Pace Yourself- The Incremental Implementation

There are a few ways to implement Civil 3D, and I am still trying to figure out which one is the best.

You may have noticed that I do some design work. By day, I am the Mary Poppins of Civil 3D, going from firm to firm spreading sunshine, sugar and good manners. I make sure people take their medicine and make cleaning up CAD standards into a game. But by night and on weekends, I do project work for two local firms.

One of the firms I am working with started implementing Civil 3D in small chunks. The main motivator for the first project was the extreme dislike of Land Desktop/Civil Design’s pipeworks routines.

I coached them through a rather stressful pipe project, but the process helped iron out a template and exposed me (and them) to more of the realities of using Civil 3D as your production tool.

Since then, I came onboard as a “fill in the blank” team member, and we have managed to do more with Civil 3D. I occasionally get stressed out because I have a vision of the “perfect” Civil 3D project that has not a single AutoCAD line, arc, curve, circle or dtext in it. So when I come into the office and hear that Joey took care of the predevelopment soils lines the old fashioned way, I used to get really sweaty and say “STOP RIGHT THERE” but I soon learned that the realities of getting work out the door and keeping the Stone Cutter PMs happy sometimes has to win over.

As long as my model data is not being exploded or damaged, I really can’t complain. So I spent some time educating the other users to help them identify what is a “ask before explode” item in a Civil 3D drawing.

It is a game of give and take. As long as you aren’t approaching things haphazardly- ie you have a semi-established template, you know the parcel rules, you understand how the program works, you’ve had some classes and done your homework- there is nothing wrong with leveraging a new piece of the software every project and continuing to build your skill arsenal and your template at the same time.

This particular group has several projects that were land planned a year ago, but are just now getting the detailed design go-ahead. So in that case, we haven’t parcelized the parcels- just using them as an xref for now- so we can focus on building a great corridor and doing pipe networks.

Other projects, maybe you just do the parceling in Civil3D and the rest gets handed off to another department or designer that just isn’t ready.

That’s ok!

Each project gets easier.

The skill that took you a few days to master on this one (for me it was a giant corridor and multiple challenging pipe networks on my current one), will fly on the next one, when maybe you tackle coming up with a method to use parcels for your stormwater subcatchments (check out my AU class for more on that!)

Just be concious of keeping track of the styles you have made on this project and keep adding them back to your standard template. Don’t get caught in the “make it new every project” game.

So take a deep breath, slow down and realize that even a big geek like me needs baby steps sometimes.