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Resolutions for a New Civil 3D Year

Tags surface, survey, survey db, figure, point, point display

This merry month I performed a rash of training and support for AutoCAD Civil 3D Survey and Surface creation. A recurring theme seems to be

“I know how to do this, but Civil 3D doesn’t do what I expect it to do.”

This wouldn’t be all that weird if the users were new to Civil 3D. We all know by now that AutoCAD Civil 3D isn’t your daddy’s CAD software.

In most cases the training and support requests came from folks who’ve been using Civil 3D for a while. True, some were doing new forms of work for State DOTs (like Caltrans here in California) and other places much farther afield.

Can More Be Confusing?

Most of the requests were actually about process – what we might call “workflow issues”.
Many of them were about quality assurance (QA) methods.

The combination of more capability in Civil 3D Survey and Civil 3D’s increased control of surface builds and display representations do change the rules of the surface QA game . Yep. A surface model is a surface model, but how you get there today in AutoCAD Civil 3D should be different.

This provides a spark for some Civil 3D New Year’s Resolutions.

Of course our Production Solutions for AutoCAD Civil 3D can significantly help you and your organizations make Autodesk’s civil engineering and survey software work in real work projects. Our video training resources can help you learn them too.

Do you always employ Survey Dbs?

  • Survey Dbs – Yes, maybe even more than one – can help you reduce your QA loops to faster and better surface models.
  • A Survey Db even with resolved point data seems like more work, but it pays off with a more managed approach to surface construction. See the videos.

Do you employ Survey Queries?

  • Maybe you tried a Survey Query in 2013 once and you were initially frustrated by the “new” SQL query syntax. Yep. The SQL wildcards are different. Anyone can learn them.
  • Survey Queries in 2015 can be a reusable resource that you can employ in project after project. This is a big productivity push you do not want to miss. See the videos.

Do you understand the significant benefits of Description Key Set functionality in Civil 3D?

  • A point is a point, Right? Wrong.
  • More ways to represent a point and the attached point data are a significant productivity benefit in Civil 3D.
  • If you employ Civil 3D points in your finished surface models, you still have things to learn. See the videos.

Do you employ the Process Linework command and know the Figure Edit interface?

  • Yes. People still argue that manually connecting the dots is faster than any other method.
  • Hopefully, these people are your competitors. ‘nuff said.

Do you know all the sometimes subtle places that the Create Breaklines appear in the Survey Toolspace right click menu?

  • Of course, to really get a kick out of this you have to use Survey Dbs, Queries, Toolspace sorts, and weed and supplement capabilities from Figures.

Do you really understand the Build properties of the Civil 3D surface generator?

  • Many people try to get the Build properties “right” and never ever change them. Then they miss the point completely.
  • We do have separate buckets for the surface data and what we do to with the data and when we do it via the Edit surface stack. So what the heck is that?

Do we resolve to better understand Surface Creation in AutoCAD Civil 3D for the New Year?

Happy New Year!