People often ask me what makes the Framework for Civil 3D special and different. In fairness everyone wants an answer that speaks to their current need. Let’s just call it - the state of their Civil 3D usage.
If you are a Civil 3D newbie crawling up out of Eagle Point or something, you look at the entire Civil 3D templates and Civil 3D styles challenge a bit differently than if you are a corporate CAD Manager who has 25+ skilled Civil 3D users working on lots of different types of projects in multiple regional offices. Suppose you labor away in public works and have Civil 3D deployed across multiple departments. What fun!
We all need what the Framework for Civil 3D delivers. I call this…
Managed and Systemic Customization
This is a new and special artefact in Civil 3D Land.
We all believe that AutoCAD customization is personal. It really isn’t. The belief is an experiential illusion. We act on the belief due to perceived necessity. If all of the above diverse civil engineers and surveyors could find and afford a Civil 3D solution that worked pretty much out of the box, they’d buy and use it. But…
We don’t know what we don’t know. Worse…
We Usually Don’t See What We Don’t Believe In
I chose to see the customization process differently. Let’s call it an industrial approach. Truth be told, this wasn’t an act of technical genius, but of desperation. I didn’t have much choice in the matter. Innovate or starve. You know the drill.
Back in the day, the amount of work to make everybody (or at least enough customers) happy with the product was overwhelming. In manufacturing terms, I could initially build a primer-grey VW Bug when most of the competitor types believed people wanted a Porche. Most of my competitor wanabes discovered supporting even their Pinto versions was too problematic in the long run.
Customers are left with a world of their own one-offs and the Framework.
Over time and with a lot of work we built ever-improved product models. Behind the scenes we were also working on the managed systems that produced the product models. This was again self-interest for the most part. Blame the managed systems obsession on me. I’m the systems junky.
The Framework for Civil 3D of today includes all the parts and resources most people and organizations need to make Civil 3D work in production. Our list of things to improve and new things to add isn’t really any smaller than the day I started this crazy project. Work makes work. The actual fact is most people don’t need all of the stuff, but when they do…it’s in there.
For years now I could ask,
Can Your Civil 3D Templates and Style Do That?
Still this nagging, not-so-little question kept coming back to me…
What if we could change anything?
Careful now. I don’t mean unmanaged and non-systematic customization. That does not produce consistent results in something as complex and self-referencing as Civil 3D. We could all argue that Civil 3D is actually too easy for users to change specifics. We’ve all been there and done that.
We ask that pesky question and we soon discover it is possible to build in the capability to produce Adaptive Standards into Civil 3D.
All the AutoCAD underpinnings are referenced and therefore replaceable and interchangeable in Civil 3D.
However, Civil 3D is not built to make Adaptive Standards creation and systems management obvious or easy for users and CAD Managers to either see or do. Most folks have a hard time with one set of Civil 3D Standards after all. Funny. A perspective built with a larger perspective and with competency can make things simpler in the end.
Adaptive Standards are Outside In
If you want to employ Adaptive Standards in your Civil 3D project process: you build them externally and apply them in the beginning of projects or to the published deliverable results.
I admit that it is pretty counter-intuitive that the second publishing scenario is often easier and more man-hour efficient to pull off than the first with an in templates approach.
Well, maybe a well-implemented set of Reference Templates could change that. That’s a topic for another post.
Make Adaptive Standards Real
The latest and greatest Release 7 Jump Kit 2019 includes a ton of Adaptive Standards tools. All of them are based on Microsoft Excel. I bet that you probably know and use that.
We even supply most of these in Spreadsheet Tool AddOns for Jump Kit 2018-2016 customers too.
I believe adaptive must also mean flexible and robust to be productive. Don’t you?
Here’s the brief sample of this year’s AddOn updates.
They help you work the same and publish on demand.
Adaptive Block and Symbol Standards
Master the management of Symbols in Civil 3D
- Better Management of all the Civil 3D Point Display Resolutions mechanics
Better Codes Points and Figures in Civil 3D
- A Survey Query Spreadsheet Tool with new Query Comparator picklists and an updated Library of external queries.
Civil 3D Survey Query Library AddOn Update
- Tools to systematically replace blocks for Point Styles and other AutoCAD block references in Civil 3D.
Symbol Exchange AddOn for Civil 3D
Adaptive Layer Standards
Master the management of Layers in Civil 3D
- Civil 3D Custom Layer Standards Unleashed
- NCS Classic Utility Layers AddOn
- Framework for Civil 3D NCS 6 Layers
The latest Jump Kit 7 2019 includes even more improved Layer Management resources.
Those Adaptive Standards all add up to a pretty serious difference. That’s special for all our Framework for Civil 3D customers.