Friday, June 09, 2006

10 Reasons to Consider Moving to Civil 3D 2007

So, the gals in the office need me to write up something for our newsletter, so I figured I'd hammer something out here....

Considering Civil 3D 2007?

If you are....

... Currently using Civil 3D 2006 exclusively- Civil 3D 2007 is great. Install it as soon as you check compatibility with your plotters, any 3rd party apps, lisp routines, etc. Civil 3D 2007 looks and feels like 2006, only a few more tools that you can use right away, and a little more maturity (read more below)

...Currently using Land Desktop 2006 or lower and haven't started with Civil 3D at all- Civil 3D 2007 would be the best release to start with. If you have any 2006 software, chances are pretty good that you are on subscription which means you have Civil 3D 2007 somewhere in the office. Get yourself some training and an implementation strategy. When you are ready, 2007 is where to start. (NOTE: Land Desktop 2007 has several known issues that make building surfaces, exporting points and a few other things buggy. I am not currently recommending installation of Land Desktop 2007. Service Pack due out soon... stay tuned)

...Using other software or starting from scratch- Make sure you understand the capabilities of Civil 3D and what your needs are- and if Civil 3D fits the bill, start with Civil 3D. From a learning curve perspective, I find that folks who never used Land Desktop have an easier time learning Civil 3D than they do learning Land Desktop. Be aware that there are some tools in the Land Desktop environment (like the Civil Design package hydrology features) that are not available in Civil 3D. Your reseller should be able to fully answer your questions and concerns.

10 REASONS TO CONSIDER MOVING TO CIVIL 3D 2007 (I will expand upon each one over the coming weeks here in the blog)

10. Survey Integration

Civil 3D 2007 includes a full set of surveying tools including fieldbook import, figure editing, adjustment and other tools your in-house and collaborating sureyors will need to do their work. This is an opportunity to eliminate the hassle of moving from the "Survey" software to the "Engineering" software. Everyone can work in the same environment.

9. Enhanced Pipe Tools

Civil 3D 2007 expands upon the pipe tools of Civil 3D 2006. You can now make an alignment directly from your network parts, as well as creating pipe network parts from a polyline. There is interference checking, more elaborate labeling capabilities, and instant "resize to model" in most cases for rim elevations. What does that mean? It means, you move the manhole and it not only knows its new station and offset, but its new rim without any extra clicks.

8. Contour Matching

No more fighting with contour data! In other software and previous releases, it was always hard to get the contours you make from your TIN to match contours you got from aerial topography or that your designers drew with polylines at elevation. Civil 3D 2007 has enhanced routines that minimize flat triangles, swap edges and other tools that make your contours match without extra work. If you struggle with aerial topography- this ALONE is worth the install.

7. AutoCAD 3D and Rendering tools including 3D DWF

Since Civil 3D is built on AutoCAD, Civil 3D 2007 has access to all the new AutoCAD quick 3d drafting tools. Make 3D houses "grow" on your Civil 3D surface and render it all without leaving the CAD environment. Do quick 3D DWF publishes of your TINs to get an idea of where you need to add more data. Apply the complete catalog of render materials for realistic pavement, grass, brick, asphalt and many many more materials.

6. Improved Labeling Capabilities

Label styles have gotten smarter. If you need a label that uses a formula, Civil 3D 2007 has an expression creator. Need textmask in your label? Civil 3D 2007 can do it.

5. Quick Profiles

Draw a line anywhere. Right click on it. Make a quick and dynamic profile-no alignment necessary. I use them while iteration a grading design, I can see what is happening as I try it.

4. Robust Inquiry Tools

Many complained that Civil 3D 2006 seemed to be missing really good inquiry tools. You had to make labels to get out some of the information you wanted. Now, on the Inquiry Toolbar, there is a button that will help you inquiry stations, elevations, offsets, slopes and anything else you want to know.

3. Map Data Referencing Tools

Civil 3D 2007 is built in Map 3D 2007, which means you have access to all of the great GIS tools of Map including the AWESOME new data referencing tools. Bring a Shapefile in as an underlay, apply a theme, automatically label and much more. See my blog post from earlier today for screen shots and more detail.

2. Feature Lines

This is one of my favorite new tools. Feature Lines in Civil 3D 2007 are like 3D polylines, only they do more. Make 3D arcs, fillets, grade breaks. Use them as breaklines in your surface and watch your TIN change with you as you adjust the feature line elevations. Use them as a foundation for grading objects and to fill in the blanks around your corridor.

1. New Templates

If you are struggling to establish CAD standards, look no further. The sample templates in Civil 3D 2007 are based on the National CAD Standard. Not only that, but they contain styles that make an excellent foundation for your custom template. No need to spend a lot of upfront setup time. Start your pilot project with the NCS Extended.dwt and make changes as you go- then save as YOURCOMPANY.dwt at end of project.

AND... All of the Great Reasons to choose Civil 3D in the first place- Interactive, Model based design and more fun in your engineering life.