Release 6 Framework for Civil 3D upgrades…


That Remains Unspoken in Civil 3D

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We recently made it official that the Release 6 Framework for Civil 3D upgrades and runs well in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017. I know Civil 3D templates and Civil 3D Styles that actually work and upgrade real world in production environments are shocking but true. Back at the shack, we are banging away at a more powerful, more useful, and more productive Release 7. We’re getting there. People will be pleased.

What the heck? We recently released a free Linetypes AddOn to our Release 6 customers. Maybe it’s a tasty, little teaser.

“Dave? Do our Templates and Styles for Civil 3D do that?”

“You know…Get better without any additional effort on our part.”

Autodesk has published a rash of new features videos for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017. In his new Civil Immersion blog Jeff Bartels is doing another set. These do a good job of covering the nuts and bolts of the new Civil 3D 2017 basics which Jeff is always so good at delivering. Watch this one…

Reference Templates in Civil 3D 2017

I am a fan of the Reference Template in Civil 3D. I said as much as soon as it was publically appropriate to do so. Read the Civil 3D 2017 Template Reference Mania post. I don’t want to bore anyone with what has already been said.
What struck me about Jeff’s new feature video on Reference Templates most was…

The Unspoken Truth

The execution in the real world of Reference Template practice and workflow depends on effective Style Naming Conventions and Rules. The little Style collection used in the video disguises this. It has almost no bearing on the project-based production world unless you want to perform demos that make life and work in Civil 3D Land look easy. Ok for Jeff. Not so much for the rest of us.

Autodesk loves to do this with their marketing-based, feature-based approach to product improvement. They provide a new tool and make the management reality and daily work your problem – It is your fault if the tool fails to perform.

If the notorious co-worker Bob comes along and adds a space character to Jeff’s Proposed alignment style name, the whole process comes to naught. We all learn pretty early about Civil 3D’s dependence on exact names. Around here we manage a Jump Kit style library collection of thousands and thousands of styles. Yes. We’ve been known to accidentally add or drop a space on occasion.

Style Names and Rules

We publish the entire Style Naming Conventions and Rules employed in the Framework for Civil 3D in the public domain. If you use AutoCAD Civil 3D, you can benefit. Get the Production Solutions documentation download here. It’s all in there including the What, Why, and How. Awesome.

This is an Open document that’s been around in one form or another since the early days of AutoCAD Civil 3D. Yes. We’ve always included a shortened Civil 3D user Cheat Sheet version with all our InstantOn product documentation too. The whole enchilada is complex and detailed and for good reason.

We gladly change things in Style Naming Conventions and Rules based on careful consideration of customer feedback and, more importantly, field testing with Civil 3D users.
Often as daily users we have to identify the right Style name in a confined (and unsortable) pick list in the Civil 3D user interface. Autodesk appears unwilling to fix that.

Name Identification and Consistency is Key

We won’t claim our Style Naming Conventions and Rules are perfect. They are the only public ones that we are aware of in the civil engineering, survey, and construction marketplaces. The names unfortunately get dependent on rule-based code abbreviations because of all the differentiation of annotation that Civil 3D can express in Label Styles, for Labels in View Features with multiple anchors, etc.

Put another way – Could you live with one Proposed alignment style can get real work done? Probably. It just wouldn’t be a very productive form of work. You definitely need the right Proposed style in your publication drawing for that project. How many Alignment Label Sets do you need? These include how many Label Styles? Don’t you have working drawings and different publication drawings? You need a plan. The Framework does that.

Civil 3D Reference Templates will help us all. They aren’t the solution to the entire production problem and the Management of Style in Civil 3D.

Yes. I’ve called for Style Name Templates to be an important part of the software since the initial beta of Civil 3D. By this I mean a templated way for users to produce Style names from rules that can be managed in Civil 3D.

“Why would anyone want that?”

The Unforgiven Truth

You may recall this is the same response I got for Reference Templates idea back in the day.

Thank God at least they did the object name templates albeit without rule support. I won’t hold my breath. For now it’s back to the intimate details of a better Release 7 Framework for AutoCAD Civil 3D.

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Buy or upgrade to one of our ridiculously inexpensive and productive
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For a limited time get two (2) releases of the Framework for Civil 3D for the price of one.

Customers who purchase or upgrade to
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between Apr 15, 2016 and our Release 7 ship date
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