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People often ask what makes the Framework for Civil 3D special and different. Everyone wants an answer that speaks to their current need. Everything depends on the state of their Civil 3D usage both personal and corporate. Yes, there are indeed corporate Civil 3D skills.

If you are a Civil 3D newbie or are starting a new civil engineering practice, you must 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.

If you manage away in a large public works department and have Civil 3D, Map 3D, AutoCAD, and Revit in flavors deployed across multiple departments how many Standards do you get to deal with. What fun!

Everyone needs what the Framework for Civil 3D delivers. I call this…

Managed Systems Customization

This is a special artefact in Civil 3D Land.

We all taught that AutoCAD and therefore Civil 3D customization is personal. It really isn’t. That belief is an experiential illusion. Everyone does it that way so it must be true.
We act on the belief due to our personal perceived necessities. 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 Can’t See What We Don’t Believe In

I chose to see the customization process differently. Let’s call this form of customization an industrial or manufacturing approach. Truth be told, this wasn’t an act of technical genius, but the result of motivated desperation. Innovate or starve. You know the drill.

Back in the day, the amount of work to make enough customers happy with the product was overwhelming. In manufacturing terms. I could initially build a primer-grey VW Bug when most of my competitors believed everyone wanted or needed a customized Porche supercar. Most of my competitors soon discovered supporting even their Pinto versions was too problematic in the long run.

Customers are left with a world of their own customized one-offs and the Framework for Civil 3D. No surprise that the better customized one-offs are Managed Systems like the Framework. Most have fewer numbers of standards choices because from their perspective they personally don’t need more of them... until they do.

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 and the parts to build them. This was again motivated by rampant 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 fact is most people don’t need most of the parts, but when they do…it’s in there.

For years now I did ask,

Can Your Civil 3D Templates and Style Do That?

Still this somewhat nagging and 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 the consistent results in something as complex, self-referencing, and interconnected as Civil 3D.
Civil 3D makes it way too easy for hair-brained users to change specifics already.
We’ve all been there and done that. We are often the hair-brained.
I believe the trick is to put that creative necessity to work with effective, systematic management and the structures to contain it.

Adaptive Standards

What if we could change anything? 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 underpinnings are referenced and therefore replaceable and interchangeable in Civil 3D.

However, Civil 3D is not built to make Adaptive Standards creation and a Managed System obvious or easy for users and CAD Managers to either see or do. Demonstrably, most folks have a hard time with one set of Civil 3D Standards after all.

Funny. A different perspective built from larger perspectives and with new competencies can and does 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 and/or to the published deliverable results.

It is pretty counter-intuitive that the second published deliverable scenario is often easier and more man-hour efficient to pull off than the first, in-template(s) approach.

A well-implemented set of Reference Templates can change that. The Framework must include those more adaptive TREF tools. We deliver the sandbox Civil 3D projects that prove it works.

Make Adaptive Standards Real

The latest and greatest Release 7 Jump Kit 2021 includes a host of Adaptive Standards tools. All of them are based on Microsoft Excel. You probably know and use that alrready.

The Framework Spreadsheet Tools Are Content Not Software

A potential Framework for Civil 3D customer called me to ask about the Framework for Civil 3D Spreadsheet Tools.
Here’s the current basic list:

  • Layer Standards Tools
    There are more than a few of these in multiple Layer Standards versions in both STB and CTB formats
  • Civil 3D Codes Tool
    Build, Manage, Filter Design and Survey Point Codes for use in DescKeySets and Figure Dbs
    Thousands of Codes with multiple descriptions supplied
  • Description Key Set Tool
    Build, Manage, Filter both Design and Survey DescKeySets
    Now with XML file output and import capabilities and editable managed libraries of content
  • Figure Db Tool
    Build, Manage, Filter Design and Survey Figure Dbs
    Include editable managed libraries of content
  • Subassembly Codes Tool
    Build, Manage, Filter Design subassembly and PKT point content
  • Survey Query Tool
    Build, Manage, Filter Design and Survey query content
  • Legends and Lists
  • Symbols Maintenance Tool
  • Symbol Exchange Tool
  • Linetype Standards Tool

It can be easily argued that the Framework for Civil 3D Spreadsheet Tools are more than worth the current price of the Jump Kit product all by themselves. Many customers can and do apply and employ these tools to their existing personalized customization of Civil 3D.

Register and check oit the extensive on-line help and documentation. It’s free.

The Framework Spreadsheet Tools Are More Than Templates

Please, do not get the false impression that the Framework for Civil 3D Spreadsheet Tools were empty Excel template files. That would be a lot like calling a Civil 3D template a completed Civil 3D project.

The Spreadsheet Tools are not empty Excel Spreadsheets with a few cell formulas.
It is true that most of the Spreadsheet Tools do include starter Excel template type Sheets.
Most contain lots of powerful Excel cell formula content tweaked to help make it easier to System Manage all of the above Civil 3D parts and pieces in detail.
The Spreadsheet Tools do help manage and integrate all the many resources that Civil 3D requires.

The Spreadsheet Tools functionally contain lots and lots of already integrated content resources.
In other words, you can choose what content to employ without the burden of creating systems and resources from scratch.

Better Content Rocks!

Those Adaptive Standards in the Manage System all add up to a pretty serious difference.
That makes Civil 3D a bit special for all our Framework for Civil 3D customers.

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