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Message 21 of 30 (561 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-22-2011 06:12 AM in reply to: dana.probert

 Our engineers dont have access to change cad files, for better or worse, so we print, they mark, we change. But Now, using civil3d, project managers and engineers actively participate in the design process. Having a pipe network or corridor with surface built preliminary, then allowing the engineer to point and express concerns was a BIG selling point.  Changing assembly on the fly while they are pointing and allowing them to see slope changes or cut/fill values live during major surface changes was a big deal.

 

Once project managers can grasp what we are capable of changing on the fly, they are more likely to test designs a few different ways, instead of backing themselves into a poor design choice that is too expensive to address later.

 

 

 

 

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Message 22 of 30 (550 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-22-2011 06:46 AM in reply to: dana.probert

A selling point lovely lady?

Ok, does anyone remember what it was like to run FG on a roadway, parking, and bldg pads on the side of a hill....and then have to re-grade it because of later decision?

Complete rework in LDD. Hand drawing the contours might be faster...

Today, we adjust the profile and the corridor updates, and so do the Storm Structures for that matter.

So many things like the Bldg Pads / Parking can be linked to update as other key features update in order to maintain relationships. It's all setup.

 

Most of the time taken in C3D to regrade something (simple) is to evaluate cover and conflict, not drafting.

There are numerous examples where the simple C3D dynamic ooohh--ahhh don't pan out perfectly, but in EVERY one of those instances, the time to achieve the same goals in LDD are substantially longer in revisions.

 

First cup of coffee....Hope that made sense.

John Evans
Autodesk Certified Professional

http://designandmotion.net
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Message 23 of 30 (514 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-22-2011 07:49 AM in reply to: dana.probert

So some of you have told me about the features that are most compelling to you as the designer/engineer and to project management leadership.

 

The topics that keep coming up when it comes to editing and optimizing:

 

Surfaces

Alignment-Profile interaction

Corridors, including subassembly edits

Pipe networks

 

What else grabs you? I like John's comment about having the engineer over your shoulder and seeing his/her reaction to the design changes.

 

For those of you that have had internal A-Ha moments at your firm, what did it?

Dana Probert, P.E.
Technical Marketing Manager, Civil Engineering
Autodesk
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Message 24 of 30 (482 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-22-2011 09:44 AM in reply to: dana.probert

dana.probert wrote:

So Sinc, tell me about what has changed about how you deliver or do business because of Civil 3D. Is it just about better tools to do the same thing you always did, or are you able to deliver more? For example- do you work through more iterations or alternatives than you would have with Land Desktop? Are you able to extract more detail from your model?

 

 


Keep in mind we're Survey-only...  We don't generally design things, so we typically don't have iterations or alternatives.  And often, we're only using or building a model to aid in construction calculations.  But the ease of processing field data into a Surface for Topographic or Design surveys does allow us to concentrate more on the quality of the data, since so much of the appearance happens automatically.  We have at least one client who has their own in-house Surveyors, but they use us for design surveys as often as possible, because they like what we give them so much more than what they get internally.

 

As for getting people to adopt C3D, the tipping point around here usually came when people finally "got" the way Cogo Points and Point Groups work.  A lot of my coworkers put up a lot of resistance to C3D - we even lost one, who left the company rather than learn C3D.  But that usually changed once they started getting used to Cogo Points, then jumped back into LDD for an old project and had to deal with AeccPoints.  Then they were like "Get this LDD thing away from me..."

 

As for change, we've changed significantly.  True, most of that is because there are better tools that let us get stuff done much faster and with fewer errors.  (Although, as you know, we also use add-on software, which significantly enhances this aspect for us.)  Clients have noticed how quickly we can respond to requests and design changes, yet still do reliable work, and they like it.

 

Possibly even more important, though, is that C3D has inherent standards enforcement in the form of Styles, and that has increased the consistency and quality of what we're able to produce.  So not only do we do things faster, we do them better.

