A Geotechnical Update for Civil 3D

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Early this month Autodesk and Keynetix, Ltd released the latest update to the Geotechnical module for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016. One supposes this is a preparatory release for the upcoming AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017 release. That says - Geotechnical in Civil 3D will stay around. That’s a good thing.

Sometimes it’s hard to pay attention and not miss to all the other good and useful stuff that goes on in between the major Autodesk releases. Do we all have to suffer from a marginal attention spans driven by shallow social media madness? Tweet that. It’s not boring. Haha. Did you pay attention to all the 2016 Productivity Packs and more? The News helps me remember. Dang me. I need to remember to check the Toolbox too.

The Autodesk Geotechnical Module 2016 latest update is delivered to subscription customers typically through the new Autodesk Desktop app. Arrgh. Come on Autodesk. What happened to my install history? Presently there is also no way to get back to the readme in the Desktop app after install. Here’s the link to the readme.

Autodesk® Geotechnical Module

“…is designed to integrate geotechnical data with AutoCAD Civil 3D and provides the ability to build and manage complex Civil 3D surfaces and profiles in geotechnical data into BIM workflows”

The Geotechnical Module for Civil 3D has been around since the 2015 release and is developed by Keynetix, Ltd in the UK.
The install adds a new Ribbon and therefore changes the stock menus in Civil 3D. You do save a custom Workspace right away when you install, don’t you? See the Civil 3D Setup video.

Yes, the GM has an initial British flare, but you can change that. Really? Really.

Here’s a link to the From the Ground Up blog post by Jack Strongitham on the initial Geotechnical 2016 release. The post includes some helpful install instructions if you are lost in the subscription haze.

Here’s the link to the Keynetix YouTube channel. There are basic Geotechnical Module training video lists there. You can find links to all the Geotechnical training videos on our Civil Web Training page. They proved themselves useful to me. There are useful things to learn about Civil 3D Surfaces, Boundaries, and Feature lines in there even if you never want to be a geotechnical expert.

A YouTube Video of the initial 2016 release that covers the included features.


The Autodesk® Geotechnical Module consists of the following features:

  • Import borehole data
  • Create 3d borehole modules
  • Display 2d borehole strip diagrams
  • Display 2d borehole diagrams on Civil 3D profiles based on a buffered alignment
  • Create and manage Civil 3D surfaces based on borehole data

Note that, according to the readme, the Geotechnical Module employs AutoCAD primitives and results can be employed in other AutoCAD based product. That isn’t technically exactly correct as the product does employ Civil 3D Features and Styles. They can be dumbed down thanks to the handy tools in Productivity Pack 1 for Civil 3D 2016. Don’t forget that.

The Geotechnical Module employs an external Microsoft SQL Server Express database to help maintain your customizations and manage the diverse geotechnical data in projects and the displayed results in Civil 3D. The holey data can be related to Civil 3D Alignments. That reminds me of Alignment based Point Groups and Better Deliverables.

Is everything in Civil 3D related and collected? Ok. Never mind…

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