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Autodesk released Autodesk Civil 3D 2023 earlier this week. Most of us in Civil 3D Land have more important things to do than install and test the latest and greatest Civil 3D. We have civil engineering and survey project work to get out the door. Truly, Civil 3D 2023 is a faster, less buggy, and generally better version of previous releases. Sooner or later that new shinny object will make some sense.

Interested people call me up and want to know –
“Should we upgrade our current working projects to Civil 3D 2023?”

“Can you?” Now that’s a bit snarky. It is the substantive question.

“We know the How to Upgrade Civil 3D Projects drill. Is that current project ready?”

The Framework for Civil 3D in 2023

Our Jump Kit and Templates Only customers will not be surprised that the latest Civil 3D 2002.1 Update builds of the products appear to run just fine in Civil 3D 2023 based on our preliminary testing of the public release.

Well-built and well-maintained Civil 3D Templates, Civil 3D Styles and Sets, and other Civil 3D resources will Upgrade and Update better.

Our port of the Framework for Civil 3D Sandbox projects to the Civil 3D 2023 release revealed a couple of new Civil 3D 2023 Upgrade workflow issues that deserve comment and attention.

If you follow the Jump On Civil 3D blog, you recognize that I am a big fan of…

The Joy of Batch Save

Indeed. There are better joys.

The Civil 3D Batch Save Utility (BS) makes our Framework maintenance and Civil 3D Project Upgrades and Updates possible. These are much easier to pull off in less time and with less effort.
See the infamous Batch Save and Those Painless Civil 3D Upgrades post.

If you prefer to manually update every drawing in a project manually or by script, by all means - Enjoy.

Batch Save Mechanics

There were important updates made to the older Civil 3D 2022.1 Update version of Batch Save for 2023.
Install Civil 3D 2023 and the new BS. The new BS now appears to recognize older Civil 3D installed builds correctly.

We will need the Civil 3D project’s current build and the new 2023 release installed where BS runs.
Do you have the latest Civil 3D Hotfix installed? Batch Save knows and shows.

The most important thing about the Civil 3D Batch Save Utility is to run the process on a copy of the Civil 3D project that only BS has access to. This means for some amount of time the location of the project copy will be different and/or Civil 3D users must not work on any of the project drawings.

Even with network hosted Civil 3D projects BS is demonstrably quicker at updating drawings since BS can run in a headless mode without all the performance load of the Civil 3D interface.
Limiting the BS session time out and number of sessions properties in the BS interface  is usually essential. Session time out must account for network access. Too many simultaneous sessions tends to produce more update failures.

You will need at least a simple script that performs PURGE of regapps, an AUDIT, and SAVE of each drawing.
The Autodesk supplied sample scripts and lsp files do work.
See Jerry Bartels’s Automate with Scripts Lisp and Batch Save get started video.
Framework Jump Kit product customers are welcome to email us to get better examples.

Batch Save can actually perform many Project Maintenance and drawing update tasks like replacement or updates to Layer Systems, Block definitions, etc. Batch Save fully supports SCRIPTCALL and the chaining of scripts and LISP commands.

To Process or Not to Process

There are usually drawings that we will NOT want Civil 3D to touch in most of our working projects.
The Civil 3D Object Model can act like a virus. Eheh.

The easiest way to restrict BS access in to make the drawings read only or temporarily remove them from the BS processed project structure altogether.
For larger projects - Remember we can process parts of the project separately.
Batch Save runs from a root folder and ignores references if the drawing will open.

New Cautions for Civil 3D 2023 Project Upgrades

The on-going Autodesk effort to allow Civil 3D projects to perform in the Autodesk Docs and BIM 360 Collaboration cloud environments means that Autodesk addresses project Data References (DREF) and file references issues more aggressively with each new Civil 3D Update and Release.

Did you know that the Autodesk Desktop Connector and a free Autodesk Docs account allows us to test and report on Civil 3D project portability and reference consistency? Quick and cheap Civil 3D Project validation is way better than a sharp stick in the eye.
See the The Autodesk Reference Explorer and Civil 3D post.

Autodesk Civil 3D 2023 is more sensitive Data Reference (DREF) inconsistencies in projects.

The Data Shortcut Editor Tool appears to be more aware of Data Reference (DREF) inconsistencies in projects.

Changes to the more automated Fix Data References tools and the Data Shortcut Manager Tool in the last Civil 3D 2022.1.3 Update mean we have better DREF consistency fixit tools inside Civil 3D.
We have to employ them.

Old Project to New Project

In previous release years we could Batch Save a Civil 3D project and fix any DREF and file reference issues after the fact in the Data Shortcut Manager. Do not count of that working in Civil 3D 2023.
In Civil 3D 2023 this is an option we should avoid particularly if we also want to revise or update DREF source drawing file names as well as the project location.

Fix the Civil 3D Project References before a Batch Save to the Civil 3D 2023 release is performed.

  • Copy the Civil 3D Project
  • Use the Data Shortcut Editor to update the project location to the new location
  • Manually update any DREF source drawing names and file folder locations that we want to change.
  • Open Civil 3D and Set the Working Folder to the proper location
  • In the Civil 3D Toolspace Prospector tab
    Allow the Fix Data References tool to find a fix Broken Data References
    We should know the name and folder location of any changed DREF source drawings.
  • In the Civil 3D Toolspace Prospector tab
    Double check that all the shared DREF source drawings are found in the new project location.
    Civil 3D is perfectly happy to resolve a DREF (or an absolute file reference) from another project location. Dooh.
  • It is probably a Best Practice to then run Batch Save in the current project release build after any project inconsistencies are fixed.
  • Stir and Repeat
  • Run Batch Save in the Civil 3D 2023 release and repeat the checks above in the new release project

Do the Do. It’s good for you.

Batch Save and Civil 3D Project Maintenance

Register and visit our Documentation and Help pages for Civil 3D.
See the Batch Save Utility Tool page and links under the Implement Civil 3D section.

Our Civil 3D Projects often have longer life spans that any particular build of Autodesk Civil 3D. This can effectively create invisible problems in our project work environment.

Many Civil 3D corrupted drawing issues are related to poor Project structures, bad Civil 3D user DREF mechanics, and project drawings saved in multiple builds of Civil 3D. Batch Save helps – a lot.

Better Civil 3D Project Templates are one of our best investments in Civil 3D customization.
See the Data Shortcut Method and Practice page with videos and links to the blog posts on those mission critical topics.

There is certainly a lot more to a healthy Civil 3D production environment than the Civil 3D project and drawings.

We must create, manage, and maintain an entire Managed System to make Civil 3D work.

The Toolset for Autodesk Civil 3D 2023 Upgrade Protection

We make a Civil 3D Upgrade and Update simple and affordable.

For a limited time get two releases of the Framework for Civil 3D for the price of one.

If you purchase a new copy or upgrade to a latest flavor of Jump Kit Release 8 for Civil 3D 2022 between April 12, 2022 and the official Jump Kit Release 8 for Civil 3D 2023 release date, we’ll give you a free Upgrade to the Jump Kit Release 8 for Civil 3D 2023 when that product is available.

We guarantee that a Framework for Civil 3D product for one release of Civil 3D will upgrade to the next release.

Innovation Beyond the Code

The Framework for Civil 3D can boast more than a decade of practice at systematically managing Civil 3D Upgrades and Updates.
The Framework products deliver adaptive, consistent, and robust production working environments for Autodesk Civil 3D.

Jump Kit delivers manufactured, high-performance libraries of parts and resources for Civil 3D.

The Framework for Civil 3D demonstrably works for civil engineering, survey, and public agency customers large and small.

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