Framework for Civil 3D Futures

Tags Civil 3D 2018, Civil 3D 2017, Civil 3D 2016, Civil 3D 2015, Layer Standards, Assembly, Assembly Set, Release 7, Release 8

People do ask about why the Framework for Civil 3D has different numbered Releases than AutoCAD Civil 3D itself. Let me count the ways. Here are 1000 words that could rock your world.

Fundamentally, a Framework Release supports multiple releases of Civil 3D. Release 7 of Framework supports Civil 3D releases from the current 2018.2 all the way back to 2015. There are resources in the latest Jump Kit 7 for 2018.2 build that are not in a Jump Kit 7 2016. This difference is primarily based on features and new potential resource capabilities that Autodesk has added to the core Civil 3D code and object model.

We don’t rely on code to do the voodoo that we do.

The Framework for Civil 3D Always Evolves

The Framework for Civil 3D is continuously developed. Specific resources are improved all the time. We release AddOns on a regular basis. The Release 7 Details page shows that even the AddOns themselves may have updates. The new and improved resources in an AddOn may benefit one Civil 3D release and/or all of them depending on the included resources.

Customers are often pleasantly surprised that we don’t charge for AddOns. You bought a Jump Kit Release 7 for 2016. Maybe you now employ those resources in Civil 3D 2017. A new Survey Query AddOn may still benefit you. Say what? Read that again carefully.

The Framework for Civil 3D is built to reduce your hassles not make new ones. You do have fewer hassles if you upgrade your Framework regularly. We won’t make you. As a customer you might still benefit if you don’t upgrade.

Release 7 Will Evolve into Release 8

From my perspective a new Release of the Framework for Civil 3D involves a new and necessary change in perspective about the management system and the resources that are managed by it. Call it…

A Discontinuous Innovation in the midst of a continuous stream of improvement.

When Release 7 hit the street I called Release 7 – Pivotal. The ability to interchange between STB and CTB publication can change how you work and how you retain and acquire your customers in substantive ways. All the other goodies like NCS 4.0 to NCS 5.0 and GSA support came along for the ride.

Customers say that Release 7 is much easier to customize. It is more robust. From everyone’s perspective it is less time consuming to maintain in a Civil 3D production environment. Hoorah!

My Release 8 Wish List

Some of these may ripple back into Release 7 as AddOns. To be clear this is not a promise of future delivery only a review of the current Release 8 wish list we are working hard on.

More Robust and Adaptive Layer Standards

This looks to me like a collection of multiple Layer Standards Spreadsheet Tools to easily produce managed distinct Standards and variants. Key (chuckle) customer requests:

  • Integrated support for NCS 6.0 Layer Standards and Keys
  • Support for DOD and US Army Corps particulars
  • Large building project generic AIA NCS Layer Standards
  • Build-in and included Keys support in the Spreadsheet Tools for all Major and Minor Keys for all AEC disciplines. This matters most to multi-discipline firms and organizations.

Yes. This means the Layer System inside Civil 3D can be managed separately from the Civil 3D Style resources. The Framework already can do this, but you have to do the tweak work. Let’s reduce the hassle.

We’re talking about more canned solutions to the Layer Scheme (or is it a Theme) challenge. This is Discontinuous Innovation to the max. Yes. You can use the same Styles to publish to GSA, Corps, and that darned architect’s projects.

The fact I can even seriously talk about this level of standards flexibility as possible is scary. OK. I’m a crazy person…On the next run down the pipe I must go big. Get that infrastructure gold.

Assembly Libraries and Management

This has been behind the scenes on-going project for longer than I want to admit to. I hope some of the Autodesk dev team members will someday forgive me for harassing them to externalize some of the parts and particulars. For that, I won’t hold my breath.

We spend too much time in Civil 3D hassling with the Assemblies and the huge pile of subassembly and/or PKT specific properties.

  • We should be able to: create an Assembly prototype; QAQC the properties; automatically generate typical variants, and collect the multiple Assembly results into viable resources.
  • For example: you want corridor roadway variants with and without daylight subassemblies, curbs or shoulders, etc.
    If you employ Assembly Sets with Intersections, you should get the idea.
  • We need a way to easily identify the esoteric differences combined with a way to store and retrieve the collections for use different times in the design development cycle and in multiple projects.

If you are interested in the nuances of Assembly identification you can review the initial naming proposal in the Civil 3D Assembly Name Update post from last winter. Warning: we’ve already tweaked this naming scheme to some extent based on tests and experiments with some courageous customers.

Autodesk’s introduction of dynamic Rehab Assemblies in the Civil 3D 2018.1 Update certainly made things a bit more exciting and interesting. The in-depth post series on that starts with the Rehab Corridors from Civil 3D Survey post and there are lots of videos.

Integrated Support for Reference Templates

See the recent Who Broke Civil 3D Reference Templates post for some key ideas and concepts.

Whatever Autodesk Throws on the Wall in Civil 3D 2019

We all know that usually splashes around on our boots whether we like it or not.

The Power Beyond the Code
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