Civil 3D Customization Kickstart

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The Framework for Civil 3D
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Autodesk folk say everyone wants an AutoCAD Civil 3D built their way. I believe professional civil engineers and surveyors really want their expensive Autodesk code to work and produce work that is acceptable to them and those that they deliver too. If that’s the goal of your AutoCAD Civil 3D customization, we can work with that.

We build and maintain the most downloaded, most used, and perhaps deepest customization of AutoCAD Civil 3D on the planet. By many accounts, Jump Kit is the AutoCAD Civil 3D US Country Kit. Find out why.
We’ve been at this for longer than anyone else. People declare it shows. Our products deliver results in real world civil engineering and survey projects every day. The current Release of the Framework is…

Robust and Feature Rich

This thing we do isn’t really just a productive, useful, and national standards compliant customization of multiple releases of AutoCAD Civil 3D from the upcoming release to 2015 and even back into the dark ages. More is built-in ByDesign. We continuously work at the Framework platform, our customization engine behind, so you don’t have to. The products produced from the engine get better. Your Upgrades and project deliverables are easier. Life is good.

The Framework for Civil 3D is a practical customization engine to help you build and systematically maintain AutoCAD Civil 3D your way. People ask,

“How do I get started to do that?”


I personally do a lot of Standards Development and implementation work. The building of the Framework has consequences. Some of these projects have gone on for years in large organizations with lots of departments with internal and external customers who have interesting interoperability challenges and conflicted Standards. Sounds complex. It is. If you have an interesting challenge, please feel free to call.

Whether clients or large or small the following counter intuitive advice always surprises everyone.
The people who follow it succeed.
The folks who don’t tend to wallow in the muck of their own making.

People First

You need an intelligent Microsoft Office capable and hopefully web-aware intern or assistant.
STEM program, disciplined, and self-motivated high school kids work great.

No. Do not employ CAD staff at this stage.
They have personal “ownership” issues, over-educated options, and user preconceptions that will get in the way of the initial list making work at hand.
God forbid, you assign the work to your best people or a CAD Manager. What a waste.
Keep your CAD staff working.

It helps if the people have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Kidding aside, you can work with the “detail” orientated.
If they are good at Excel (it helps to understand “string” formulas) or code modern websites for fun or marginal profit all the better.
You’re an engineer or surveyor. You can watch them use Excel and tell in probably a minute or less if they have a reasonable level of spreadsheet skill. Make me a cell formula that concatenates lookups from another sheet. Can they learn to do it quickly? Bring me one back tomorrow.

In the interview ask them to describe their personal use of “web frameworks” and “CSS skills”. Have them show you a working site on their phone and discuss the details. Odds are you will understand little or nothing about what they are talking about. Great. You may learn new interesting things.
You are looking for visual graphic skills. Are they data display aware? Do they have an eye for the specifics of detail.
Remember you are profiling for specific forms of human intelligence not experience.

List Building

Their initial work will be producing detailed lists of things to be matched to other detailed lists of things. This process isn’t rocket science except for the sad fact is many people won’t do the detailed and at times tedious work that’s needed. We tend do a few and then move one to the more exciting stuff.

The little foxes in the field spoil the crop.

“What about their AutoCAD and AutoCAD Civil 3D Skills?

Isn’t that part of the opportunity you intend to give the intern? We can help…for free.

Honestly, only basic ACAD skills are required. Can you open a drawing? Can you get a listing of core AutoCAD tables? Can you Copy Paste from the ACAD command line and a few key AutoCAD and Civil 3D dialog boxes? Can you run an AutoCAD script file at the command line?

A couple of hours of specialized and directed coaching from a cadpilot you already pay will get it done. Our free Members section of the website includes all of these details. Who knew?

AutoCAD Essentials First

You need a list (INSERT ?) of the AutoCAD blocks you employ in your current deliverables. Pull the list from more than one plan set. Use our supplied Spreadsheet tools and extract the blocks (a WBLOCK script) into a folder or a collection of folders. Build a match list of your symbol (block) names with the supplied Symbol Set names. See this updated and detailed post with the written directions.

If you want to modify the Layer System that underlies your templates you need a big list of all the Keys in your potential layer names. If you have multiple clients with different requirements, they have more lists to build. Our Spreadsheet tools provide you an easy to use translator table. You need a Keys match list.

Oh. It does help to own a Jump Kit so you don’t have to build the Excel Spreadsheet Tools yourself. It’s a small price to pay for the…

The Liberty to Work in Civil 3D

Did I forget mention this? With Jump Kit, you’ll also be ready to go right to work in AutoCAD Civil 3D. Project conversions are not even a big deal.

You are simply customizing your publication template(s). Right? Our working templates are ready to run.

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