What Do You Want to Have Fixed or Added?

What do you see is the number one thing that Civil 3D is missing or needs attention?

Ground rules:

  1. You can only choose one item.
  2. Please be civil with your comments. Blanket statements like “Civil 3D sucks” or “fix everything” may be deleted by the moderator as they do not contribute to the discussion.
  3. No flaming allowed. Remember these are YOUR personal opinions. If you see a solution to their opinion with the present software as configured, please respond in kind.

So with that, lets get the ball rolling….


  1. Fred Mitchell says:

    1.) I’d like to see the pipe/structure description portion of labels read properly.
    2.) Mamby bamby lahdi blahdi.
    3.) Blah blah blah blah.

    I haven’t used 2010 alot BECAUSE of these first two reasons. For our firm, these are pretty much deal breakers.

    The rules are the rules. Pick ONE. JW

  2. Dave Thomas says:

    I’ve made the switch to C3D 2010 last month, and the main problem I’ve run into is a memory overload when plotting. This seems to be a consistent problem on plots directly to the plotter or printer. The work around is simply to output to a PDF, then print from the PDF. I never experienced this problem with 2008 (we decided to skip 2009). I’m currently running a dual processor system with 4Gb ram – the max allowed with the 32Mb operating system. I don’t want to switch to the 64Mb operating system if possible and have to reload EVERY program.

    Fortunately, the new Plot to PDF feature is fantastic! Fast, simple, AND a HUGE reduction in files size: a 22Mb PDF from 2008 (via a DWF file) was reduced to <2Mb from 2010. Now if they could just allow Plotter Selection in PDF ouput like they do in Publish…

  3. Josh Petersen says:

    Could we have some dynamic pipe networks that follow profiles (water mains!!!), blah blah blah blah blah.

    Seriously, ONE item. Any more, you’re getting chopped. JW

    • Josh Petersen says:

      What is this, China? 🙂 the best damned Civil 3D related website on the entire intratubes? And all put together by the nicest guys ever to play with the software?

      Why yes, it is. Thanks for the kind words. JW

      P.S. Don’t poke the bear when the bear has edit privileges. 😀

  4. At this point, I think being able to access the Civil 3d data in FIELDS should be first. This will at least help with some table issues. [Since I can only offer one item…]

  5. Jason Ellis says:

    FIX SECTION VIEWS. DREFs to pipes vanish and there is no (dynamic) workaround. This is a fundamental flaw in the program which defeats the whole pupose of the dyanmic objects. We discovered it be an issue soon after migrating (2008) and it still ahsn’t been fixed. More at:


    In my opinion, this should trump all fixes and new functions.

    • It’s amazing what’s a deal breaker for some, and not for others. In 10 years, the only time I had to actually output sections what in flood-study work. For many commercial and industrial projects, sections never even come up.

      Good stuff though.

      • Sections come up frequently – but can be boiled down to changes to the ROW for either state, country, or municipality or floodplain / quantity disputes. [Floodplain and quantity disputes are primarily the same thing – arguing about how much of whatever is either in or out of the design]

      • Jason Ellis says:

        Our Transportation Group lives in section view – several sheets of roadway section views in every plan set – and must show their existing and proposed pipes in said views.

        I love all the new goodies and as much as the next guy, but when fundamentals like that get passed over, it makes evangelism for the ‘improved’ version slightly more difficult.

  6. Michael Robertson says:

    Since everything is tied to styles, external style storage & management would be great.

  7. . says:

    Since just about every single commercial or residential development requires the installation of presurized pipe systems (water and/or wastewater). I believe that the number one addition should be the ability to model pressurized distribution systems.

    • Tyrone K says:

      Blah blah blah I’ll say the lack of linetype generation for feature lines, survey lines and alignments. It’s not a deal breaker but is annoying and results in the needless duplication of linework if your plans require something other than solid lines.

