This is mainly a question for Autodesk but anyone can chip in.
I work for a small county government who has been using LDT pretty much since it's inception. We have about 120 jobs that have been sitting on the shelf for years and are waiting for funding. Do we really need to convert and redo every one of these jobs when they need revisions and put out on the street?
The advise I read from just about everyone on this site is "if you start it in LDT finish it in LDT". Will a license be available to entities who might need to pull up old drawings off of the shelf? We have some major 3 to 5 mile jobs done and I need to charge someone for the rework.
Don't get me wrong we are going headlong and eyes closed into civil 3d and everything we do (except one who retires in august) is in civil.
I feel this is sort of a draconian way to get people to make the switch, kind of like cutting off your head and sewing it to your backside so you can see in reverse.
I would put my computer specs here but you all would all laugh at me.
I believe you are working in the county just north of me, so I'll chime in . . . I also work for our county and in our department, there are 3 or 4 drafters. All but myself are still using LDT Companion '09. I never used that, but went straight from '07 to C3D 2010. So I don't know what the strengths of the Companion 09 are to the problems you described. All I can say is that the big PITA going from one to the other is the way COGO points are treated and displayed. I would imagine that there are ways to go from 09 to C3D 2010 or later that would allow you to retain some degree of display that you had in 09 (exporting to something equivalent to a block, but still showing the point in C3D as it was in 09 just not as a true AECC COGO point). This would allow you to still work in C3D with the same geo-referenced data, but without having assign a point or label style to each original point.
What I've told our guys is to export everything to a pdf before making the jump to C3D, just to have a digital "snapshot" of the desired final product in case it's not able to be recreated the same way in C3D.
Do you have a service agreement with any 3rd party training firms? We use CADD Centers and they may be of assistance. I've heard from our IT folks that we will be able to use 2007 indefinitely for the foreseeable future, but with new versions of C3D always rolling out, it's a matter of time before it will be an uphill battle trying to coordinate with private firms using updated software who will then be unable to use our .dwgs.
If you spend some time digging around this site as well as other CAD related sites, you'll find that there is much information on the topic. Not that there is any clear concise simple solution that I've come across, but you will find a way to do what you want - just with a bit more effort than you were hoping to put in. It sucks because time=money, but Autodesk has us by the balls!
120 jobs waiting. You must be bustling there!
One thing that will determine whether a job needs to be "converted" or not would be the amount and type of revision needed. Simple revisions to linework and text can be done in Civil 3D without any conversion. Just make sure not to overwrite the original LDT file in case you need it.
For small revisions to grading or alignment you could stick with LDT. If it's a major redesign I'd suggest getting it in to Civil 3D. I'd suggest setting up your description keys. Exporting points from LDT to ASCII and importing them to Civil. You can open a drawing from LDT and convert the points directly. But reimporting them is often cleaner. Again you can export a surface from LDT to LandXML and import it in to C3D. But I'd suggest rebuilding the surface. One major aspect of Civil 3D is the dynamic linking of point and breaklines to the surface. Importing the surface doesn't give you that.
No one who doesn't have a current license of LDT can get one. LDT is now dead as far as Autodesk is concerned. So no. No licenses are available to work in LDT. There may be one exception. If the person at one time had active licenses, is on Subscription and has network licenses their reseller might be able to get them some. But this has to be handled by the reseller and is governed by strict rules. It would be up to the user to supply computers that can run LDT. LDT isn't supported at all and certainly not on Win 4 or 8 or on any 64 bit OS.
Remember that any LDT drawing can be opened in Civil 3D. But once saved it can't go back. If you're only working on basic AutoCAD entities you could do the edits in C3D without any problem. I know I'm repeating myself but I want to make sure this is understood by anyone reading this. So any small revisions can be done in either LDT or C3D. If you have revision to design elements and need to share the drawing. You're probably going to have to get it in to Civil 3D. It's painful but can be worth it. At this point we pull all old projects in to C3D. I rarely open LDT any more.
Rockland County Highway Dept, NY
To add a bit to what Allen has said, as you progress with Civil 3D, it will eventually be quicker for you to recreate the information in C3D then to go back and edit it in LDT. At this point in my life, if I had to do some grading in LDT, I would need a very strong keyboard to handle the frustration I would take out on it.
Right now I'm working in C3D 2009 (don't ask) and not having the ribbon and not having the command autocomplete is driving me crazy! And that's Civil 3D not LDT!
Just some other things to think about.
Exactly Brian. Until a couple of years ago I was working a second job where they still used LDT. Very frustrating. Now when someone I know asks about LDT it's a struggle to remember how to do it.
One challenge it to get people to get out of the LDT mentality. Another division here just switched to C3D finally. They don't have a CAD Manager so I help out. One person called me down to give some help\training. I realized that I'd already gone over the same process in the same project with her. When I asked why it was being done again she told me that she'd asked for more shots from the surveyor and had to rebuild the surface. So she was creating the profile and cross-sections all over again. So I had to explain the dynamic nature of Civil 3D.
This isn't her fault. They wont pay for any training here and all streaming video is blocked by IT. So I can't even tell people to watch the online training or youtube.
I myself have never used LDD, I heard about C3D in '05 and didn't even try to learn LDD. We have 4 designers also in our department and all of them (except me) are on LDT 2007 So we really need to keep LDT for a while. What's bad is our "senior" designer is working on a major project right now and is working in 2007 and she is retiring in October so I expect to convert that to Civil 3d just to keep up with the "I want it this way...no I want it that way" stuff.
Most of our jobs on the shelf were for subdivisions and schools that "might" be built but I don't see that happening. You know how it goes in government. We design a job a commissioner wants, there is an election and poof that goes on the shelf and the next pet project gets designed and shelved. Besides...when FDOT says they have extra funds we often scramble to update something to get to them.
On a side note BC, have you all been working on rails to trails were you are at? It has been keeping us very busy since the road funds have dried up. If your not, do look into it. This seems to be fairly high up on FDOT's priorities and I see it keeping us busy for a few years at least.
Your Post did give me hope about licensing. I need to find out if we have a licensed retailer since I have only been here about a year and our non cad people run our licenses.
Take care down there
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