Join Dustin Manning for an in-depth discussion in this video Sharing Civil 3D data, part of AutoCAD Civil 3D: Topographic and Boundary Survey.
- [Voiceover] How we share civil 3D data depends on how it's going to be used. For instance, if we're working and providing a file for an engineer, hopefully we're going to be in the same version of the software. That would make everything very easy. But, the world's not perfect, so we need to do some planning and some research to know where we want to start our project. So, the first thing to know about file compatibility is that civil 3D is based on AutoCAD. So whenever we save a civil 3D drawing, we're actually just saving an AutoCAD drawing that has some unique features to it and objects inside of the drawing.
Autodesk does a great job of keeping everything standard for about three years. This last cycle lasts about four years. So that means that during that period, all the Autodesk AutoCAD formats are interchangeable. Even if the file was created in, let's say, a 2015 version software, it would have still been using the same file format as 2013. So that makes that part very flexible. So AutoCAD files are going to be interchangeable throughout the file format year. But, for civil 3D, that's a little more complicated.
Civil 3D compatibility depends on the release cycle. So, although the AutoCAD drawing is backwards compatible amongst years, it's not always the case with civil 3D. For instance, in the current release cycle, we're in 2018. In 2018, Autodesk released a new file format, Autodesk drawing 2018. And there were changes made to civil 3D objects, that means that there's no backwards compatibility for any years. As long as we're working 2018 downstream everywhere that the file's going, then no special considerations need to be made.
If we're looking at civil 3D 2017, there's no backwards compatibility. Now, we can very easily take a 2017 drawing and open that up in 2018 and upgrade the drawing, but then there would be no backwards compatibility from that point. For 2016 and '15, it was mostly backwards compatible. We could work interchangeably between '15 and '16 and there were few limitations and a few objects that were updated. It doesn't mean that you can't work with those objects. It's just you may not be able to make certain changes that were only available in the newer release.
So, we need to first make sure that we know what our client needs. If we're only providing a plat, or something to be recorded, the importance of the software that we work in is going to be much less important than if we're doing a design survey where they're going to need to pull profiles and do other analysis on the survey. If we get into a case where we're working in, let's say civil 3D 2018, and it ultimately needs to be delivered to someone using a older version, one place we can go is using the AECOBJEXPLODE command. And this is going to take all of that intelligent information, all the surfaces, alignments, blocks, all those things that are unique to that version of civil 3D and it's going to break them down into their most simple components.
So if we have a block that is a circle with text in it, it's no longer going to be a civil 3D cogo point, but then it's just going to be broken into a block that could be used in any software. But if we find that we need to actually export out a surface or points in some other format to be used in a 3D software, we'd want to utilize LandXML. And so, this is just a standard format that's excepted into most softwares that will keep all the information intelligent, but not in a civil 3D format.
- Setting up your survey database
- Field to Finish workflow
- Creating automatic linework
- Creating TIN surfaces
- Adding surface labels
- Working with different data sources
- Boundary survey in Civil 3D
- Drawing and labeling a boundary
- Productivity tips and tricks