Civil 3D and the Plan to Edit Mindset

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How many times in Autodesk Civil 3D do we get a complex civil engineering design or survey dataset right the first time? Almost never. This reality is a most important fact about Civil 3D. To employ Civil 3D constructively in a real-world project-based production environment, we need to plan to fail forward.
What the heck does that mean?

Sounds like some word spaghetti from the Cackle, if you catch my drift.

Sadly, if we employ that classic iterative word some people may tune that out too.

“Boring and not our problem. We need to learn how to do it right the first time.”

Good luck with the magic of One and Done. Ok. Sometimes even the good get lucky.

The Plan to Edit Mindset

Better engineering is all about learning to handle the complexity of design by management of an iterative and repetitive design process. We are engineers and surveyors. We understand that detailed nuance does matter.

The important process questions to ask are all about when and where those nuanced details matter.

To make the point - there’s the old joke about the published Civil 3D plan set that arrives on the contractor’s desk with 3-digit elevations on an earthwork grading plan.
Because we can be precise, does not mean we should be.

Doing the Do

Managed nuance is a learned skill that we’d all agree requires repetitions to acquire. This becomes our autopilot - our functional heuristic. Our way of doing to do.

Better design heuristics are about the application of a suitable focus at the appropriate time and place.

The software we employ changes. We can postpone but never ignore this reality.
Those autopilot-based heuristics will be tested or not.
That trial by fire is both a personal thing and an on-going corporate challenge.

There’s a remarkable difference between the Civil 3D Code and our evolving skill at employing the Civil 3D tools.

Civil 3D is a Team Sport

This is true even if we employ the software ourselves to produce deliverables to our clients.

Someone asked if there were videos available to demonstrate or illustrate the Plan to Edit Mindset.
Of course. The challenge is unavoidable.

Here are three videos about the process and workflows of Managed Corridor Design in Civil 3D that make the point about the powers of a Plan to Edit Mindset.

We intentionally employed videos in older releases off Civil 3D to make the point that the code is not the root of our workday problems.

See the Civil 3D Survey at Jump Speed page for some equally compelling survey example videos.


Project Managed Replaceable Design Control

The video appears to be about the capabilities of the Data Shortcut Manager Tool (DSM) in Civil 3D. It is and it is not. It explores a functional workflow to manage design control options in a managed Civil 3D project environment.

Practically, it also assumes the Civil 3D users understand DREFs, the Civil 3D data behind, and how to store and maintain the varied and replaceable design control in Styleless drawings in prepared project structures.

The video begs the CAD Management question…
How good are our Civil 3D Project Templates?

“Who has time for that?”

We can learn to make time or just eat time. The choice is ours.


Assembly Replacement in Civil 3D

The video is a nifty Civil 3D Set of Assemblies How to tip and trick.
Then again?
There’s the rest of the story.

The video addresses a common civil engineering design challenge.
Most corridor design work includes phased levels of detail and complexity we need to plan and be prepared for up front. Why?

Otherwise, the Civil 3D user is slammed with lots of detailed repetitive work during the design execution.
How did we manage to dodge all the Corridor Targeting and cleanup?

When our design process includes an executable plan to replace Sets of Assemblies, then complex Corridor design gets a whole lot easier.

Whether we are design roads, levees, ponds, parking lots, or pipe networks does not matter.

Let’s explore the simple…


Managed DWF Publication in Civil 3D

Does our Plan Set deliverable get published properly at crunch time?
The client cares, the Project Manager cares, the Civil 3D user cares on Deadline Day.

Everyone knows it sucks to punt or worse fumble on the one-yard line.
We’ve all been there. Done that. Got the tee-shirt.

One way or another, we must engage in the Plan to Edit Mindset to survive and prosper on Deadline Day. Funny. All too often this can become a conscious effort to avoid mistakes while we repeat the same old processes and checklists.

The video obviously covers DWF publication tips and tricks, Civil 3D details and nuance, and important AutoCAD and Civil 3D core publication skills that must all work together in practice.

Get Out in Front

A Managed DWF publication strategy is a Divide and Conquer strategy we can employ to systematically attempt to reduce our published complexity problems at crunch time.

Managed DWF publication in Civil 3D will help us improve our internal QAQC processes, develop and build functional feedback loops into our daily design process, and then repeatedly reap the benefits at crunch time on Deadline Day.

To employ Civil 3D successfully in a project-based production environment, we need to execute with the Plan to Edit Mindset within the comfortable confines of a Systems Managed Autodesk Civil 3D.

Hope that helps.

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