 

That's given us the freedom to explore, and "do more".  We've been evolving as a Survey company.  A large percentage of our deliverables now include things like aerial pictures in the background, something we never got into with LDD.  We've discovered how much our clients love color plots of certain data, such as Elevation displays on volume surfaces, faded into the background behind other data.  We've been getting conversant with the GIS world, and we've discovered ways to use GIS data in combination with our Survey data to produce some pretty amazing exhibits and results for our clients.

 

And it pays dividends.  We now have a number of clients who use us almost exclusively.  They've gotten used to what we do, and when they try other Surveyors and ask them "Can you give us this thing like Edward-James Surveying does?", they get met with blank stares.

 

Like others, I regularly get extremely frustrated with C3D.  I love the idea of Styles, as mentioned, I just don't like the implementation and its time-consuming nature.  We ignore the Survey Database as much as possible, and are frustrated we even have to deal with it at all.  Weaknesses with Coordinate System Transformations, difficulties in sharing drawings/data with others, and the annual upgrade and new-bug-introduction cycle are several more key frustrations.  But we view C3D as a work in progress, and take what it can give us in its current state of development.  For the most part, we're able to do very high-quality work very quickly, and are quite pleased with what we can accomplish.

Sinc
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Joe-Bouza
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Message 25 of 30 (439 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-22-2011 02:38 PM in reply to: dana.probert

The Chicks :smileywink:

Thank you

Joseph D. Bouza, P.E. (one of 'THOSE' People) Civil 3D 2012 & 2013
HP Z210 Workstation
Intel Xeon CPU E31240 @ 3.30 Hz
12 GB Ram


Note: Its all Resistentialism, so keep calm and carry on

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Message 26 of 30 (413 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-23-2011 01:13 AM in reply to: Joe-Bouza

Well Iwill  finally to this thread.

 

Im actually on of those that still has not left LDD completely LOL

 

I love how 3D does surfaces but with the field work and the carlson compatibility it becomes a problem and 11 did solve some of those issues - but I still end up exporting

 

I even use the dreaded SDB which is a pain in the ****(just to make up for carlson) and I think the edit db survey settings should be at the top of the list not the middle(more like dwg settings). (personal opionion - there like a holes). I work in many SPC zones and it would be a little easier that way. I have personally seen the mess that is created by 3D with 2 zones, due to my lack of correct zone settings.

 

There should be some attachment with the drawing and tthe SDB

 

Oh am I asking for project management - maybe. LDD will do that

 

By the way this is just a RANT it is only a RANT and if you dont like it O well

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Message 27 of 30 (340 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-25-2011 02:20 PM in reply to: dana.probert

I work for a local government. We've been using Autocad with Softdesk since the 90s then onto LDD.  Our design group has switched to Civil 3D in the past three years (I've been on it since C3D 2007).  However, our surveyors are still on LDD because they just don't want to learn anything new.  I'm slowly getting them to switch over, but the head surveyor still does everything in LDD.  The first reason we switched to Civil 3D is because Autodesk was going to drop support for LDD. The second is that I used LDD a little, but got real into Civil 3D because of how everything is dynamic.  I convinced the boss to let us move forward with C3D, but he's had trouble out of our surveyors.

 

The main hang-up for us doing a complete switchover is our surveyors.  Autodesk seems to have left the survey functionality as an afterthought in C3D.  The survey database is a neat idea, but it's implemented very poorly.  Dialog boxes aren't modeless and the fact that all F2F linework has to be done in the SDB.  Figure groups would be perfect if you want to grab figures out of the database, but it's a pain to add figures to a figure group so we just stopped using them.  Why the figure group dialog box can't have multiple selections or even wildcards like point groups can is beyond me.