  8. Ryan Noyes says:

    Fix alignments created by: Landxml import, polyline import (with curves already in the polyline), and imported from Land desktop projects so they have full grip edit capabilities and free/float/fixed relationships like alignments created using the alignment “element method” tools or created using the create from polyline inserting curves command. The geometry is there to generate the PI’s so give them to me please!!!!!! The one thing I was looking forward to telling folks that only want to define by alignments from polylines is they are fully functional, well they aren’t. I know I can manually join my tangents after making the alignment from a polyline so I can show people the grip edits but I should not need to do that manually. (By the way alignments by layout are incredibly slick but convincing someone who has always done polyline/fillet commands is more than I want to tackle)

  9. Curtis King says:

    Grading stability for me please!

  10. Rick Graham says:

    I guess I’ll add my one.

    Please give me the capability of using Feature Lines to grade to an elevation. If I have this, then Grading Objects would be almost obsolete for me.

  11. WalterL says:

    Simplify Cul-de-sac creation and grading!

    Intersection grading works great, just make cul-de-sacs as easy. It takes a lot more time creating a profile around the curb line and setting it up for doing grading.

  12. I would have to say, not having vertical breaks in pipes every time there is a plan view PI, PC or PT. One continual vertical pipe from structure to structure with the ability to put curves or PI’s in plan view would be wonderful.

  13. Stuart Roby says:

    I would like to have a roundabout option added to the intersection wizard as we design many roundabouts and the software struggles to dynamically model the central and splitter islands.

  14. Tom Berning says:

    How about an option to turn on or off the leader for each label similar to the toggle label pin. This could eliminate multiple styles where one has a leader and one doesn’t.

  15. My one main concern or #1 item is still “STABILITY”.
    Especially, forward compatibility with jobs started in previous Civil 3D versions. There always seems to be a myriad of corrupt drawings when this has to happen. They’re still even happening when starting from scratch.
    Fatal Errors are happening much more then Autodesk knows about. I see many of my clients get Fatal Errors and not report the CER just because they’re already losing time in their production and they need to redo what they just lost as soon as possible. They don’t have “extra” time to sit there and fill out the report especially when they have no clue as to what just happened, and why it’s happening. They just know that it shouldn’t have.

    This is my one main item, but it’s coming from 25-30 of my clients on a weekly basis.

    • I am suprised Jonathan – but its either a press ok to send or press cancel to dismiss regardless of the information you add to the report. You might be suprised by results of just clicking send…

      • Matthew,
        I’m just the messenger. I send most of mine of course ?, sometimes addressed to someone at Autodesk that deals with a particular part of the program.
        But yes, just hitting send can be helpful, or at least fill up the inboxes at the guys at Autodesk.
        But besides that, I’m not aware of any other software that costs $7,000+ and crashes as often.
        I am, and have been an advocate of Autodesk software for quite awhile. I plan to remain one, but it’s very tough to continually get the question from clients, “Is there other software out there that we can use instead?” The dynamic features are a great selling point, but the time lost with the stability and simple tasks like (plotting) have really started to wipe all the time savings away. And the upper management, in many firms, are realizing this, especially during this economic time.
        I’ve been doing my best to assure them that it will continually improve. And it seems to, but now I hear and witness so many that are frustrated because their current computers can’t handle the memory requirements of the software, and their budgets don’t allow for new computers, so they continually get more and more FE’s.

    • Rick Graham says:

      That is one reason why I have autosaves on and set to 10 minutes. It might be a PITB to wait every 10 minutes for a save, but when a FE happens, I only have to go to my autosaves and pull up the last good one, rename it and I have only lost 10 minutes work. YMMV

  16. Mark Hill says:

    I’d like them to improve how C3D handles large aerial images, for plotting, publishing, and layouts with more than one Viewport and a twist added.

  17. Juan Soto says:

    One thing hu? Well one thing that I would like is the ability of transfer style thru a design center type interface, having to open drawing just to drag a new style in is a pain.

    Not fair, genie’s always grant 3 wishes

    • I’m not a genie, I’m a benevolent dictator. You get one wish here.

      For the record, I think yours is a good one, but not likely to happen to the fact that AutoCAD controls Design Center, not the C3D team.

  18. George Hatch says:

    Great comments everybody!

    If I could pick one thing, it would be grading object stability. I know that for simple sites and designs, they work great. When the design becomes complex, I typically use corridors to grade. This gives you a much more dynamic grading model, not to mention creating multiple surfaces from one model. Blah blah too many wishes blah.

