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Plan for AutoCAD Civil 3D Features

Tags project, Project Management, uds, NCS, alignment, collector

The Civil 3D Managed Dynamic Model means that if you plan ahead carefully you can set a lot of the Data Reference connections up in advance using simple "place holder" Features and then replace the connections later with more detailed or "complete" ones later.

It Pays To Be Prepared

In other words, you can use simple Feature stuff to do the Dynamic Model building up front and then work on improving the Feature details as the project moves along. As the details become more important to you, you can work on improving the presentations too. See our Data Reference videos.

We do have to have a Planned and Managed Project concept in place to do this. Both where you store the Features and what you Name the Features you are going to employ is important. The Production Solution project employs NCS and UDS compliant 10_Model and 20_Reference storage folders to emphasize this idea.

In a recent post I talked about how the Project Structure is important and how that directly relates to the development of a more productive Civil 3D Project Template too.

Civil 3D Root Collectors

For Corridors and their output tools Plan and Profiles and Pages of Sections the primary "collector" is the Alignment Feature. For example: the Section Line Groups are collected in the Toolspace under a Named Alignment. We can't move the Section Line Groups around so...

Do you have an Alignment Naming plan?

Without an Alignment Naming Plan you are going to get confused as the number of alignments explode in your project. AutoCAD Civil 3D uses a lot more alignments than older software.

In our Production Solution Project, we employ a basic Alignment naming scheme based on a grid of potential project wide alignments and the primary direction of the alignment itself.

You can open the core Alignment data reference drawing to see the Production Solution Project's alignment naming scheme at work.

The Production Solution Project alignment naming method isn't a law. It's just a suggestion based on successful implementations. The type of project work you face may make a difference. Five miles of freeway reconstruction is not airport taxiway project nor is that anything like a new subdivision. Or is it? In any case you need Feature Naming Rules and you NEED to follow them.

Separate the Key Feature References

The fact that the project Alignments and their key design Profile Features are NOT stored in the drawings used to generate other Features like Corridors, published Profile Views, and more design Features like Intersections is important.

The fact that these Key project Features are stored without Style in the Production Solution Project is also important, but that's another story I've covered before and won't belabor here.

Separating Key Features out in the project in this fashion does allow you to REPLACE the Features as things change over the course of the project.

When you do the formal Feature replacement is a quality control benchmark you need to think about and establish.