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We introduced in the latest Release 8 versions of the Framework for Civil 3D for Civil 3D 2019 and Civil 3D 2018, a much improved and innovative form of Civil 3D Style library collection. We call these Civil 3D Style library collected resources - Adaptive Template Building Blocks. It’s a new thing in Civil 3D Land.

People have asked, “What the heck is that?”

Given you have a managed system like the Framework for Civil 3D to work for you, fresh takes on familiar and stranger, newfangled things are possible.

Adaptive Template Building Block

In concept, an Adaptive Template Building Block allows a CAD Manager, Project Lead, or Civil 3D user to inject a pre-built collection of related Styles and related resources into a Civil 3D production template or project drawing to perform a specialized task.

The current Adaptive Template Building Block implementation focuses on civil engineering design solutions and workflows. For example: you need a retention pond structure with benching with perhaps Feature Line-based inflow or outflow structures.

We can consider that an Adaptive Template Building Block is a Set of Styles in Civil 3D speak. Each Set includes the necessary Layer States, Feature Line, Alignment, Profile, Section, and Parcel Styles for whole or part of a design solution.

The overall Adaptive Template Building Block Style library resource even allows you to adjust the level of detail employed in Profile View and Section View layer standard representations completely separately. The detailed Profile View and Section View Styles are therefore delivered separately.

Adaptive Template Blocks can be combined together with other core Civil 3D Styles and with each other with reasonable ease and limited man-hour commitments to that initial construction task and the on-going maintenance work.

The substantive endpoint and benefit is you get more adaptive and flexible templates that work better, much faster, and with lower integration, implementation, and upkeep costs.

The Synergies of Adaptive Template Block Technology

From a Civil 3D design user perspective how you choose to employ the Adaptive Template Building Blocks it up to you. If you want employ older Feature Line-based mechanics and workflows to perform site design with Gradings for example, the Style Tools and Layer States can be employed that way. You can simply delete from a copy of the Adaptive Template Building Block resource(s) the Styles that you do not want to employ.

The new tools were designed and optimized for Corridor-based design solutions. They are constructed to be coupled with an Assembly library, Code Set Styles, the Feature Line based corridor, the Multiple Baseline corridor, the DREF corridor, and Reference Template functionalities.
Most of these new functionalities are available in Civil 3D 2019 and Civil 3D 2018.

The workflow concept of these important improvements to Civil 3D is conceptually simple.

  • We employ a corridor to build a design solution.
  • That design corridor produces another Feature Line Baseline that we add to our managed (Complex or Multiple Baseline) Corridor that collects and manages these connected parts ad nausea.
  • This workflow must include appropriate QA Style Tools to visualize and validate the solution.
  • We then employ project references to that Corridor to publish the modeled results appropriately.

We do get better interactive Grading solutions with interchangeable (replaceable) dynamic definitions from collected Assemblies of subassemblies and/or PKTs applied to Regions in corridor Baselines. The nuances of the practical project workflow mechanics to perform that work are beyond the topic of this post.

The Release 8 Jump Kit Style library includes additional matched sets of Alignment, Profile, Section, Parcel, and Feature Line Styles for a huge list of official NCS 6 Major Keys with all their coupled Minor resources. See the Release 8 Framework for Civil 3D 2019.2 post link above.

All the new Style key-based resources include fully-integrated Layer Standards and supplied, specialty Layer States based on easy those easy to understand Keys. The new library resources even includes the Spreadsheet Tool to systematically create, edit and manage new and supplied Style Tools. That means you instantly get both better Styles and built-in Layer Tools that are easy to tweak as you see fit.

The Framework’s Keys to Better Site Design

Our site structures of choice should be a simple matter of design Key preference. I need to redesign an airport taxiway. I need to design a levee with a floodwall. The ability to use them in your projects should be easier as well.

How you decide get to these powerful Style Tools is up to you: Drag and drop by Style; use the Style Import tool; Insert them by drawing (insert|exploded); and/or employ them in your task-based Reference Templates.

You should be able to design and build your Civil 3D project models generically from these key-based, consistent building blocks. These key-based building blocks must support all the design phases and the quality control processes you need to get the work done.

You should be able to publish the same key-based building blocks specifically on-demand to any CAD Standard.

I’d better add a product disclaimer so as not to confuse matters.
The Adaptive Template Building Block library is not included in our Templates Only trial product.

Since I seem to be on a Civil 3D Wish List bender this month…

Assembly, Corridor, and Feature Line Wishes for Civil 3D 2020

There is still way too much required manual busy work to create and maintain Multiple Baseline Corridors.

  • We could really use updated Region creation, edit, and management tools.
    For example: You should at least be able to define and edit a Region from the center of the Region stationing.
    I have submitted to the official Civil 3D wish list some more suggestions with detailed explanations to modify and improve the Region Create and Edit tools.
  • Regions should have Type to allow us to sort, filter, and then manage in the Corridor Properties interface related Region Type specifics.
    I want to edit all (or at least the Assembly property) or all my driveway approach, guardrail, curb return, or levee Regions.
    Iterative design principals say I am often changing sets of details in a step by step process to cope with evermore detailed solutions.
  • Regions need Assembly Set-like abilities (XML or JSON files) to preload our Region standards for Types of Regions from external defaults.
    We design to standards. We need better ways to apply and maintain those standards consistently.
  • We need better external methods to manage and load all the properties of Assembly-collected subassemblies and PKTs.
    Tool Palette tools are a poor substitute for a managed system of standards.
    This is certainly related to their Style-based cousins in Component Roads over in Infraworks.
    We need better reference property consistency in both products improve design consistency and interoperability within our projects.
  • For publishing reasons, there need to be separate Frequency properties for published annotation in addition to the current Frequency properties employed for the corridor model and surface creation.
    See the Corridor Station Points (aka Feature Line Points) posts and videos for the current workflow mechanics and details.
  • All linear objects in Civil 3D like Feature Lines need annotative Group Labels and Sets

Civil 3D can still get much better.
Our project work due this month cannot wait for that either.

Release the Power Beyond the Code
Get the Framework for Civil 3D Release 8