Early this week Autodesk released the Autodesk Civil 3D 2023.2 Update. This latest Civil 3D 2023.2 Update includes a host of new features, enhancements, and performance capabilities which are sure to make a bunch of folks in Civil 3D Land happier and more productive.
There may be more changes and improvements in this single update than in Civil 3D 2023.0 and the Civil 3D 2023.1 Update combined. Here’s an official Autodesk quick peek video…
What’s New in Civil 3D 2023.2
What’s not to like about more Adaptive Labels, new managed Corridor Transitions, improved Pressure Pipe mechanics, and significant Performance Improvements to many core civil engineering and survey processes that many Civil 3D users employ daily?
Autodesk Civil 3D 2023.2 Update
There is a simultaneous release of an update for the Project Explorer 2023.2 for Civil 3D (PE). A Grading Optimization 2023.2 for Civil 3D (GO) update should be released real soon now . These once separate AEC Collection licenses are now available to Civil 3D standalone subscription customers.
Hazzah for the GO and PE in C3D! Eheh.
See the Civil 3D Suddenly Gets Much Better post.
An Infraworks 2023.1 Update is also in the works and should be available real soon now.
Civil 3D Backwards Compatibility
Every Civil 3D Update of this depth seems to bring up user confusion about upgrades and updates.
See the recent Civil 3D Backwards Compatibility post for help and more clarity about these issues.
In other words, if Civil 3D Release interoperability is truly important your project work maybe wait for the Civil 3D Update to other release (e.g. a Civil 3D 2022.3 Update).
In the real world of Civil 3D Land, performance improvements are often in the hands of the user. For example, if we don’t recognize we can run Grading Optimization scenarios as one user and continue work as another user on the same computer we might miss the GO multi-core support and that powerful get the work done magic altogether. If we ignore Project Explorer tools and reports, we miss those improved workday capabilities.
The Civil 3D 2023.2 Update does include important performance tweaks we can easily see.
The Adaptive Labels improvements (discussed below) are obvious if we face the Label redraw performance lag issues it addresses in our daily work.
Any Civil 3D write or delete operation that addresses multiple items like turning off all Labels, deleting an entire Pipe Network, or updating an Alignment with multiple related Profile View and Section Views is noticeably quicker. Deleting the Profile Views, Section Views, and Pipe Networks is faster. Yum.
Corridor rebuilds (without Target horizontal or vertical changes) are faster. Depending on the corridor design control geometries, rebuilds may be much faster. Hoorah.
Generation or regeneration of many Civil 3D Profile Views and/or Section Views is improved significantly.
Civil 3D Object Model Changes
For the Civil 3D Style geeks…There are minor additions to the Civil 3D Object Model in the 2023.2 Update.
There are 2 new Profile View Band Style types to support:
- Point Proximity Band Style - the proximity distance analysis between an Alignment and COGO points
Report Station and Offset distances beyond and/or within a distance from an Alignment
- Alignment Proximity Band Style - the tessellation proximity distance analysis between an offset Alignment and the Parent Alignment
For example: report on the Station and Offset distance relationship between a centerline Alignment and a Pipe Network Alignment.
Corridor Transitions and Transition Sets (discussed below) were added to the Corridor collector Feature.
Catchments have been moved from the Connections tab to the new Catchments tab in the Structure Properties dialog box to help support Pressure Pipes to Pipe Structures connections (see below).
Adaptive Labels with Level of Detail Support
This new and optional performance feature called Adaptive Labels supports Civil 3D Group Labels in Profile Views and Section Views. The new code is designed to reduce the redraw issues of lots of Civil 3D Profile View and Section Views Groups labels in larger Plan Production Plan and Profile and Pages of Sections Sheet drawings.
There are new commands in the Ribbons and the Status bar to implement Adaptive Label redraw control.
In the updated Civil 3D Status bar, the Adaptive Label Group icon manages the new AECCLABELOPTIMZE system variable. When this is turned on Group Labels that are outside the modelspace viewport range are not drawn.
We might consider this a WYSIWYG approach where Civil 3D ignores and does not redraw the unseen.
The following non-staggered labels are supported for Adaptive Label Groups:
- All Alignment label groups.
- All Profile label groups.
- All Section label groups (section offset label group, segment label group, grade break label group, etc.)
- All Profile View band label groups.
- All Section View band label groups.
A new AECCLABELOPTFLAGS system variable managed by the Adaptive Label Group interface tool allows us to control and manage the redraw behavior of Group Labels in Profile Views and Section Views.
- 0 Neither of above two settings are turned on
- 1 Regen the labels if needed when the view is panned or zoomed
- 2 Reduce the number of labels that are drawn inside the viewport
- 3 Both the above two settings are turned on
We can easily test the Adaptive Labels and see how these new interface controls and system variables work with a single Profile View and an added group of Profile View Band Styles.
This is mighty nice.
The response time of switching from model to paper space in Civil 3D is reduced.
