AutoCAD Civil 3D General

Reply
*Dieges, Russell
Message 11 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

10-17-2003 02:19 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
You are right about "
size=3>work in an urban area" - I feel that I am constantly having to 'trick'
LD3 into producing the results I need in order to make the finished product fit
existing conditions.  But autodesk should be able to come up with a few
basic controls that could help; at the very least, it would be great to have a
profile tool to match an existing half width road (not that it can't be done
now, just that I think it could be easier).

 

Russell


style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
I
know its still early in the game and I also applaud autodesk for attempting
this object oriented approach, however, I think there are going to be a lot of
users who would just as soon stick with the tried and true land desktop. It
works. And as Allen says, you can easily get 90% down the path before you have
to start manually editing. If autodesk is going to improve on civil3d, they
will need to put some tools in there to allow manual drafting(ie cross section
and profile tools). I work in an urban area where you have to make the design
fit very limiting existing conditions, not in an empty field where all you
need to worry about is if the earthwork balances. And if you can get the
software to take in all the minute details needed to finish the plans it will
become too complex to run. I think they should release civil 3d as a seperate
product; two different levels of automation. Ive been in the business for
about 15 years, worked in big companies and small and am now in the government
sector, and of all the users Ive known only about 30-40% of them can run every
aspect of software(softdesk, autodesk, LDD)efficiently. Thats a big gamble on
autodesks part to risk losing half of their user
base.
Distinguished Contributor
Nick_Merchant
Posts: 213
Registered: ‎11-06-2003
Message 12 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

10-18-2003 04:25 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Alan,

I have to say, after reading all of these posts, that I agree with you and Tailleur. I've also been in the civil development field for over 15 years in Arizona. 4 of the 5 fastest-growing cities in America are in our state and I've designed both subdivisions and commercial sites in all of them. Considering that I've worked for about 7 firms since 1988 and have have studied and applied LDD inside and out, and done virtually everything you can do with this software, I can tell you first-hand what it's strengths and weaknesses are. In my experience, there are no better preliminary design tools available than what ALD has to offer. However, when it comes to drafting & production, ALD falls way, way short. The great majority of production tasks are still handled with either Vanilla AutoCAD functionality or 3rd-party app's. Dispute me as others may, I can tell you HONESTLY, that regardless of the strides Autodesk has made with object modeling, it's a very, VERY long way from being usable on the vast majority of real-world projects, with every-day, real-world requirements. I've been pushing grading obejects on others for years, but the FACT is 90% of the users I know don't use them. And as awesome as I personally think they are, I have yet to use a single grading object in any of my final improvement plans. They lack the final output requirements of most or all projects I've worked on. How different is C3D than grading objects? To me, it seems like the same concpet, just applied to other areas of design. Am I right or wrong? If it took 5+ years for Autodesk developers to extend grading object functionality to alignments, etc., how long will it take to iron out all the bugs and move further ahead and even more unconcieveably, respond to age-old wish list requests? It seems to me, ignorant as I am, that the developers at Autodesk design their software in a bubble, of-sorts, with lots of education in programming & C++, but limited experience as designers and engineers. I don't know, I'm just guessing here, OK? I think Autodesk should probably consider hiring people like Robert Steltman, Laurie Comerford, Andrew Watson, R.K. McSwain(?) or some of those other "small-time", but obviously GIFTED programmers/engineers/designers out there making a living designing and drafting real roads and subdivisions PLUS developing on the side to fill in the holes, to get a better perspective of what MOST users really need. As much as I respect their ability to develop software, I'm starting to wonder if they really understand what the REAL every-day needs are of engineers & designers under the stringent requirement of various municipalities are. I know various registered engineers that can't design a subdivision to save their P.E., but some techno-master designers that save the a**es of their firms with their skills (Keep in mind that this is a generalization). Just because you can develop software that visually impresses people doesn't mean it's gonna' get the job done faster or get your project out the door on time. I know lots and lots of people that have been waiting over 13 years for DCA, Softdesk, LDD, ALD to develop some seemingly "simple" tools and functionality that they REALLY needed, and they NEVER did. Consequently, some of these people have just given up hope that they would ever see these tools. I won't say what those needs are, because, I have developed them myself, and despite the introduction of 2004 & C3D, my 3rd-party application is doing well (Please don't judge from the 'dinosaur' on my website. The "good stuff" won't be available for the "pirates" to download). I hope it doesn't seem like I have a "bad attitude", because I really don't when it comes to AutoCAD. The "vanilla" app.'literally blows my mind. Personally, I'd like to meet the person/people who concieved and developed concepts like paperspace and XREFing. Their vision was so "right-on-time" that by all rights, they should've retired by now. It's just that I'm another one of those "users" that have been waiting a looooooong time for some basic stuff that just never came to be. So now I see the "future of civil applications" and I wonder, "Well what about blah, blah & blah? I really needed that stuff along time ago..." OK. I've got it all out now. Just another opinion, eh? Thanks
*Ernst, Fred
Message 13 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

10-18-2003 11:26 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Hey Nick,

 

Yeah, you're wrong. Do you even have Civil 3D? Read
the thread, subject "Grading Target", and the things Glen is working on. Grading
is changing, and will be offering Feature lines for Targets and will do
automatic Grading trimming.


