Join Jon Michael Roberts for an in-depth discussion in this video Civil 3D concepts and basic principles, part of Up and Running with Civil 3D.
Before you ever start using Civil 3D, you should understand the basic principle behind how it works. It is a completely different way of working when compared to plain AutoCAD. When designing in a standard AutoCAD environment, you will in most cases begin by drawing simple geometry like lines, arcs, circles and polylines. These will eventually become features of your civil design work. You will also have to either start from a drawing template that already has a predetermined list of layers.
Or you will need to create layers for each different type of element in your design as you work. After your design is finished, you will have to frame your design in a viewport and paper space for prints. Choose a good drawing scale. And then finally, begin annotation. After of course, setting a font and font size from your text style. Civil 3D will automate the vast majority of this along with streamlining your design process. Here's how. First of all, Civil 3D is a parametric designing tool for civil work.
This means that your designs are intelligent and can be dynamically modified. This allows you not only to make changes in your plans quickly and easily, but also give you the freedom to explore many iterations of a design to see what works best. The term parametric in design, simply means parameter based. And the most fundamental parameter in Civil 3D is the surface of the terrain at your project sight. In Civil 3D, this terrain isn't just a collection of topography lines.
But a continuous surface to which you will interact. This is by far, the most important concept to grasp in Civil 3D. That you are no longer creating and manipulating lines, but working with surfaces. The second thing that separates Civil 3D from AutoCAD is the use of styles. Styles affect virtually every element in your work environment. It allows you to control how things are rendered on the screen. Adjust to scale changes. Generate different information or just how items behave.
Styles mean that you never need to interact with your layers control window. I'm going to show you through this course just the basic understanding of how styles work. But it is a very complex and involved topic that will need to be covered more completely in a comprehensive program. Just understand that having your styles established is a critical part of being productive in Civil 3D. It will take some time to get them where you want them. But it will be worth it in the long run, so don't skip this process.
In conclusion, Civil 3D is still a program that sits on top of AutoCAD. And you can still perform the same functions that the standard AutoCAD platform provides, but it doesn't mean that you should. Once you understand the power and automation behind parametric design with the proper use of styles, you'll never want to go back.
- Understanding the Civil 3D interface
- Creating parcels and right-of-ways
- Importing site data
- Designing a 3D surface
- Creating alignments and profiles
- Grading surfaces
- Creating corridors
- Designing pipe networks