Ask The Right Civil 3D Questions

Tags customization, implementation, alignment, points, surface, corridor, grading, Jump Kit, Templates Only, project template, Style Management

Do we ask the right questions about Civil 3D and how we use it?
By definition…Probably not. We human beings tend to not ask questions about what we believe we already know how to do. We rely too much on habit. We could call this the human autopilot. The autopilot works 95%+ of the time. Our brains spend a good deal of invisible time behind the scenes working on those building those structures and processes all the time.

The skilled among us recognize the facts and employ them for their competitive advantage.

That is fascinating neuroscience stuff. Ok. I’ve spent a good part of my working life retraining educated, professional, and skilled adults in Autodesk software. The human autopilot neuroscience nuance is a bit more interesting to me for obvious reasons. I make it a habit to I try and pay attention. Eheh.

Maps in Our Minds

Rarely, do we ask about how to get to the gas station. We just go there and Do the Do that we do. Then comes the day when there is a line at the pumps or there is no more gas in those tanks at all - A disturbed moment - especially when I relied on the dashboard icon to remind me that it is time to fill up. Dooh.

They kindly remind us, “There’s an app for that.” Eheh.

On an unfamiliar road trip our regular habits are next to useless. We know that and act accordingly. Do we search for gas by brand or by the numbers? Maybe you plan beforehand? Semi-skilled road warriors learn to identify where the gas tank is in today’s rental car.

Perhaps?  I’m the only person who’s spent 10-15 minutes trying to find where to put it in or how to open a tiny little door? Silly me.

Civil 3D projects with new AEC partners or clients can be like those unfamiliar road trips.

Do you have an AEC Partner adoption plan and protocol?

Betcha…If you go on a family road trip visit Ma or Grandma more than once and a while, you already have an entirely different set of travel gas and requisite travel eating habits. The best burger or Reuben sandwich in the state can and does change the entire human time and distance equation.

Best to remember that the behaviors of people affect the production results in Civil 3D projects far more than any technology. Software vendors and thoughtful Managers fear and loath this fact for obvious reasons.

Familiar Civil 3D projects provide each of us the opportunity to enjoy and profit from the work more if we invest in our Civil 3D Project Template development.

How many Civil 3D Project Templates do you employ?

Who’s counting? This is not the Great Leap Forward problem that it appears to be. Baby steps are a far more productive than a lead foot and a pedal to the metal in the long haul. In Civil 3D speak - this is an applied Frequency solution not a Targeting problem. Work first on what you do most and best.

These are a Few of My Favorite Right Civil 3D Questions

There are probably a bunch of left questions too, but I don’t live in a Commonwealth nation. Eheh.

Let’s just call them Disturbed Civil 3D Questions and be done with that.

Register on the site. Visit our Members section for help and videos on all the following in Civil 3D.

Civil 3D Survey Question

Do I need this in this drawing at all?”

The classic barf it all in and move around the bits of vomit method could have and should have died with LDT.
Survey in Civil 3D killed the old sordid vomit method, but the odds are you may have never bothered to notice.

A single drawing to publish Survey data never existed in the first place. Get over it.

Survey Dbs are project-based resources as valuable as any project DREF (Data Reference).

See the Civil 3D Survey at Jump Speed page.

Civil 3D Points Questions

Is there such a thing as A point in Civil 3D?”

No. All Point features and labels in Civil 3D are always resolved and collected whether we like that, believe it, or not. If Civil 3D Point resolution and collection always happen, we need to learn to manage to manage all of that at the same time.

Does a finished Civil 3D project contain more proposed Points than existing Points?

Unless the project contains point cloud data - Probably. But because point cloud data and surface point data is not always Civil 3D Point data in the first place... The survey says…Yes.
“You say yes, I say no no no”
There is a Beatles Magical Mystery Tour song in there somewhere.

The point is…Where and how we answer this question tells us a lot about how we think and act regarding location and Civil 3D design process and our ability to deliver Intelligent On Demand publication.

See the Points in Civil 3D and Civil 3D Point Wizardry sections.

Civil 3D Surface Questions

“How many existing surfaces are there?”

The tensioned surface of an Ah Ha moment. This is a trick question. The existing adjective in the question is superfluous, of course. We need as many surfaces, of many types, that our project requires.

The more important question is how do we mutually manage together and publish all the many surfaces in our project? This begs another question…

“Are Surface data management and Project data management different?”

The question is not when and what to DREF (Data Reference), the most important issues revolve around how to clean, manage, and publish the Civil 3D data behind in the Managed Dynamic Model and inside the structure and patterns of a project-based context.

This speaks to the Powers of Separation and the Separation of Powers.

At a practical level, this dance becomes a Current and managed State problem in Civil 3D. Our Identified and agreed upon specific project State benchmarks do matter.

Civil 3D Alignment Question

“What is a Civil 3D Alignment?

The Alignment in Civil 3D is the primary Design Control Manager in Civil 3D. The shared project-based horizontal control resource that a Civil 3D Alignment contains is only the beginning of the story.

The deeper answers here deserve an entire Book of Alignments.

Civil 3D Corridor Question

“Some think Site design is all about Feature Lines in Civil 3D and Roadway design is all about Corridors.
Why and how then does the Corridor engine create better managed and collected Feature Lines?”

There is a coded answer to this question which is often completely lost in the shuffle. The choice of design heuristics is not an either-or choice, but a more competent and productive AND. All by itself that Q and A can be more than disturbing to those skilled in one but not the other.

See the Site Design with Corridors video and posts collection.

The Only Civil 3D Template Question

“How many Styles do you have to create and maintain to build a decent production Civil 3D Template?”

None.

Now that is disturbing.

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