 

Why rant about a product you no nothing
about? It puts chinks in your credibility.

 

I've ranted about stuff before, but sometimes you
have to decide to move on. Now is the time to get your input in!  Start
listing those everyday needs for everyone's benefit.

 

Fred

 

 

 


style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
Alan,

I have to say, after reading all of these posts, that I agree with you and
Tailleur. I've also been in the civil development field for over 15 years in
Arizona. 4 of the 5 fastest-growing cities in America are in our state and
I've designed both subdivisions and commercial sites in all of them.
Considering that I've worked for about 7 firms since 1988 and have have
studied and applied LDD inside and out, and done virtually everything you can
do with this software, I can tell you first-hand what it's strengths and
weaknesses are. In my experience, there are no better preliminary design tools
available than what ALD has to offer. However, when it comes to drafting &
production, ALD falls way, way short. The great majority of production tasks
are still handled with either Vanilla AutoCAD functionality or 3rd-party
app's. Dispute me as others may, I can tell you HONESTLY, that regardless of
the strides Autodesk has made with object modeling, it's a very, VERY long way
from being usable on the vast majority of real-world projects, with every-day,
real-world requirements. I've been pushing grading obejects on others for
years, but the FACT is 90% of the users I know don't use them. And as awesome
as I personally think they are, I have yet to use a single grading object in
any of my final improvement plans. They lack the final output requirements of
most or all projects I've worked on. How different is C3D than grading
objects? To me, it seems like the same concpet, just applied to other areas of
design. Am I right or wrong? If it took 5+ years for Autodesk developers to
extend grading object functionality to alignments, etc., how long will it take
to iron out all the bugs and move further ahead and even more unconcieveably,
respond to age-old wish list requests? It seems to me, ignorant as I am, that
the developers at Autodesk design their software in a bubble, of-sorts, with
lots of education in programming & C++, but limited experience as
designers and engineers. I don't know, I'm just guessing here, OK? I think
Autodesk should probably consider hiring people like Robert Steltman, Laurie
Comerford, Andrew Watson, R.K. McSwain(?) or some of those other "small-time",
but obviously GIFTED programmers/engineers/designers out there making a living
designing and drafting real roads and subdivisions PLUS developing on the side
to fill in the holes, to get a better perspective of what MOST users really
need. As much as I respect their ability to develop software, I'm starting to
wonder if they really understand what the REAL every-day needs are of
engineers & designers under the stringent requirement of various
municipalities are. I know various registered engineers that can't design a
subdivision to save their P.E., but some techno-master designers that save the
a**es of their firms with their skills (Keep in mind that this is a
generalization). Just because you can develop software that visually impresses
people doesn't mean it's gonna' get the job done faster or get your project
out the door on time. I know lots and lots of people that have been waiting
over 13 years for DCA, Softdesk, LDD, ALD to develop some seemingly "simple"
tools and functionality that they REALLY needed, and they NEVER did.
Consequently, some of these people have just given up hope that they would
ever see these tools. I won't say what those needs are, because, I have
developed them myself, and despite the introduction of 2004 & C3D, my
3rd-party application is doing well (Please don't judge from the 'dinosaur' on
my website. The "good stuff" won't be available for the "pirates" to
download). I hope it doesn't seem like I have a "bad attitude", because I
really don't when it comes to AutoCAD. The "vanilla" app.'literally blows my
mind. Personally, I'd like to meet the person/people who concieved and
developed concepts like paperspace and XREFing. Their vision was so
"right-on-time" that by all rights, they should've retired by now. It's just
that I'm another one of those "users" that have been waiting a looooooong time
for some basic stuff that just never came to be. So now I see the "future of
civil applications" and I wonder, "Well what about blah, blah & blah? I
really needed that stuff along time ago..." OK. I've got it all out now. Just
another opinion, eh? Thanks

*Rizzo, Jon
Message 14 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

10-19-2003 09:56 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Seems like quite a lengthy tome considering that you don't seem to have used
(or even seen?) the program. I think that it would be much more productive
to reserve judgement until after you have evaluated the software, don't you?

