I thought I’d throw some Upgrade from the Free Jump to InstantOn Basic 4 AutoCAD Civil 3D suggestions into a single post. That accomplishes a little product documentation and greater understanding in one place instead of just flapping my lips repeatedly.
You can also catch a webinar or a recording of the same elsewhere on this site.
IOB is More Then Free
If you have the FREE Jump and you upgrade to a version of InstantOn Basic (we have them in multiple releases), you don't need the Free Jump for AutoCAD Civil 3D anymore except for whatever tweaks you already make in there.
Hopefully, you already did you your title block updates in the Sheet Template while you did the Evaluation process. An evaluation should actually be productive work don't you think? That makes More sense to me anyway.
The Jump Project is More
Install and get the WHOLE Jump project data set running.
REPLACE all the AutoCAD RESOURCE files in your resources locations with the new ones you find in the SAME place they were in the FREE.
There are supplied NCS 4.0 ACAD.lin files that are NOT in the Free for example.
The Design and Survey Model templates resources files in IOB are nice but they are far from the whole story.
We call the Jump a collection of templates for a REASON. Civil 3D Project templates Matter. Civil 3D Sheet Templates Matter. Why? Integrated together they all save you time and they make your working production environment consistent.
We put it this way...
Work the Same and Publish on Demand
The Jump project is there for More than just some example Civil 3D templates and Civil 3D Styles.
The Jump Project is the best way to test your Styles and Sets and finally keep your production templates working over time. Hey! It's a training environment. It is a development environment. It is a TESTING lab. It is a SANDBOX - A place to kick the snot out of what you build. Will what you build stand up to the remorseless Tides of Time? There is another new release coming.
A Project For Projects
Think of the Jump project as THE project to update all other projects from.
But How do I to Get Them in There?
Use the IOB-2012 >>00_Resources>>Styles>>My Style Drawing folder and drawings you store there to hold your changes to various Feature and Label Styles. For example:
You’re in one of your project drawings (built from a IOB template) and find you need a surface Style that is different from anything in IOB. This Stuff happens.
Say a 0.1’-1’ Style to look carefully at really flat surfaces in parking lots, corridors and intersections.
Copy the closest Style you can find (maybe a (Pr) 1-5 Contours and Carefully rename it using your org or personal initials at the end of the name (e.g. change “– JS” to “– XXX”).
Change the Style properties to get what you need. In our case just the Contour range properties.
CAREFULLY go back update the Style Name and Description appropriately to clarify the DIFFERENCES. If you don't, I guarantee you WILL be sorry.
Test the STYLE in the project drawing.
This is a first pass and maybe all you think you NEED.
BUT You Are NOT Done
You need to get that custom Civil 3D Style you built somewhere you can reuse it later and maybe test it More thoroughly. Does it PLOT correctly etc?
Do you need New Major and Minor Contour Label Styles to deal with this weird Style and make it More useful for better surface QA. Maybe forcing the colors this way will visually make things easier to evaluate what's really going on?
Maybe you don’t need to do all this stuff NOW, but you can’t just let a STYLE, LABEL STYLE, or SET sit there in ONE project drawing. We ALL lose them, forget where we put them, and do the whole thing again later down the line. That should sound familiar. Maybe you're doing that too much and too often?
Start a new drawing from the No_Styles model template. That dwt is in the 00_Resources\Templates folder. This is simply a dwt generated with only the "Standard" stuff that is automatically built by Civil 3D code. There are other useful things to do with No_Styles project drawings like store upgradable Features. But I digress...as usual.
Manual Drag and Drop
Drag and drop the new Style(s) from the project drawing into this empty new drawing.
I always make the New drawing CURRENT and copy from the Toolspace Styles tab FROM the project drawing. If you have a collection of Label Styles to move around, always work from the bottom up and tree branch out in the Toolspace. Oh yeah! Always Do Expressions FIRST.
Save that "container" drawing to the My Style Drawings folder with an appropriate Name.
I suggest drawing Names By Feature (e.g. Surface_Contours.dwg)
An even LONGER explanatory name is even better at this point – this is just a container so you can FIND those darned Styles you made later.
Pursue The KNOWN Good
You should use the Jump project to at some point test and STORE the Styles and Sets you create APART from working projects.
This gives you a KNOWN good to update things from.
The need for THAT better make sense.
If it does NOT, please get some Civil 3D training from someone who knows the ropes.
You can add the Styles from this container drawing to ANY drawing (or template) using the same Drag and Drop method.
You can also employ INSERT @ 0,0,0 (with Explode checked) to add the styles and sets from any Style container to any drawing or template.
The INSERT EXPLODE method does NOT work for Criteria Styles. Some Complex Sets also don’t like this either in any release or service pack.
The New Import Styles Tool
The 2012 Manage>>Style Import tool also works, but read the fine print and PRACTICE a bunch before using THAT tool on live project drawings. Use the Style Tools on COPIES.
Better to be slow, systematic, and successful than fast and very frustrated later. The Style Import tool also doesn't know a Label Style Default from a hole in the ground.
Like I said Pay Attention to the Fine Print.
The Core ACAD Styles Matter
Any Styles you have tweaked in the Free Jump you can pass over into an IOB template (or drawing) using these methods.
None of these methods will OVERWRITE Block , Layer, Textstyle references – any ACAD Style stuff already INSIDE the template or drawing you put them into.
Remember Layer State Files will change ANY and ALL Layer Properties and the Civil 3D Styles DO NOT CARE - unless you make them.
So to tweak the Layer properties do them in one drawing.
Save the State, Export it (using a container drawing or las file).
This is pretty much the exact same process as a Style update only the names and resource containers have changed.
You can make a Layer Rename Script that changes the NAMES of the Layers too.
The Civil 3D Styles DO NOT CARE.
You can use Microsoft Excel to build these. I do.
Blocks may be replaced by building a drawing with the “right” pictures of the blocks
Employ the SAME block names that all the Styles point to.
You can use a Block Rename Script to do this just like the Layer Names.
Excel works for this too.
Adding the Styles to this new better Blocks drawing therefore updates all the Styles to use the new pictures.
Remember if you think a bit about it you are REALLY most often constructing a Publishing template for the Civil 3D Feature data you collect in your working project. If you give your NAMES in order and ducks in a ROW you can Save yourself a lot of work. You can...
Be A Hero
These are the Upgrade to InstantOn Basic 4 AutoCAD Civil 3D biggies that most people ask about.
There are More blog posts and even detailed recordings of most of this stuff on the website too.
More and Less Beyond IOB
We make both a deeper collection of blocks and point styles called a Symbol Set (block libraries).
We also make the Jump Kit – a collection of 5000 styles and sets all broken up By Feature that add a LOT More resources to IOB.
These do cost more but save you a ton of hassle building More essential stuff.
There are like 250 Profile View styles and 225 Section View Styles in the Jump Kit etc etc etc.
The NCS 4.0 Symbol Set has like 750 Point Styles- it even has flavors of vaults.
Before you build count the cost.
The odds of getting close to what you REALLY want is good.
It's probably already in there.
These shared resource tools keep getting better all the time too and there's no sweat on your brow to get them. You have more important things to do. Really!