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Tyler Brown
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Our surveying firm is currently running Civil 3d 2017 but we have the option to make an upgrade to version 2019/2020. Is there any negatives to upgrading to the newest versions in your experience? We have been running into many problems with Civil 3d 2017 but we have not been great about applying the service pack updates. 

Any input is welcome on experiences with the newer versions.

Thank you

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K Huerth
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That is actually a very big jump for Civil 3D. 2018 version and up is incredibly difficult to "save back" to earlier versions of CAD, if you send a lot of dwg to engineers that use anything less than 2018 , they will be disappointed. Specifically surfaces will not save back to earlier versions like it does now, there are work-arounds but we charge our clients a few hundred to convert them back since it is so time consuming.

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dmyhill
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We run 2018 and are able to export to ACAD 2010 or the like.

 

It is my understanding that every few years Autodesk updates the file structure and they are no longer backwards compatible. This has happened before, and will happen again most likely. But, for us, exporting to previous versions works.

 

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K Huerth
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Please share, we have tried everything and have resulted to exploding all Civil 3d objects to make them visible in earlier version of CAD. For surfaces, forget it, we have to export 3d faces and then import them into earlier versions of Civil 3d and re-create the surface.

Any info you can provide would be great!

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Richard Imrie
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I'm pretty certain, what you have described is the best/all that can be done.

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VA LS 2867
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Use the exporttoautocad20xx command if you want to send dwg files with plain autocad entities.  If you want to send surface, alignment and profile info, export those as XML.  

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WA-ID Surveyor
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Saving back, if necessary, will be your biggest issue but you probably already have that issue anyways.  We never used 17, went from 16 to 18 where we have been for a while without any major issues.  You cannot save back effectively unless your drawing contains lines and text only.  Civil3d objects are never saved back efficiently.

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BlitzkriegBob
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We are using 2019 for most projects currently.  I really like this version and it has been very stable.  I don't know that there have been many changes made to it since the 2017 version, but for some reason I just like it better.  Probably because I haven't had a single crash with 2019.

One thing to keep in mind if you are considering 2020.  We haven't made the switch yet, but we should be doing so soon.  Apparently, in 2020, survey databases have had their format changed from SQL CE to SQLite.  This will require that all existing databases be converted to SQLite.  Autodesk has included a utility that will do the conversion.

Always keep up with your service packs and hot fixes!

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Richard Imrie
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Ditto 2019 here. She's sweet, fast and stable, but you do need the service packs and hotfixes installed. One issue we had with 2016-2018 was slowness, for which there is a patch for, but that patch is now built into the original install in 2019, so good to go.. The only issue we've had with 2019 was on one PC plotting to PDF, on one layout it wouldn't run through, and through a couple of hours of trying this and that, found through Task Manager that Adobe process wasn't firing up. It worked on another 2019 PC, and it appears that the issue was that the no-go PC's 500GB SSD was very close (2GB) to full, and although it has 32GB RAM it appears that the fire up of Adobe may have needed dipping into the SSD, and clearing 50GB from it fixed the plotting issue. 

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