You are correct, most of the programmers at Autodesk are educated in
computer science, as you would expect that most programmers for any
respectable software company would be. Software engineering skills are not
something that a civil engineer can easily "pick up" in his/her spare time.
While writing a LISP or VBA macro can be a very complex tasks, it is quite a
long way from engineering a powerful, intuitive, FLEXIBLE and expandable
software system. The product designers and managers at Autodesk, however,
are former engineers for the most part. They are, from what I have seen,
quite knowledgeable about what the software needs to do, and they have spent
quite a long time listening to people in this newsgroup and gathering
requirements from individuals in a broad cross section of civil engineering
disciplines.

In 3-5 years there will be 2 camps: those who embrace Civil3D and learn how
to set it up and use it, and those who cling to Land Desktop. Both products
WILL be capable of performing the analysis and design, and each camp will
probably think that the other is a waste of time. If you are still thinking
objectively about where you want to pitch your tent, I can tell you three
things for sure:
1. Civil3D will be significantly more productive in ALL drafting and
visualization tasks.
2. The "wish list" that you mentioned for Land Desktop has been thrown out
of the window. The fate of the actual program is unclear at this time, but
I can guarantee that even if you CAN buy LDT in 5 years, you will still have
all of the same issues and limitations that come with it today.
3. The "wish list" for Land Desktop will undoubtedly grow as you hear about
and see all of the new and exciting things that people are doing with
Civil3D. Engineers will post requests for this functionality to be added to
Land Desktop, but these requests will be ignored. Such requests would be
akin to demanding that Autodesk add true color support and tool palettes to
AutoCAD 14, without requiring you to upgrade to AutoCAD 2004.

Civil3D is not perfect, far from it. There are quite a number of serious
bugs weighing it down & important features are still absent, but in a few
years the differences between it and LDT will be staggering.

Just something to think about.

Jon Rizzo
Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.



"Nick_Merchant" wrote in message
news:f193974.10@WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
Alan,
I have to say, after reading all of these posts, that I agree with you and
Tailleur. I've also been in the civil development field for over 15 years in
Arizona. 4 of the 5 fastest-growing cities in America are in our state and
I've designed both subdivisions and commercial sites in all of them.
Considering that I've worked for about 7 firms since 1988 and have have
studied and applied LDD inside and out, and done virtually everything you
can do with this software, I can tell you first-hand what it's strengths and
weaknesses are. In my experience, there are no better preliminary design
tools available than what ALD has to offer. However, when it comes to
drafting & production, ALD falls way, way short. The great majority of
production tasks are still handled with either Vanilla AutoCAD functionality
or 3rd-party app's. Dispute me as others may, I can tell you HONESTLY, that
regardless of the strides Autodesk has made with object modeling, it's a
very, VERY long way from being usable on the vast majority of real-world
projects, with every-day, real-world requirements. I've been pushing grading
obejects on others for years, but the FACT is 90% of the users I know don't
use them. And as awesome as I personally think they are, I have yet to use a
single grading object in any of my final improvement plans. They lack the
final output requirements of most or all projects I've worked on. How
different is C3D than grading objects? To me, it seems like the same
concpet, just applied to other areas of design. Am I right or wrong? If it
took 5+ years for Autodesk developers to extend grading object functionality
to alignments, etc., how long will it take to iron out all the bugs and move
further ahead and even more unconcieveably, respond to age-old wish list
requests? It seems to me, ignorant as I am, that the developers at Autodesk
design their software in a bubble, of-sorts, with lots of education in
programming & C++, but limited experience as designers and engineers. I
don't know, I'm just guessing here, OK? I think Autodesk should probably
consider hiring people like Robert Steltman, Laurie Comerford, Andrew
Watson, R.K. McSwain(?) or some of those other "small-time", but obviously
GIFTED programmers/engineers/designers out there making a living designing
and drafting real roads and subdivisions PLUS developing on the side to fill
in the holes, to get a better perspective of what MOST users really need. As
much as I respect their ability to develop software, I'm starting to wonder
if they really understand what the REAL every-day needs are of engineers &
designers under the stringent requirement of various municipalities are. I
know various registered engineers that can't design a subdivision to save
their P.E., but some techno-master designers that save the a**es of their
firms with their skills (Keep in mind that this is a generalization). Just
because you can develop software that visually impresses people doesn't mean
it's gonna' get the job done faster or get your project out the door on
time. I know lots and lots of people that have been waiting over 13 years
for DCA, Softdesk, LDD, ALD to develop some seemingly "simple" tools and
functionality that they REALLY needed, and they NEVER did. Consequently,
some of these people have just given up hope that they would ever see these
tools. I won't say what those needs are, because, I have developed them
myself, and despite the introduction of 2004 & C3D, my 3rd-party application
is doing well (Please don't judge from the 'dinosaur' on my website. The
"good stuff" won't be available for the "pirates" to download). I hope it
doesn't seem like I have a "bad attitude", because I really don't when it
comes to AutoCAD. The "vanilla" app.'literally blows my mind. Personally,
I'd like to meet the person/people who concieved and developed concepts like
paperspace and XREFing. Their vision was so "right-on-time" that by all
rights, they should've retired by now. It's just that I'm another one of
those "users" that have been waiting a looooooong time for some basic stuff
that just never came to be. So now I see the "future of civil applications"
and I wonder, "Well what about blah, blah & blah? I really needed that stuff
along time ago..." OK. I've got it all out now. Just another opinion, eh?
Thanks
Valued Contributor
zuzi
Posts: 59
Registered: ‎12-03-2003
Message 15 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

