Grading Optimization for Civil 3D 2024

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Good Stuff! Project Explorer for Civil 3D (PE) is thankfully built into the new Autodesk Civil 3D 2024 install and the PE is now readily available the Civil 3D Right Click menus and Toolspace interfaces.
However, Autodesk Grading Optimization (GO) for Civil 3D 2024 remains a separate install.
The good news - like the PE, GO now only requires access to an Autodesk Civil 3D license not an AEC Collection license. Take advantage.

Grading Optimization for Civil 3D 2024 Hits the Street

The concept of Grading Optimization is relatively obvious: Set a bunch of goals; Feed the beast a start Surface model; Iteratively analyze the Surface model; Make changes in the Surface model until the goals are met.

Here’s the somewhat geeky Autodesk summary…

Autodesk Grading Optimization (GO) is an interactive tool that facilitates grading various land areas. GO consists of optimization algorithms that work toward surface smoothness while accommodating user-imposed constraints. These design constraints include grading and drainage elements.

Yeah. Right. How does GO really work? Can GO reduce grading design man-hours? Let’s see…


Grading Optimization Tips

Here’s the link to the Grading Optimization 2023 Playtime post.

Between the final Civil 3D 2023.2 Update and the new Civil 3D 2024 release Grading Optimization received many practical, useful, and productive improvements. Follow the links below to see these in detail.

New Features

Global Cut and Fill Constraints

New cut and fill constraints are now available in the Optimization Options dialog box.
We can specify Cut Only, Fill Only, or None (which allows both cut and fill balancing).
The Cut and Fill Constraint is stored within a drawing and persists in future optimizations.

Feature Line Naming Enhancements

The GO Feature Line automatic naming method has been improved to include defined prefixes.
The Save Optimization Result dialog now includes options to define a prefix character string for feature lines generated during optimization.
If multiple optimizations have been run on a drawing, previous prefixes may be selected.
The Save Optimization Result dialog option to return Feature Lines to Civil 3D Sites has been removed.

User Interface Enhancements

  • The Optimization panel has been added to the left side of the Grading Optimization user interface.
  • It shares the same panel as the Object Browser and both are accessed by tabs.
  • The Properties Panel now appears on the left side of the Grading Optimization user interface.
  • It appears below the Object Browser and Optimization Panel.
  • You can now resize the panel that includes the Object Browser, Optimization, and Properties panels by dragging the right side of the panel.
  • The Progress Bar is updated to better display the optimization process.
  • The Help menu now contains the tools to open the Help & Learning panel, Get Started tour, and About

Fixed Issues

Grading Object Properties

  • Improved the dialog box messaging provided to new users when attempting to launch Grading Optimization and it is not installed.

Grading Optimization

  • Fixed an issue that caused the Properties panel to be undefined when using select to deselect an item from a multiple selection of items in the Object Browser.
  • Added a notification when a running optimization reaches a likely solution state or completes. This notification displays over other applications and can be selected to bring Grading Optimization to the front.

Update Civil 3D Drawings

  • Removed the option to return feature lines to sites due to issues with feature line interactions and non responsive drawing files.


  • Fixed an issue in Visualization Settings that caused the slope section not to expand after collapsing and attempting to expand again.
  • Improved the Optimization panel by automatically matching the selected tab with its associated view. The Violation tab defaults to the Violation view and the Cut-Fill tab defaults to the Cut-Fill view.

See the Known Issues list

Read the Grading Optimization for Civil 3D 2024 Release Notes in the help

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