Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is using Civil 3D Cost Efficient?

Hi everyone. I'm sorry I haven't posted in a long while. I have been tied up with my C++ programming class lately. So far, it has been fun and interesting. On another note, I have some great news. I am now part of the spectular group of civil 3d guru's on Civil3d.com. So be looking for my first post sometime this week. I will still be posting on here but also definitely check out the Civil3d.com website. On top of that, you can also find a link to my website in the AUGI and AU websites now.

Ok there was a great debate at work this week on how civil 3d can benefit the company and help save time and money on projects. I have heard rumors that some companies have given up on Civil 3d because it did not perform to their expectations and cost them to go over the budget on projects. On top of that, the program has become too difficult to learn and teach. So a few questions came up during our discussion such as at what point in your project do you use the grading feature in your project? Some believe that for the first city submittal  that only polylines should be used to represent contours and no PG surface is built to save time and money. In addition, proposed surface spot shots would be manually typed in. Basically your first submittal would feel and look like it was designed in the old land desktop version. On top of that, should any 3d grading features such grading groups, corridors, and features line be used for small projects? The problem I see with this is the editing time now increased because all the objects are not dynamic. These leaves more room for errors. You will now have to go back and manually edit every mtext or text you typed in. On top of that, a PG surface has to be created in order for storm and sewer structure tops to be tired to. The largest questions that came up wax at what point do you decide if a certain project will or will not use the civil3d grading features? I would like get your feed back on your end on how grading is done for small commercial lots and large subdivision projects? On top of that, has civil 3d saved you money or caused you to increase the cost of projects? What has been the positive and negatives points about Civil 3d?


  1. Crazy. We used the grading tools in LDT because they were faster than hand grading and now we still use the grading tools in Civil 3D because they are WAY faster than hand grading. I'm a P.E. and I will take that challenge from any old school hand grading guru.

    It is all about if you know how to leverage the tool (C3D). With simple hand grading you need to know one thing - how to grade. When grading in the computer - using C3D - you need to know:
    1. How to grade (most important)
    2. AutoCAD
    3. Civil 3D
    4. How to leverage the C3D grading tools effectively (temp surfaces, know where to stop with the corridor model, etc...)

    This issue arises because engineers put there CAD staff on grading in the computer and don't even think to first teach them how to grade. Also, it takes more knowledge then the old school engineer even has to start with (cad skills). So, the first couple of projects take longer and then the engineer says - "man, I could have done this faster by hand!" WELL, YEAH.... no kidding because you didn't put the proper investment in the person you are asking to complete YOUR WORK FOR YOU!