11-18-2003 04:58 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Seems like everyone has something to add, some positive, some negative. I used a product developed by clever programmers with restricted engineering knowledge years ago when dos was still in fashion. through user input (and OS improvements) the product grew to be an extremely functional easy to use design aid which has many features i would still like to see in ldd / civil3d.
Guys the most important thing now is to get the requests in so that we, the ultimate users of the software, can have a significant role in the development of the product. By doing this we can influence the genius of the programmers and software engineers at autodesk. Hopefully they will listen, and we will end up with a product we dont have to bash for its inadequacies, like we have been doing to ldd for years. Guys give them the wishes, and advice or suggestions on how we would like to do things, and i am sure we will get a really cool program.
Heres Hoping.

Peter
Mactec Engineering
*Ernst, Fred
Message 16 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

11-18-2003 06:27 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Thanks for that preamble. Now where's your
input?

 

Fred


style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; BORDER-LEFT: #000000 2px solid; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px">
Seems
like everyone has something to add, some positive, some negative. I used a
product developed by clever programmers with restricted engineering knowledge
years ago when dos was still in fashion. through user input (and OS
improvements) the product grew to be an extremely functional easy to use
design aid which has many features i would still like to see in ldd / civil3d.

Guys the most important thing now is to get the requests in so that we,
the ultimate users of the software, can have a significant role in the
development of the product. By doing this we can influence the genius of the
programmers and software engineers at autodesk. Hopefully they will listen,
and we will end up with a product we dont have to bash for its inadequacies,
like we have been doing to ldd for years. Guys give them the wishes, and
advice or suggestions on how we would like to do things, and i am sure we will
get a really cool program.
Heres Hoping.

Peter
Mactec Engineering

*Lewis, Dave
Message 17 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

11-26-2003 02:33 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
I know I'm a little late to this thread but here is my nose errr I mean opinion

After seeing the UI (not using) I would agree that it has gotten alot more complicated
compared to LDD. In the last 4 companies I have worked for very very few people really
had a good handle on LDD. Most just don't know how to use it. Civil engineers don't seem
to make strong computer users in my experience. Civil engineering is not rocket science and
thus does not need a rocket science's program. Most people I know want a simpler experience
using LDD, not more complicated.

I really wish Autodesk would do more to ask its LDD users before hand what they want. Maybe
I am in the minority, but I want a product that will help me design on a computer. I want at the least
a program that does away with the repetitiveness off LDD. For example. If I want earthworks on
a new road alignment, I design a hor/ver alignment, do templates, create a surface and then do
my earthworks calcs. Now if I tweak my vertical profile, I have to basically redo every step again
to get my new earthworks numbers. That is ridiculous. Like the mechanical programs, I should be
able to tweak one area and everything else automatically adjusts, thus killing the receptiveness.
That would be such a huge time saver and would really be helpful.

Sure drafting aids would be nice, but I think most companies have already developed their own
methods / tools to draft plans according to their needs. This isn't such a big issue to me nowadays.
I don't think you could really program an automatically drafting plan set making product.

One thing I do get constantly asked is how can I do this or why doesn't LDD work like Terra Model
or Microstation or whatever program. Really I wish Autodesk would recognize competitors like them
and evaluates some of the great ideas that those programs can do.

After these things are addressed then the UI can be tweaked, but just don't make it a drill down hell
interface, no one likes hidden options that you have to hunt for to find.

-----------------------
Dave Lewis
CAD Manager

Just say no to HTML Posts!
*S., Tim
Message 18 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

12-01-2003 11:03 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Here are my thoughts...

