The New NCS 5.0 - and Our MeHeWe

Tags NCS, ncs 5.0, CAD Standards, implementation, customization, block, symbol, Style, template

I had someone call me up and ask me about the new National CAD Standard (NCS) 5.0. For some reason, I'm seem to be becoming an "expert" on the subject of civil engineers and the National CAD Standard. I'd previously posted a short news item back in May, but I hadn't talked about NCS 5.0 much here on the blog. That was not because I don't think it's important.

Our Jump Customers know...

Employ the Jump products and you and your organization are More compliant with NCS 4.0 guidelines than anything we know of in the marketplace that is available for AutoCAD Civil 3D or even other civil engineering CAD software.

Recently, even Bentley announced NCS 4.0 compliant stuff for their main civil softwares.- which is why I remembered to do this post. I don't think the "need" to be NCS compliant is really great news for them either. Most of the DOT standards aren't even close. But that's just my humble opinion.
Autodesk doesn't even have to worry about problem...

The NCS 4.0 Version of AutoCAD Civil 3D Already Exists
    in the Jump Platform Release 4 Products

Yes, there's a reason that many of civil engineering organizations who have officially adopted the NCS have visited our site and downloaded and/or purchased Jump products. That includes almost all of the listed NCS supporting federal agencies too. Maybe a Free Jump download was another reason? Probably.

Where our Jump Platform NCS 4.0 products diverge in minor ways with published NCS recommendations and guidelines (and they do for good reasons) we even document it in writing. Imagine that. In almost all cases, we'll also supply paying customers with the ability to conform even More closely if they deem it necessary. By the way, that has NEVER happened.

Basically, I think we're pretty much NCS 5.0 compliant too at this point. However, there are lots details to check, document, and decide about. We'll do all that work before we slap on the NCS 5.0 sticker so to speak.

Standard compliance is a never ending quest with lots of picky detail. For example - the popular "ANNO" major group Layer Key is technically non-conforming according to NCS 5.0 because that technically should conform to ISO layer guidelines. However, Autodesk (and other CAD vendors) and almost everyone else employs this Layer Key in the real world in project and drawings. It is NCS 4.0 compliant - barely and for the same reason. The Jump uses the Key too for those purely practical everyday reasons.  

Do civil engineers HAVE to be NCS compliant?

Nope. No one does. That's not the point. The purpose of the NCS is to make your work and sharing your completed work EASIER and more USEFUL.

It's about People and the need to actively create productive environments for them to work in. 
To shorten (and lighten up) that REALLY BIG THING and help people remember to think about it and act on it during implementation and standards meetings I call it,

"MeHeWe"

Sounds almost Hawaiian doesn't it.

The point is you can significantly reduce a lot of internal and external communication time, training expense, and staff get up to speed time by following the NCS. You also don't have spend the wasted time and energy to reinvent the wheel inside AutoCAD Civil 3D either. If other smart people already did the work, USE it and then make THAT better. 

The NCS 5.0  is NOT a law. Technically, if you want to deliver work to the GSA, US Army Corps of Engieers, and the branches of the military (DOD), your plan set should conform to the NCS guidelines in one NCS version or another (e.g. NCS 3.1, NCS 4.0, etc).

Jump Platform Style

Civil 3D's style based (not layer based) management metaphor responds really well to NCS standards. Ok, getting it right does take some careful work down in the "CAD weeds". (We think that's a waste of user time, so we do that.) 
How things look in Civil 3D is purposely separated from the engineering data buried away in the the Features. Change the Style layer details and the output layers all change. Rename the Layers in a drawing and the Styles update too.
Therefore, given you have a well constructed set of Styles and Sets (like the Jump Platform) publication and output to OTHER standards or preferences is remarkably easier to accomplish.

Who would have thought of THAT 4-5 years and four releases of Civil 3D ago? Simply put. We did.

More than a Template

Our Jump Template Collection products have to be More than just a Civil 3D template or two to be NCS compliant. The NCS is far more than a Layer naming scheme. Any CAD or BIM Standard must be more than that to be effective in the real world and in production.

The NCS includes the Uniform Drawing Standards, Plotting Standards, and a lot more. Our Jump products deliver the entire basis for you to comply in those other areas too. Really? You betcha. We chose to make that affordable too.

More is Required

We didn't just rebuild block and symbol graphic libraries for the fun of it. See our Blocks Only NCS 4.0 and the Symbol Set 4.0 products. Everyone already has a sewer man-hole block. Who needs another one?
You might unless you want to handle all the picky little details of multiple Standard publication yourself. If you want to do that yourself, have fun. The effort will cost you more than $95 for Blocks Only or beoming a Jump Services Customer with access to all our products when you need them.

Our built-in ByDesign multiple standards capability (we call this "Symbol Set Technology") is central to the innovative Jump Platform approach. When we say the Jump Platform is
"A Higher Standard to Build On" we mean it. 

We employ the NCS as a basis of Common Ground and as the Path of Least Resistance. That's exactly what the NCS is there for in the first place.

We have an in-depth video presentation about the NCS and AutoCAD Civil 3D available on our webinars page

More is Possible

The Offical NCS 5.0 News

Here's a repeat of the May news post...so you can find out More

May 12, 2011 - The new National CAD Standards 5.0 was officially released.

Find out more about this latest release of the NCS and the changes here.

The official press release

What is the NCS?

The United States National CAD Standard® (NCS) consists of The American Institute of Architect's CAD Layer Guidelines, the Construction Specification Institute's Uniform Drawing System (Modules 1-8), and the Plotting Guideline.

The NCS coordinates these CAD-related publications to allow consistent and streamlined communication among owners and design/construction teams. Use of the NCS will result in reduced costs for developing and maintaining office standards and the transfer of building design data from design to facility management.