 

Creating a survey figure from an existing object is annoying.  First, select the object and name it.  Then you have to erase the original object and then insert the newly created figure back into the drawing.  Select a figure in the SDB to check its properties and your view gets zoomed to the object extents (annoying).  Since the dialog box is modeless, I have to select the zoom window icon then zoom and pan to what I had before I opened the properties.  Also, I love 3D.  My degree is in 3d visualization, but surveyors and contractors don't care about the lines being in 3d.  They care about what the final printout looks like and when you have figures that are basically 3d polylines without linetype generation, the plans look like they were made by a highschool student.  We end up having to create copies of the figures, flatten them, then convert them to 2d polylines (or lines + arcs) just to make the printouts look good.  Those are extra steps that are just plain unnessessary if Autodesk didn't treat the survey functions as the red-headed step-child of C3D.

 

I don't like the ribbon for Civil 3D much, but if Autodesk is trying to make use of it why doesn't the survey database utilize the ribbon?  Constantly scrolling down a list of points or figures (which is much faster if you use the scroll bar because using the mouse wheel is extremely slow) just to right-click to get the various commands is annoying. 

 

Design-wise Civil 3D is great.  There really isn't anything major to complain about as the dynamic nature of everything is what makes C3D so great.  There are a couple of gripes I have about why some labels can't grab certain data from the model, the non-integration with Map, and the poor support for road-rehab. (A few subassemblies don't really count, but the new SA builder might change that.)  Since we're a local government, we don't really have billable time, but C3D has enabled us to complete our designs must faster than we did with LDD even with the surveying headaches.

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Message 28 of 30 (295 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-26-2011 07:07 AM in reply to: engrtech

engrtech wrote:

The main hang-up for us doing a complete switchover is our surveyors.  Autodesk seems to have left the survey functionality as an afterthought in C3D.  The survey database is a neat idea, but it's implemented very poorly.  Dialog boxes aren't modeless and the fact that all F2F linework has to be done in the SDB.  Figure groups would be perfect if you want to grab figures out of the database, but it's a pain to add figures to a figure group so we just stopped using them.  Why the figure group dialog box can't have multiple selections or even wildcards like point groups can is beyond me.

 

Creating a survey figure from an existing object is annoying.  First, select the object and name it.  Then you have to erase the original object and then insert the newly created figure back into the drawing.  Select a figure in the SDB to check its properties and your view gets zoomed to the object extents (annoying).  Since the dialog box is modeless, I have to select the zoom window icon then zoom and pan to what I had before I opened the properties.  Also, I love 3D.  My degree is in 3d visualization, but surveyors and contractors don't care about the lines being in 3d.  They care about what the final printout looks like and when you have figures that are basically 3d polylines without linetype generation, the plans look like they were made by a highschool student.  We end up having to create copies of the figures, flatten them, then convert them to 2d polylines (or lines + arcs) just to make the printouts look good.  Those are extra steps that are just plain unnessessary if Autodesk didn't treat the survey functions as the red-headed step-child of C3D.


 We avoid most of the problems you just mentioned by avoiding the Survey Database as much as possible.  We also leave almost everything in 3D (except for utility lines and fence lines, which we flatten due to the linetype generation problem you mentioned).

 

The only reason we use the SDB at all is because we must, in order to generate linework.  But once we use it for the initial linework generation, we forget it completely.  From that point on, we edit Survey Figures graphically in the drawing.  If there are shots that need a breakline but were not connected with Figure Codes by the field surveyor, then we might clean those up using the Sincpac-C3D BrkPt Command, which lets us draw a 3D polyline between the points, and automatically adds the 3D polyline to our surface as a breakline.  By the end, the SDB might be something of a mess, with out-of-date and missing figures, but we don't care.  We never use that data again.  The "data of record" becomes the data in the DWG, which also happens to be the only deliverable that anyone has ever wanted from us.  (Nobody has ever wanted our Survey Database, and with good reason, IMO.)