A new Label Visibility icon is available on the Status bar so that we can show or hide labels for the whole drawing. This option has the same effect as turning on/off labels in the Edit Label Style Details dialog box. Labels of a specific feature will be controlled by its Feature settings.
The AECCVIEWPORTOPT system variable controls whether labels in paper space will be drawn if they are not within the extent of the viewport.
Enter Corridor Transitions
The Civil 3D 2023.2 Update takes a first significant crack at solving a long outstanding Corridor Transitions Civil 3D wish list item.
We want to change and manage the varying and specific width, elevation, slope, and grade properties of a Subassembly or PKT over a range of stations.
For example we want to modify:
- The Cut Slope in a ditch Subassembly or PKT over this range of stations to design a better ditch
- The multiple Height properties in a curb Subassembly or PKT over this range of stations to create a driveway
The update introduces the Corridor collector:
- Transition - operates on a named Subassembly or PKT property within a defined station range
- Transition Set (confined to the same named Subassembly) collects and manages multiple Transitions.
Station ranges between Transitions (or between Sets) can be the same or Transition ranges may overlap. Civil 3D employs a last Transition wins rule.
Transition Sets may be exported and imported in an external CSV format between production drawings. We can standardize Transition Sets this way. Yes, Civil 3D automatically checks the validity of the imported Transition data.
New Pressure Pipe Improvements
In Civil 3D 2023.2 it is now possible to connect Force Main Pressure Pipes to a Pipe Network Structures and Civil 3D will recognize, Label, and maintain the connection. Finally!
In other words, the Update adds the ability to:
- Connect Pressure Network Pipes to Pipes (gravity) Network Structures
- Show connected Pressure Pipes in the Pipes (gravity) network Structure Properties dialog box
Catchments have been moved from the Connections tab to the new Catchments tab in the Structure Properties dialog box
- Label Pressure Pipes that are connected to Pipes (gravity) structures by using the Text for Each label style component and selecting the Structure All Pressure Pipes type
This is another major Pressure Pipe tools and interface ease of use update. The Civil 3D 2023.2 Update is a fit and finish Pressure Pipes update.
- Fittings and Appurtenances are now locked to PI points when grip editing the pipe network. The Fittings and Appurtenances are kept in place relative to the end of the pipe that is not moved
- Added a new slide grip at Fitting and Appurtenance insertion points. The previous slide grips on either side of the Parts have been removed. The new slide grip allows the use of Osnaps to snap the insertion point to a desired location
- Added Display as Linework options for displaying Fittings and Appurtenances in Profile View. Use this option to show a simple view of the Parts in the Profile View
There are certainly a host of Pressure Pipe performance, interface improvements, updates to behaviors, and fixes (for fixes see the Update fixes section below).
- The Pipe Run Profile override locations are now locked to the geometry so that if the upstream (0+0) stationing changes, the overrides stay with the applicable geometry and the stationing updates for the overrides
- Added the Relink Pipe Run command to relink Pressure Network Parts to their underlying Pipe Run Alignment if they become detached from their underlying Alignments when we edit them
- Added a ribbon option for accessing the Regen Pressure Solid command for regenerating missing 3D solids for fittings and appurtenances. Use this command if pipe parts appear to be missing from Plan or Profile View
The Subassembly Composer (SAC) now supports versioning and viable PKT Codes standardization tools for the Points, Link, and Shapes. Finally!
Yes. Imports of codes from an external CSV ASCII text format is finally supported.
Something I have been jumping up and down about for God knows how long.
There are some new and improved find and replace instances tools in the SAC. Hoorah.
Project Explorer Improvements
The Update to Project Explorer includes support for Catchments (see the Civil 3D API improvements) and for Property Sets.
Improved the performance of displaying large collections of Superelevation Critical Stations in the Alignments tab of the Project Explorer window.
The current version of the Autodesk Desktop App (ADA) may croak on installs of the Project Explorer 2023.2 Update. The manual download and install process of the Update appears to be more likely to succeed.
The Update to Project Explorer includes support for Catchments (see the Civil 3D API improvements).
- Added support for Catchments in Object Sets, reports, AutoCAD tables, and spreadsheets.
- Added Layout Style support for Catchments.
- Added support for including Property Sets in Object Sets, reports, AutoCAD tables, and spreadsheets.
- Added Layout Style support for Property Sets. Determine the order and visibility of the value, description, and property name columns across all forms of output from Project Explorer.
- Added support to filter Property Set content in the Project Explorer window, reports, AutoCAD tables, and spreadsheets by Property name, Property value, or Property Set name.
The PE supports Property Sets assigned to the following
Civil 3D Base Objects:
- Site Feature Lines
- Sample line groups
- COGO points
- Pressure Pipes
- Block references
Framework for Civil 3D Support
The most recent Framework Release 8 product builds for the Civil 3D 2023.1 Update ran fine and without significant issues in the Civil 3D 2023.2 betas.
Our preliminary testing in the public Civil 3D 2023.2 Update release displays similar positive results.
Framework for Civil 3D customers should expect a Civil 3D 2023.2 Update build real soon now.
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