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Does Civil 3D provide value to the typical surveyor?  

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Bow Tie Surveyor
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I have been using Civil 3D for about 6 months coming from Carlson Survey on ICAD and so far I am not very impressed. Its a sluggish program with twitchy graphics. I am constantly waiting on it to catch up with me. The whole smart/dynamic entities, styles and survey database seem to add complexity without much return. I asked one of our Engineering techs in the office if they benefit much from us using survey figures and smart objects and he didn't think so. He actually didn't like Civil 3D trying to rescale our survey when he changes scale on his drawings. He would rather our survey remain static. Also, he didn't seem to care about the 3D survey figures. Not to mention that it is missing a ton of survey tools that Carlson has. So, does Civil 3D provide value to the typical surveyor?

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thebionicman
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If the engineers or clients are using models, C3D is a must. If I were a survey only shop with no engineer clients I wouldnt use it. Problem is, there really arent many places a survey only shop with no engineer clients can stay in business...

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FL/GA PLS.
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@bow-tie-surveyor

Try BricsCAD out, the demo is free.

@thebionicman

“there really arent many places a survey only shop with no engineer clients can stay in business...”

Golly, Gee whiz! I will not work with any “engineer clients”, governmental agencies, or the public. I only work for private house building corporations.

I wonder what I’m doing wrong.  I’ve only been in business for 30 years.  ? 

(Tongue in cheek man, no offence intended) ? 

 

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twdotson
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Posted by: FL/GA PLS. @bow-tie-surveyor

Try BricsCAD out, the demo is free.

While BricsCAD is a great low cost CAD Engine, it does need an add-on to be truly useful for surveyors.

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Randy Hambright
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On another note, for those of us that could care less about catering to Engineers, We use microstation and eagle point, old stuff I know, but works for us. If we were to change to something more "modern", what is a good program to look at?

 

Thanks

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Jim Frame
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If the engineers or clients are using models, C3D is a must.

My engineering clients haven't said anything about the models I furnish.  What's special about C3D in this regard?

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Norman Oklahoma
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Posted by: Bow Tie Surveyor

...does Civil 3D provide value to the typical surveyor?

To the surveyor?  No. To the engineer? Perhaps. Does the survey need to provide a product that the engineer can use seamlessly? Yes. So I'm going to be using C3d as long as the engineers I work with do.

In defense of C3d it is no worse than LDD was for surveyors. And it does have a reasonably good F2f functionality. It does things like import Lidar and export to KML which LDD never did. And I like that there is only one file to maintain track of.

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Bow Tie Surveyor
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Posted by: Norman Oklahoma
 
Does the survey need to provide a product that the engineer can use seamlessly? Yes. So I'm going to be using C3d as long as the engineers I work with do.

I'm not so sure about the theory that if everyone is running Civil 3D everything works great. It seem that unless everybody that you work with is on the exact same version of Civil 3d that you are then all bets are off. I have had significant issues with Civil 3D compatibility between versions. I think AutoDesk wants to be like Apple iOS or Windows 10 that is constantly being upgraded. However, our engineers are reluctant to do this and my survey department cant jump ahead or we will have compatibility problems. It almost seems that we would be better off just handing them a dumb 2D AutoCAD file (maybe a couple of versions back, so they can all read it) with a LandXML surface.

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WA-ID Surveyor
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Depending on the overall nature of your work your electronic deliverable nowadays is often the most important deliverable.  It doesn't matter how good of a surveyor you are if you cannot provide the end user the product they need.  Whether it be in house or working as a sub.  A well written and thought out scope will cover all of this. Define what you are producing and what versions you are producing or receiving it in.   

Better off producing a 2d map? Unless your laying out striping for a parking lot I would beg to differ and in fact that statement is what keeps those of us that know the real benefits of a true 3d product chuckling a little.   But then i still here of surveyors that draw all of their linework back in the office.  I also hear flip phones still work too.  Not trying to give you a hard time but you can't just dabble in Civil3d at the surface level and expect to get anything out of it. Admittedly this is what turns a lot of people off, especially if your trying to compare it to LDD.   I learn stuff about it weekly and have been using it since its inception.

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Gregg Gaffney
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Interesting that you ask this. We just had training for Civil 3D and the learning curve is significant.

We are currently using Land Desktop ver 2009 and are very happy with it. The issue is that we have never been so far behind in software versions than we are right now. We work with one main engineer, and some others, and as far as I know they all use Civil 3D. Things have been getting tougher to keep up with as the spread in software between us and them gets larger. 

I have noticed that even with quick computers, it does appear to be sluggish as well. I am hoping that once we start using it we will find it to be faster but not sure yet. I am with you that I would rather not see the scale change objects which I am sure you can turn off somehow.

My biggest fear is points and point management. We have a good system down and it works very well for us for topos, boundaries and stake out work. None of this appears to work the same in Civil 3D. I also have noticed that when some of the engineers migrated to it there were fairly large issues associated with the learning curve. 

We know others that have gone to Carlson and appear to be happy with it. At some point maybe I will try that also and see if it would be a better fit. At the moment though it appears to be Civil 3D in our future. I am hoping that it will be a worthwhile upgrade. I have heard others state that after the initial time investment it was very much worth it. I am again hoping that is the case!

 

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