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We say that Civil 3D requires you have a viable working Civil 3D Template (.dwt) that includes a library of Civil 3D Styles when you start a drawing. I might argue that we should consider this dubious advice to be a bit of a deception for the unwary. I certainly don’t want it to be a stone that causes others to stumble. Like the Accuser’s three temptation questions to Jesus in the wilderness, some concepts may be true. But each challenge from a twisted and too narrow a perspective is only a partial truth.

If your organization has been using Civil 3D for a while, here’s a germane question…

Why Do You Create Drawings?

Huh? Let me put that another way.
How many times have you created a Data Shortcut container drawing or edit drawing for an existing surface in a project?
I’d guess by now you create both on autopilot and almost without thinking. Awesome.
To apply knowledge and skill effectively is marvelous work to perform.
Ritual works.
I must ask if this workflow is genuinely productive in the larger context beyond the display of Civil 3D user skill?

The Hubris of Habit

Consummate ability and skill begets the temptation and all-to-common condition the Greeks aptly named hubris. This idea of common human behavioral malfeasance stuck around for good reason.

In the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson penned by inference that hubris too is self-evident. One can argue that our Republic is founded on the principal of fighting hubris in others and, more importantly, ourselves.

Hubris is never trite or out of date.
Is it Hilarious? Ok. That’s a deplorable pun. I couldn’t resist.

How We Manage Civil 3D is the Project

Perhaps my not so obvious point is that a managed collection of standardized drawings can be a better and more practical tool than a complex set of workflow diagrams, manuals, and/or checklists for Civil 3D users. There’s nothing wrong with any of these specific things as they do help others understand. But policy and regulation are not the game. They are not the work.

As I said previously in the Civil 3D Project Templates are More post - I consider the identification of issues to improve to be a fundamental staff accountability that is too often neglected. This sad practice of manager hubris can too easily play a tragic part in our waste and/or failures.

In the Project and Data Shortcut Setup Methods post we cover the technical fundamental mechanics of Civil 3D’s flexible approach to production projects. The post and video covers technically how the Civil 3D data behind can be shared in projects.

Our Civil 3D Project Templates should be a focus of our mutual attention and our continuous development. Yes, there should be more than one.

That said, let us count the many techniques we can use to start a project and setup our basic Data Shortcuts in Civil 3D. As is the norm, the order and specifics of the tools you employ to create a production project doesn’t always match our intuitive expectations or the basic Autodesk help and stock tutorials.

Civil 3D Project Creation Techniques

I trust you have your brain engaged when you watch the video.
It is a mission critical fact that to employ Civil 3D productively we always need a project.
Historically, Autodesk took a lot of flak for the LDT’s static and mandatory project structure.
The Civil 3D’s requirements and commands were renamed with that somewhat faded image of evil in mind.
This gives us more project freedom and liberty in the end.

The Civil 3D tools do what they do. We must understand, do the work, and become more competent.

To Manage Civil 3D is a Project
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Project Startup Posts

Civil 3D methods and tools to strip man-hours from project work. Most posts include videos.