"Dave Lewis" wrote in message
news:cor9svobe1kb5hb37ghlukj0jeaiu7nq7v@4ax.com...
> I know I'm a little late to this thread but here is my nose errr I mean
opinion
>
> After seeing the UI (not using) I would agree that it has gotten alot more
complicated
> compared to LDD.

It is not as bad as it looks, however I think it will take a more dedicated
user because it is becoming more complex.

> Civil engineers don't seem to make strong computer users in my experience.

That is because they are always digging trying to find problems. I can
design a flat parking lot on top of flat bedrock and guarantee that some
will want to do a stability analysis "just to be sure". Instead
of designing a parking lot, they play for a week and end up
drawing 4 lines with a label that says "parking".

>Civil engineering is not rocket science and
> thus does not need a rocket science's program. Most people I know want a
simpler experience
> using LDD, not more complicated.

It is not that simple. There are a LOT of things that require a complicated
solution. It is up to the user to find the easy way to do what they want to
do with each version. The problem is that people do not take the time to
learn the program and are mad because all the "hard stuff" gets in their
way.

> That is ridiculous. Like the mechanical programs, I should be
> able to tweak one area and everything else automatically adjusts, thus
killing the receptiveness.
> That would be such a huge time saver and would really be helpful.

That is what the new version does I think. I haven't done any volumes yet,
but I know you can grab an alignment and drag it and the profile
automatically updates. But with that comes a certain amount of complexity.

> One thing I do get constantly asked is how can I do this or why doesn't
LDD work like Terra Model
> or Microstation or whatever program. Really I wish Autodesk would
recognize competitors like them
> and evaluates some of the great ideas that those programs can do.

All of those programs have as many or more bugs than LDD does. The grass is
always greener.... Remember that it was Microstation that spent the first 15
years of it's life trying to justify a design cube, or whatever that mess
was called. If all of these programs were so great, everyone would already
be using them.

> After these things are addressed then the UI can be tweaked, but just
don't make it a drill down hell
> interface, no one likes hidden options that you have to hunt for to find.

Dedicated users don't have a problem finding the tools. IMO If you are an
every now and then user, this is not the program you should be using. I like
the new version. A LOT! I just hope the Fatal Error type of bugs get worked
out early, I hate those.
*Lewis, Dave
Message 19 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

12-02-2003 12:15 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
From what I have seen with this version you can go different places to accomplish the same thing.
I think that sort of flexuosity can be confusing to new users. I think a good software design is one
that you can easily figure out how to use it without reading the manual. I agree with alot of what
you said, but I got users to support and management to make happy. Management does not want
to send all the users to a week long class and then no one uses the software because its too
complex. I've seen it happen many times with land desktop.

As far as the other programs thingie, all of us are using autocad because its the best plain ol drafting
program out there, there is no greener grass. But its not a very good industry specific design software.
When a program is designed from the ground up to do a specific job then alot of features / ease of use
can be built in. Tacking stuff on top of a generic drafting program cannot accomplish the same thing
as a purpose built program. Computers were originally used to draft, not design and thus drafting programs
were purchased. Its too late to change thinking of buying design software first before drafting software.
Most haven't even heard of micro this or terra that and thus those programs do not get bought typically
speaking and thus have little market share. Every program has bugs, that's not the issue. The issue
was that those other programs have great industry specific designs or features that I wish could be
utilized into the drafting program autocad, since there is no way any owner I know would switch their
company to something other then autodesk.

We will see what my users think about the new software next month when they get to see a demo.
Plus who knows until we see the final product?



"Tim S."
|>Here are my thoughts...


It is not as bad as it looks, however I think it will take a more dedicated
user because it is becoming more complex.

All of those programs have as many or more bugs than LDD does. The grass is
always greener.... Remember that it was Microstation that spent the first 15
years of it's life trying to justify a design cube, or whatever that mess
was called. If all of these programs were so great, everyone would already
be using them.

Dedicated users don't have a problem finding the tools. IMO If you are an
every now and then user, this is not the program you should be using. I like
the new version. A LOT! I just hope the Fatal Error type of bugs get worked
out early, I hate those.


-----------------------
Dave Lewis
CAD Manager

Just say no to HTML Posts!
*Boys, Doug
Message 20 of 44 (72 Views)

Re:

12-02-2003 06:32 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
I agree with Dave on several points.

Autodesk should try and build into Land Desktop all the good features of the
other software packages. That strategy has been very successful for
Microsoft with Word and Excel etc. Copy the best of the opposition
shamelessly and quickly!

The software should also be as easy to figure out as possible without too
much training. Then Autodesk could expand into the mass market much more
easily and could lower the price for us all.

Doug Boys

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