  19. Philip Endrizzi says:

    My wish, which is MANY years old, is to have the profile (.arg) file that is referenced in the target line of the desktop icon be “forced” to reload that profile every time acad starts, regardless of what is in the current registry.

  20. David Garrigues says:

    Editing cross sections in the cross sections themselves not the editor. The current method bores me. I cannot see the cross sections exaggerated like my plotted cross sections. I cannot just drag the entities around so that it would just update my surface….only one James?….I say the next time we are all together we ask James to just make one comment on anything 🙂

  21. Geoff lanigan says:

    Match properties for contour labels

  22. Scott Lawson says:

    Surfaces, grading tools and feature line stability! I use this product primarily for grading work at rock quarries (large and small sites). Blah blah blah rant rant blah.

  23. Scott Lawson says:

    As far as adding things, it would be nice to be able to add a point elevation along a existing feature line at a specific elevation rather than by station. Say you want point elevations placed on a curved feature line at every two foot increment for example. Perhaps this is possible, i just have never been able to figure it out with the existing commands. Blahty blahty LDT wish blah. Thank you for this thread.

  24. larry richards says:

    since i am limited to just one….
    I would have to agree with a post above about a wizard for cul de sacs, round abouts and knuckles in roadway work. now is that considerd one wish or three ? 🙂

  25. That the ADN DevNotes be incorpoarted into the Customization Help files of the program. I’ve been told all my answers to my questions are located there.

  26. Earl Kubaskie says:

    OK, how’s this? It really is only one feature-gripe.

    I have found bands to be the easiest way to do the labels for a profile with pipes. The down-side, though, is that the partial pipe runs at each side of a PnP sheet will show full labels, even if some belong only on the next sheet (like invert @ end of run).

    If you have pipes & structures labeled, you can pick an individual label and delete it, or edit it. Not so with band labels – and that is my request. I’d like to e able to delete or edit any single label within a band – especially the invert labels that end up showing at the match lines – since they are actually the inverts at the next structure, found on the next page – and not the inverts at the match line where they appear.

  27. Three click single and multiple long sections (ProfileViewTypes)

    I just want to draw various types of long section (ProfileViewsTypes) in two or third clicks.

    by selecting one or multiple polylines, lines, alignments whatever and having all the alignments, profiles and profileview
    generated automatically based on pre defined settings that the cad manager setup once 5 years ago and we do not need to know anything about to get the job done.

    The video at this link shows you a work in process that I have programmed up myself but should be built into the program
    in some way. Still has some holes due to the lack of API access to pipes and profileview bands


  28. Marty Bissell says:

    This may or may not apply, but I layout a lot of parking lots, sports fields and such as we do a lot of school replacements and upgrades. I know Land Desktop is probably a dirty word, but it did have some nice features for doing the things I mentioned. Why were these things eliminated in C3D? Any chance they can be brought back?

  29. jherlyck says:

    My wish would be for improved grading stability and control. One user already commented on stability so I will focus on the control aspect. Having featurelines that automatically and dynamically interact with each other is a very powerful tool but it is also dangerous and requires close attention to be paid. I think it is critical that the user be prompted before one featureline takes on the elevation of the joining/crossing featureline. Notify the user of the difference in elevation and allow them to choose the elevation to assign. Ability to “lock” a featureline elevation via a toggle would be nice too.

    • I know tihs isn’t a fix all solution, but there is a new feature to control feature line style priority, which is close to what you are looking for.
      “When two feature lines with different styles intersect, the one with the higher set priority determines the elevation. Feature lines without a style have the lowest priority. If two feature lines have the same style or no style, then priority is given to the last edited feature line.”

      This is controlled in the Options Tab (Feature Line Site Properties Dialog Box).

      JW – Maybe this is an idea for a new post from one of your site authors to show in more detail as a new post. Or I could possibly put something together for a post.

  30. Jeff Mishler says:

    A bit late to the party, but here’s my contribution.

    I would like to have all Data Referenced objects which allow for Overrides to be set remember those overrides when saving/closing/reopening. Pipe networks is a great example. We are permitted to set an alignment override for the network, this allows us to add structure labels correctly depending on the alignment for the current drawing. However, close the drawing and the next time you open it the overrides will be gone, leaving the labels full of ?????’s