I peronally feel that, as long as Autodesk needs to keep up with and try to top competiors (such as Bentley and Carlson+Infellicad), it is good for the end-user.
Personally, I have a vested view, in that I provide the Sincpac-C3D add-on to C3D... Bentley doesn't give me that opportuninty. Neither does Carlson (and I talk to Dave Carlson regulrarly about this point). Autodesk has started to provide a base platfrom with extensibility, so we can do what we do at QuuxSoftware, and I think that adds IMMSENSE value over other options... Jeftt, Christopher, and I provide what we feel are the best solutions, based on what we see...
Full of bugs? What release are you referring too? 2012 we didn't get our first service pack until right before Thanksgiving! I personally didn't have any customers that were using 2012 complain about any major bugs! Heck I'm training THE largest consulting firm in the state of ND (600plus employees) and we get hardly any support calls for bug issues! Almost zero! Again it took Autodesk from April till late Nov to even come up with enough bugs to make it worth a service pack!
I've been training C3D now since 2005 (right after it came out) and in the early days oh ya it was buggy, but today! I''vie been having more hardware issues than bug issues! As for the 5 days of training right out of college sure, I'm training them how to run software not to design the road! I tell my students the worst thing they can do the following Monday is not start a project! Practice makes perfect! If my students couldn't do this after the 4 days of Fundamental, believe me we would hear about it......
I have no idea how many students I've had over the past 7 years nor how many companies? But I can tell you most of them when they leave the fundamentals class can import points, create and edit surfaces, create assemblies, create alignments, profiles, corridors, sample lines and cross sections and then earthwork! Not too mention ponds, and pipes! I know because I do this just about every other week all around the country and I get very few if any calls from the students asking how did you do that again! If you are a customer of ours and on subscription we don't charge for support, even with the free support we don't many calls on "how to" and lately few bug calls. PERIOD!
If necessary we even do house(office) calls! Call up Bentley and ask them how much it costs to send an AE from Florida to Ca? And have him on-site tomorrow! How many local VARs do they have Mike? ZERO!
I stand by the 5 days! (I added a days worth of styles training to get it to 4 days)
Bill Neuhauser P.E.
p.s. I'm training this week using a Win 7 64 bit Compaq 6720 duo core Centrino with a whopping 2 gig of ram and have yet to FE! My sample project I train with is a 2.5 mile of rural road. And we are training in C3D 2011.....
My Dell M6600 died on me during class and now waiting for parts to show up! Not a happy camper with Dell right now!
I do structural work for a civil engineering firm, with a lot of TxDOT work, and it's all Microstation. I believe they were looking at C3D for awhile, and maybe they still are??. That being said, our whole company was on Microstation V8 up until 2009 when the Land Dev groups bought into Civil 3D. I was Land Dev at the time...and still support their structural needs now, so I use Civil 3D and Microstation both all day.
My honest opinion - they both have their strong sides and their weak sides. It's up to the people with money to determine which is most efficient for their needs....a lot of the arguments here are "this is waaayyy better" or "that is waaayyy better".
I know Civil 3D is more efficient for those Land Dev groups here (at least for the people willing to learn) because they can push out the little subdivisions real quick and then move on. But like others have said, for large, multi-user, multi-company, multi-year projects, Microstation has better management abilities. The Transportation folks here can do very robust designs with Geopak and they still have XP with 2G ram. Plotting is MUCH faster for projects with 100s or 1000s of sheets (I don't want to imagine trying that with SheetSetManager). Now it sounds like I'm bashing on C3D, so I'll flip sides now....Annotative scales and Viewports are far superior to any method I've seen in Microstation for cutting sheets. Customization is also much easier in Autocad (notice I didn't say "in C3D" there). Blocks are superior to Cells, etc....see, Acad has many advantages as well.
For the record, I like using Civil 3D / Autocad more for what I do, but you do have to recognize and avoid the bugs that are always crawling around in there....featureline linetypes, survey figures, incorrect parcel reports, etc. and pretty much incompatible with everything else. Microstation is pretty rock solid worry free software, whereas you have to actively be mindful of what you're doing in a C3D file to avoid the problems all over these forums. I recognize these issues, but still like the advanced features C3D is coming up with. when it all works, and normally it does, it is a fast process to make updates to a design. I definitely agree that the root design data would be preferrable external to the drawings. I'd also be fine if C3D had new releases only with new format releases, and just worked on all the bugs in the meantime.
Anyways, that's my $0.02.
p.s. you probably won't here much from the DOT's or companies that are solely using Microstation/Geopak products because they can't stand Autocad (at least that's the vibe I get where I work).
1) All software has bugs!
2) Neither Bentley or Autodesk can create Engineers! Good or Bad!
3) Both software companies create TOOLS for Engineers, not Push Button Design!
4) In the past AutoCAD and the verticals were cheaper than Bentley products, and had better reseller presence and support.
5) Closed door policies for design tools are bad for everyone.
6) Competition in the community is why we have the success with the tools we have.
You say you don't get crashes, but have you tried using the grading tools? And I mean like, to create grading for a 50 lot - slab on grade - subdivision. Where mass grading is required. For your main training tool (single road corridor), C3D is awesome. But for lot grading and site grading, I find it lacks substantially behind my expectations.
I have found some work arounds for the crashing (like create the grading, copy the resulting feature line, and remove the grading), but it is still crashing at some points.
I am also using an older version of the software (09). But I just put a post asking about stability, and did not get one reassuring post.
I LOVE C3D for the dynamic capabilities. I LOVE using the road tools (alignments, profiles, corridors, etc). I really like the utilities tools (pipe networks), but pressure pipes needs addressing (force mains, water mains, etc). I like the concept of the grading tools, but I HATE the actually ussage of them. If I can't get a stable drawing, how am I to finish a project?
If you are still using 09 I hate to say this but you really have no argument one way or the other on the software! In a couple of weeks they will be releasing 2013 which when compared to 2009! Ughh! I wonder if you are even running the latest service pack for 2009 that came out well over three years ago! Grading toosl 2009 vs. 2012! OMG get on subscription and have a little faith and jump! I can't even remember the last time I FE while running C3D, let alone has a grading object fail!
Run Forest, run!
I wonder if Mike didn't get his wings clipped?
p.s. Since 2009 was released there has been 12 updates/new version to the software since your 2009!
1st - pay for my companies subscription and I will upgrade immediately. I don't have any say as to where my company spends its resources. I would love to have the updated software. I agree I can't speak to the newer versions, but I have yet to have anyone that I have spoken to tell me the grading features are more stabile in newer releases. Which leads me to my second question ...
2nd - Have you actually used a grading object for more than a BMP? Have you used multiple grading objects interacting with each other? If you have, and haven't had either fatal errors or a corrupt drawing, great. That was my original question.
Please don't patronize me. I asked a simple question, and admitted that I may not be able to speak to the newer versions (hence my question). I only pointed out the issues I am having as a reasoning to my question. Also, I am not trying to demean your experience, as I don't know it. I am trying to point out that C3D is awesome in linear design, and has some great tools, but also has issues in my opinion. If these issues have been fixed, and grading objects no longer cause crashes then great.
To be clear, I prefer C3D compared to the other softwares I have used (MS and Carlson). And in response to the original purpose of this thread, learning both would be great. But as with any career, I feel you should educate yourself in the way in which you want your career to proceed. If you are looking to do mainly DOT work, it would be beneficial to learn MS. It is dependant on you and your companies needs. As said earlier, we will work in what we are paid to work in.
Agreed. When they rewrote the code for 64 bit the grading stuff was significantly improved. It's still possible to FE, but you have to be doing something stupid for that to happen.