Shared Civil 3D Resources Not in a Project

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The Framework for AutoCAD Civil 3D by default employs the concept of project-based resources.
Why? Many civil engineers and surveyors work on projects with different design, survey, and deliverable requirements. Therefore. a project based approached to those specific resources makes the most sense. This is not always the way things are in your local version of Civil 3D Land.

It’s All About the Data Baby

Needless-to-say how you manage the data shortcuts in your project also matters significantly.
Yes. Every Civil 3d project, no matter how small, needs Data Shortcuts.
You might want to check out this important video on Data Shortcut Methods in Civil 3D.

AutoCAD Civil 3D Data Shortcut Setup and Workflows

Civil 3D is very flexible about project shared data management. We do have choices.

We post new Civil 3D training videos all the time to Video Training and Civil Web Training. If you Register, and login there's even more.

Oh. I almost forgot to remind you...
Remember to store your shared DREF resources in NoStyles drawings – a drawing with only Standard styles. Project upgrades, template changes, or new publication requirements are easier to deal with.
You’ll be amazed how happy you are when you take the time to do this religiously in Civil 3D.
Believe or suffer.

The Details of an All Projects Setup

If you want to employ a single set of Framework resources all the time that is very easy.
Most of the details are taken care of for you by the Framework structure itself. Imagine that.
Did you know that some folks out there who don’t use our products employ our installation structure?
A case of the Framework for Civil 3D gone wild?

I included some useful comments in the instructions about other things you should also consider while you get the setup done. Maybe you’ll pick up a Civil 3d install tip or two.
In Windows 10 you may need to be an administrator or run as administrator to make some of the changes below. Just sayin’.

  1. Create a resources folder somewhere. Yes. It can be on a network share.
    Call it CAD, C3D, or something that makes sense to you.
    Some organizations like that folder to be local but built via a copy from a network share.
    That allows you to control and manage updates without blowing up on-going projects.
    Either the local of network share method works or even a managed combination.
    Yes, you can build the copy of the folder and contents into a Civil 3D or IDS network deployment if you want.
  2. Copy the 00_Resources folder from the InstantOn desktop download to the location.
    You can add Windows shortcuts to this folder to the shared network Jump Kit library , Symbol Set, and Documentation folders if you want. I do.
    We have a couple of customers who put these Windows shortcuts at the root of their Civil 3D project folder. Which is an interesting way to make more Style available without wandering around.
  3. Add a new AutoCAD Profile folder to the 00_Resources folder.
  4. Open the default Civil and immediately Create a named Civil 3D workspace from the default Civil 3D one
    You do NOT want to change the installed default Civil 3D one.
    Remember that Tool Palettes get installed to named workspaces. Oh. Bother.
  5. Build an AutoCAD Profile that points to the included folder locations for all the resources.
    This is standard InstantOn and Civil 3D install stuff.
    You need to make sure those resources are FIRST in AutoCAD’s search paths.
    Move up not Move On.
    Plotstyles, Template locations, and Sheet Sets can all be pointed to correctly.
    The linetype resources really do need to get copied to the local roaming resources folder to actually work without other more elaborate manual AutoCAD Profile edits.

    If you employ lots of XREFs in projects on a network, it might be a good idea to point those temporary locations in the AutoCAD Profile to one place on the network not local folders.
    That helps keep XREFs in synch and improves your daily in project performance.

    No reason not to build additional AutoCAD Profiles to point to secondary resource locations if you need them.
    That works well if you have a few significant clients with a few varied resource details.
  6. Export the AutoCAD Profile to an .arg file. This changes Keys in the current user Windows profile when it is imported. Heady install geek stuff.
  7. Edit the AutoCAD Profile .arg file in Notepad to deal with the Civil 3D Survey PATH particulars or
    go on and use a the typical Survey Settings approach to do it.
    The saved Survey Settings approach is more repetitive and boring to employ. Is it more flexible? Not really.
    These minor Survey AutoCAD Profile edits are worth the extra trouble most of the time.
    Note the need for double \’s in the .arg file paths. It’s an XML thing.
    If you don’t think you need Civil 3D Survey even for design, you need to get a life.
  8. Copy the edited AutoCAD Profile to the resource folder
  9. Open Civil 3D – Delete your old version of the Profile sans edits.
  10. Import the new AutoCAD Profile and Set it Current

You might want to repeat the process for a raw AutoCAD/ AutoCAD Map install too. Just sayin’.

You might want to build new Windows Desktop shortcuts to call the profiles by name. I do.
To add them to All Users pick the installed Civil 3D shortcut in Apps, Right click>>More>>Open folder location. Copy and rename to default Civil 3D shortcut and change the named AutoCAD Profile called in the Target properties. In this case Target is not the name of a store that loses your identity while they try to profile you.

In any case now you are ready to use the best Civil 3D template and style resources available anywhere for any price with a single (or multiple) resource setup. Work with the Good Stuff.

Get Release 7The Framework for AutoCAD Civil 3D

PS for install geeks.

You’ll note that in the AutoCAD Profile .arg file all AutoCAD apps use the following application user variables.






These have remained the same for many releases although the location in a specific Windows OS may change. Which is the whole point of them in the first place.

You also might want to pay attention to where and how a Civil 3D AutoCAD Profile employs them.

Technically, you can create your own Windows user environment variables and search and replace. I generally think that is an often dangerous waste of time, but your circumstances may vary.

Yes. You can build the resource folders into the User folder structure. Why bother? Well, maybe you have staff or students who move computers all the time. In the real world this happens.

One of these days I need to remind myself to let our customers do this in a Cloud too. Hmm?