Happy New Year Civil 3D Users

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Earlier this month there was a barrage of tweets about the stock templates that ship with AutoCAD Civil 3D. By in large everyone seems to agree Autodesk’s stock templates are pretty pathetic. Many users attest they are “useless” or worse. There were a few tweets that contained replacement characters like #@$%.

What the Tweet?

Their original creator (who shall remain unnamed here) claimed they worked for his commercial firm. Few have a clue what they worked for. He also neglects to mention that the original templates were built 5 to 6 releases of Civil 3D ago. It’s not his fault anyway. Responsibility for the stock Civil 3D templates left his hands many years ago anyway.

Autodesk has done little or nothing to improve the stock templates other than add new basic Styles and Label Styles now and then for the ever growing list of new Civil 3D Features.

Maybe you can blame us…

We do the template thing so they don’t have to.

“You Sell Much Better Civil 3D Templates. What you Charge for them is Ridiculous”

Me? I bit my tongue and kept my fingers off my phone during this latest Twitter storm.
A couple of followers of mine actually tweeted me and encouraged me to chime in on the templates. “Tell people!
Honestly, the Twitter barrage was over in a few cyber-minutes – less in cybertime I suppose.

These events blow through the Twitterverse like thunderstorms.
Lots of wind, some loud noises, some bluster, and some people somewhere probably get soaked in the process.

This happens every time there’s a new AutoCAD Civil 3D service pack or release.
There are real world needs expressed in these repeated deluges.

There were some “interesting” points of view expressed on the templates topic.

The Unofficial Autodesk

“We know they’re not perfect. Autodesk can’t please everyone because everyone has different needs. We’re a global company. People in Asia don’t need the same templates as people in Kansas.”

Autodesk has made it clear they won’t take this level of responsibility.

At Autodesk it’s all about the POWER of USER customization anyway.
Autodesk makes software tools – Autodesk USERS and the rest of the Autodesk “value chain” make it productive.

In the marketplace this strategy has been very profitable and successful. It works.

Of course, if you are a big enough customer, Autodesk will happily charge you to do the customization work. In practice Autodesk typically hires consultants to actually do the upfront work and they work on the backend code. In the real world users inside the organizations end up doing a lot of the substantive work (defining what they really need) in the quality assurance phases of these projects.
This is a good thing.

The managed approach works and all of us get some substantial benefit from the outcomes of the process in the end. In a real way Civil 3D gets made cleaner, more functional, and potentially more productive for more of us.

It still leaves you with dumb templates to start from as the actual customizations are the property of the organizations. However, if the work was done for a governmental organization, you may be able to get at it – maybe or maybe not for free. Search and you may find.

The Consultant

I start over. I always build Civil 3D templates from scratch for all my customers!”

This tweet came from a consultant. It could have come from many an Autodesk Reseller too.
I’m sure his customers that follow his Twitter feed feel even more special about their templates too.

I’m sure the work is profitable.
I seriously doubt his customers get together to compare templates or would even care or dare to.

“Ours must be better. We paid so much for them.”

What annoys me is the unreality expressed in the tweet. No one as smart as he is, reinvents the wheel every single time.

I am never surprised when people send me their custom templates for review and I discover they are based on an older version our FREE download. That’s one reason that product exists.

No one has Start from Scratch.

The User

“I had to spend months to get a template that worked. I’m still pounding away. The Autodesk templates were useless for most of our work.”

There’s the real need clear as a bell.

His mistake is thinking he had to hoe the row by himself.
Secondly, he probably hasn’t realized that he’ll be maintaining his personalized customization forever.
That may give him some job security for all the wrong reasons.

The Complete Template Solution for AutoCAD Civil 3D

People from all over the world purchase our InstantOn Basic and Jump Kit products all the time.
Mind you many of our International customers have to customize the product into metric after they buy it. No problem. The how to do that fits in a short email. Really.
Even that is still much less work and much less expensive than doing the work yourself.

Everyone Gets More than Their Money is Worth

Everyone Tweaks our IOB templates a little bit too. The product is built that way as we say “By Design”.

Thin the vast number of Styles down to what you need – Fast, easy, and you still have all the rest
You can easily add thousands of more Styles with Jump Kit and make those available in minutes.
Change the symbol graphics. Fast and easy and the fixes are based on basic ACAD skills.
Change the Layer Scheme. It’s really not rocket science. Can you build and run a RENAME script?
Change the template to CTB from STB. Dumb and usually unnecessary but easy and quick.
Learn how to use Civil 3D with our templates – Fast and easy because they work
Maintain what you get – we even supply a complete functional project and dataset
Better yet our templates always upgrade to the next release - guaranteed
Publish the work you produce – Better results to ACAD dwg, DGN, etc
InstantOn Basic really does plot Plan and Plan Set out of the box
We can go on and on…

From Survey to Finish InstantOn Basic is the Complete Template Solution for Civil 3D

Next week we’ll release the new versions of the InstantOn Basic and Jump Kit  products for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013.

Happy New Year!

2014 is already on the way…