A DESIGNER’S TAKE ON CIVIL 3D


Autodesk’s Civil 3D is used by civil engineers, civil designers and other professionals to plan, design and manage land development, water and transportation projects. As an industry-leading building information modeling (BIM) solution, Civil 3D is well known in the civil engineering community and widely used on a variety of infrastructure projects both large and small, such as construction area development, road engineering, river development, dams, embankments, and many others.

Individuals who are currently using AutoCAD or plan on learning AutoCAD will inherit many benefits of using Civil 3D. Civil 3D was originally created to be an add-on for AutoCAD, but, as its popularity and demand grew, it evolved into a stand-alone product built on the AutoCAD platform. Civil 3D offers a familiar design environment and many AutoCAD-compatible shortcuts. With true DWG (drawing) file support, Civil 3D allows you to store and share design data with existing AutoCAD users. The program also offers many beneficial tools and features which can enhance your project, such as Pressure Networks, Corridor Modeling, Earthwork Calculations, Grading, Pipes, Production Drafting, Geospatial Analysis, Point Clouds, and much more.



Perhaps the most helpful aspect of Civil 3D is that any changes to drafting and annotation are automatically reflected throughout the model for quick and efficient visualizations that remain in sync as you make design changes at any stage of the process. To do this, Civil 3D ensures each object, such as an alignment or a parcel, has a standard set of attributes and relationships to other objects. These objects are “intelligent” in the sense that they automatically react in predictable ways to changes in related objects. This allows designers to easily explore “what if” scenarios and not spend hours ensuring design revisions are transferred correctly among surfaces, alignments, profiles, labels, and other objects.



In order to take advantage of this wonderful technology, the styles that govern the appearance and behavior of the various objects (alignments, surfaces, corridors, profiles, points labels etc.) need to be defined to meet your functional and aesthetic requirements. Though the system of building styles is time-consuming, tedious and sometimes confusing, it is at the heart of Civil 3D and the primary aspect of how the program displays objects. Styles not only control the appearance of objects, but, in some cases, the way the object will react to changes in the drawing. Taking the time to build styles properly allows the designer to reap the full benefits of Civil 3D.


Ultimately, the cascading responsiveness of Civil 3D allows designers and engineers to explore, analyze and optimize civil engineering projects. This, in turn, results in improved infrastructure designs that are completed safely, on time, and within budget.



About Foresite Group


Foresite Group is a multidisciplinary engineering, planning, and consulting firm providing services to public and private sector clients nationwide. Our team’s collaborative process results in creative products and services that help our clients achieve their goals. Our team takes pride in enhancing and developing the cities and communities where we live, work, and raise our families.