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Civil engineers and surveyors who employ Autodesk civil software know a thing or two about Description Key Sets. Everyone’s an expert to one level or another by necessity. The DescKey concept and technology has been around a long time back to the old Land Desktop (LTD) days.

Why bother to talk about this topic at all?
“Honey, can we change the channel?”


Description Keys for Point and Figure Resolution Essentials

“Whoa! Wait a minute. What the heck was that?”

This brief video introduction to a more adaptive and powerful Civil 3D Point and Figure resources might give you a reason to pause. See the InstantOn Point Resources page for even more in-depth video content to consider.

Ok. I still get a lot of questions as to why the Framework for Civil 3D includes so many DescKeySet variations. Yes, we supply managed and integrated systems of Civil 3D DescKeySet resources in multiple Layer Systems and for multiple Civil 3D releases.

Does One and Done Make Sense?

The basic DescKeySet idea isn’t restricted to Autodesk software by a long shot. Most survey equipment vendors employ similar tools in their software but name them differently. I remind folks that back in the day (maybe yesterday?) LDT supported two separate DescKeySets. Some people don’t even know that. Only a few ever dared to employ more than one. By design, Civil 3D obviously supports a lot more.

People say that it sounds a bit crazy to include collections of DescKeySets as a fundamental production resource for Civil 3D.
To get one DescKeySet to work well in production is more than enough of a pain in the you know what.
Once that works… Why bother with anything else?

We Get By and Work Way Too Hard

That objection makes the point of why more than one Civil 3D DescKeySet is both necessary and useful. All the many differences of project type, deliverable requirements, QAQC processes, potential design capabilities, and/or field conditions themselves are tough to solve with one generic DescKeySet solution.

Simply put. The production of the kind of automated survey output we see in this next video makes the idea of only one DescKeySet to rule them seem sort of painful.


Civil 3D Point Wizardry For Plan Production Tools

I trust it is clear from the video that by switching between systems of integrated DescKeySets and Figure Dbs, we can employ the same coded survey data to produce deliverables in different Layer and/or Symbol systems with less effort. See the Point Wizardry in Civil 3D page for site plan examples and more.

The project structures, workflow, and Civil 3D User work remains consistent and repeatable. Only the current application of the integrated system of Civil 3D Style specifics changes.

Multiple Description Key Sets Reduce Quality Control Time Significantly

The man-hours necessary to get to the publishing point shown in the previous video is greatly reduced when we can employ multiple DescKeySets tuned to the project demands of those tasks.

For the sake of space here we’ll skip including a video. See the Civil 3D Survey at Jump Speed page that has links to posts and videos that cover the QAQC and related topics in considerable depth and detail.

Can We Talk About Design?

We might miss the significant benefits of documenting both site design and corridor design work with points. This certainly requires an adaptive approach to the vital DescKeySet part of the annotative equation.


Corridor Station Labels

That Civil 3D innovation magic might be a bit overwhelming or even terrifying at first blush.

Once again, the project structures, workflow, and Civil 3D User work remains consistent and repeatable albeit different due to the kind of Civil 3D Feature we want to annotate.
Only the specific Civil 3D Toolbox report and the current application of the integrated system of Civil 3D Style specifics changes.
See the Intersections and Corridors page for deeper video examples and details.

Your Projects are not Canned

The magic is all well and good in a canned video or a demo.
Can we make this work and make it real?”

The Framework for Civil 3D includes an in-depth set of Spreadsheet Tools for Excel that allow you to integrate and employ your existing Survey Codes and Description Key Sets resources to tweak the magic as you see it. There is doable work involved. The odds are your Survey Codes are already in the Framework. We supply additional powerful goodies as you can see from the videos above.
Register and become a site member. Review the free in-depth Documentation and Help pages.

Manage the Civil 3D System or Be Controlled

The Framework for Civil 3D is an Adaptive Managed System for all the many resources required to create and maintain a Civil 3D production environment.

An Adaptive Managed System doesn’t mean you must employ everything in the Framework for Civil all at once or even all together. Lots of organizations employ parts and pieces of the Framework in conjunction with their own internal Civil 3D customization. We make that affordable.

If you employ Civil 3D, you need a managed system. You can build this yourself or build on the proven work of others. Your call.

You can get a trial Templates Only Release 8 for multiple versions of Civil 3D or Templates Only Release 8 AIA 2020 and test the basics, Civil 3D Templates, and Civil 3D Style library for yourself.

The Liberty to Make Civil 3D Work
Get the Framework for Civil 3D Release 8


Four Part Series on Point Display Strategies

Everything you want to know about Civil 3D Point mechanics, but you were afraid to ask.

Civil 3D Point Wizardry

Practical production improvement for Site Plan and Plan and Profile Deliverables with Civil 3D

Five Keys to Civil 3D Points

Why adaptive and integrated Survey Codes, Description Key Sets, Point and Figure Resolutions Matter in Civil 3D