Instant Artistry in Civil 3D

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Let’s face it when we think AutoCAD Civil 3D civil engineers and survey people don’t think art. Yet to get the software to produce what you want is a form of art and craftsmanship, don’ ja know.

I saw this documentary about one of the world’s best guitar builders the other day on one of those educational channels. The man’s technically a luthier. He mentors and trains other luthiers for a living too. He claims to run a trade school. Sometimes I feel like that.
The host asks him an interesting question,

“Are you an artist?”

Mind you this man fixes the guitars that none of us can afford but all of us pickers lust after. I’ve had the opportunity to play a couple of famous guitars including a Washburn. That’s a story for another day. Anyway you never forget. This dude builds some of the world’s best guitars for the you-know-whos.

Anyone is their right mind would call him an artist. He looks at the host and says,

No. I’m a craftsman. It’s all about the tools and using the tools.
I’m definitely not an artist.”

Ok. They just showed him sculpting a neck by hand in a few minutes from a blank. All the time he’s yakking about his jig, the vice, his chisels, and the hand tools. He’s an old guy – not ancient. Been at the trade since he was sixteen. He crossed the 10,000 hour mark to become an expert long before he was twenty. He chats away and caresses functional beauty out of a well-prepared bit of nothingness.

“Once you understand the steel in a chisel, how to sharpen it, and the feel of the wood, it gets easier.”

Me and the host are shaking our heads. I know what the host is thinking – Yeah Right. Mind you this fella refers to fret jobs on priceless guitars as the basic “oil changes” of his business. That they are.

The host asks, “How many hours do you put into building this guitar.” It’s a big box acoustic with a reasonable amount of inlay. Maybe an NGO will buy me one for stress relief or my Civil 3D induced PTSD. You might need an Obama infrastructure grant.

“About forty. But I know you think my number’s wrong. It’s not. That’s just the hands-on time. I count that. Sometimes the wood fights you and you have to stop and ponder on it. That takes as long as it takes. My customers want a great instrument. They pay for and get that.”

The facts are this unassuming person literally reinvented many of the tools of his trade in your lifetime. Mind you luthiers have been at it for a couple of thousand years. That is innovation. Way Cool.

Get the New Framework for Civil 3D

We added a host of new thematic Civil 3D styles to the new Release 7 Framework.
They allow you to test the timber of your surfaces, parcels, or corridors.
Find out how we did that crafted magic of color here.
We do the same enchantment for the civil infrastructure itself.
These tools work in both STB and CTB and in all the recent releases of AutoCAD Civil 3D.
Trust me. That, my friends, is a work of Civil 3D craftsmanship all by itself.
Should we call the Release 7 Framework…

InstantOn Artistry