 

I've seen some people who try to get everything perfect in the SDB.  The general idea seems to be that they can pull survey data into any new drawing from the SDB, and all the data comes in correctly.  This strikes me as a "Survey Management Tool for Engineers", and is actually completely worthless for us as Surveyors.  And it's also really unnecessary for the Engineers.  The DWG can serve just as well (if not better) as a repository for Survey Data.  Especially if you have tools like the Sincpac-C3D Extract2d Command, which lets you attach the Survey Data as an XREF, and extract nice flattened polylines into your current drawing as necessary, to use for design.

 

We've reached the point where we can work very quickly with C3D, with a relatively small amount of angst, and turn out very consistent, high-quality results.  But a key part of that is ignoring the SDB.  I've seen web seminars and training videos where people recommend a procedure of importing survey data through the SDB, look around for errors, go back and fix the raw data file, re-import the data, look around again for errors, go back and fix the raw data file, repeat ad complete naseum.  We tried using C3D like this for a while, and it about drove us batty.

Sinc
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Neilw
Posts: 2,117
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Message 29 of 30 (284 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-26-2011 07:43 AM in reply to: Sinc

Our company has not switched to C3D. The main reason is the cost to upgrade our software and equipment and training. I have been evaluating C3D since it's preview release in 2004 through 2011. What I find most useful is the dynamic relationships between alignments and profiles and their annotation. This is especially useful for "route finding" where an optimum alignment is desired. However most of our work is site design for which I have found the grading tools to be inefficient, even in their current state.

 

The biggest obstacle for me has been the performance of C3D and Autocad itself. It is not useable in an XP environment. Accodingly I have only been able to utilize it on very simple projects. We are considering upgrading my machine, but I have noted that even with lots of RAM users have complained about performance in various areas.

 

I'll post more when I have the opportunity.

Neil Wilson (a.k.a. neilw)
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Message 30 of 30 (232 Views)

Re: What made you switch from Land Desktop?

07-27-2011 10:11 PM in reply to: dana.probert

Dana

 

My story

 

What finally convince you (or helped you convince the boss) to make the change?

I changed companies in 2006 from a one office firm that used LDD and had done a couple of projects in Civil 3d, to one with muiltiple

offices (swearing as an engineer I was never going to tounch CAD again).  Some offices were doing mostly small jobs in 2d and

other offices doing large jobs in 3d with CivilCad, Autocad.

 

Well sure enough a 22 lot subdivison landed on my desk, the property boom was in full swing deadline loomed and there were was

not a draughtperson avaliable for love or money.

 

Should I do the job in Autocad LT? or download a demo of Civil3d 2007 and complete the job in less than 30 days.

I choose to go with Civil3d and the rest is history. Most part nightmare due to no company standards, the learning curve and

being the only civil3d user in the company. Would I go back never. Would I do things differently sure. Can  I  achieve more in

less time most definitely.

 

If you aren't fully switched to Civil 3D, what holds you back?

People, if they want to change they will, you can lead a horse to water but can not make it drink.

The young love it. One in 5 of the older users do the rest have more going on in there life to care.

If you trained them within work time they would listen but that is about it.

 

Is it about specific features?

Labels (who wants to be typing if the data is in the model let me label it), Pipes (still rubbish but better than nothing), Dynamic updating.

 

Is it about value?

The products is not cheap as the US dollar is about to be screwed it should be alot cheaper in about a months time.

There are cheaper products but the cheapness comes from less features.

 

What tools make your life easier?

Labels and styles

 

What about the big picture

-billable hours,

less in the end after the learning curve

-client requests,

quicker to turn around not always a good thing as can lead to changes for change sake.

-critical mass on knowledge and learning?

You need a least one person well trained up in house as a leader or a well practiced reseller.

It costs  time or money either way.

 

Am I of more value personally because the path I have choosen. Yes.

If I started my own company or owned one would I use Civil3d. Yes

Would I be quicker and cheaper than the competition. Yes

 

As a wise man once said. I would rather be the road than the roller.

 

Technology will be adopted if not by you then someone else.

 

Regards

 

 

Justin Ralston

http://c3dxtreme.blogspot.com/

Regards

Justin Ralston
http://c3dxtreme.blogspot.com/

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