases like AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014, Civil 3D users can avoid the Layer Manager and get to the Layer State Manager directly right from many Ribbons in the Layer panel.

Hint: If you are still rooting about in the Layer State Manager for a living, you need to up your game, save time, and learn to manage AutoCAD Civil 3D by Style.

If you dare to take this more systematic, structured, and focused approach to AutoCAD linetype development and maintenance, you will produce more consistent work in Civil 3D with less time with less effort.

That’s Worth Careful Consideration

Better Consider Linetype in AutoCAD Civil 3D | A Line of Type – A Considered Opinion

Once again I purposefully left out pics from these linetype posts to make a point…which is?