AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

AutoCAD Civil 3D General Discussion

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*news.bs.webusenet.com
Message 1 of 44 (99 Views)

Civil3d has potential, but too high level UI

99 Views, 43 Replies
10-16-2003 12:03 AM
After playing with Civil3D a bit and attending a presentation by Autodesk
showing the new software, a couple of things are evident about the new
release. The software will be incredibly powerful on the front end -
conceptual planning can be done with a high degree of efficiency, and makes
it easy to give layouts to our clients. Threre has been a big discussion
about the lifecycle of data from Autodesk, and I can't agree more, that the
longer the data can be maintained and used without reconstructing or
recaluculating it, the more valuable it is. The unfortunate problem with
Civil3d as it seems to be developing is that the UI (user interface) is very
high level - it tries to make it simple enough for a drafter with little
experience able to do a lot of design by not digging into the details, which
would require a lot more parametric design, such as CAICE and the sort.
However, when projects near construction, there are always numerous details
that exist regardless, and it means that the entire model must be exploded
and torn apart so that the details can be added since the software doesn't
provide the flexibility.

I understand there is a tradeoff of UI flexibility and how easy it appears
the program is to use, but Autodesk needs to consider the change in the
office environment as Engineers in the next generation are moving to doing
design on paper to design on computer. Most of my peers are drafting 80
percent of their work. If a lower level UI means carrying a model to
construction (or production) without losing the data and passing the full
model to the contractor as part of the bid package, then it's well worth
doubling the price of the current software package.

Maybe Civil3d should consider breaking up into modules for different aspects
of design, such as road design, utility design, site design, and the sort
that could be purchased separately to recoup more costs and provide more
comprehensive UI's for different projects. It just seems most of my peers,
the engineers about to hit the thirties that have grown with CAD are looking
for this project. We're there, but there's nobody in the market to supply
the need.
*Antoljak, Strahimir
Message 2 of 44 (99 Views)

Re: Civil3d has potential, but too high level UI

10-16-2003 01:27 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Hi,

>If a lower level UI means carrying a model to
> construction (or production) without losing the
> data and passing the full model to the contractor
> as part of the bid package, then it's well worth
> doubling the price of the current software package.

My understanding is that passing the full model to
the contractor is ultimate intention.... there are
case studies on that (the last issue of CADENCE if
I remember well)

but somehow I must have missed the part on doubling
the price of the current software package. Care to
share where you've gotten that info and how much
that would actually be? thanks,

--
Strah @ Langan


"news.bs.webusenet.com" wrote in message
news:5F0E98A4F8B7EE11D8E96F3FCB407E03@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> After playing with Civil3D a bit and attending a presentation by Autodesk
> showing the new software, a couple of things are evident about the new
> release. The software will be incredibly powerful on the front end -
> conceptual planning can be done with a high degree of efficiency, and
makes
> it easy to give layouts to our clients. Threre has been a big discussion
> about the lifecycle of data from Autodesk, and I can't agree more, that
the
> longer the data can be maintained and used without reconstructing or
> recaluculating it, the more valuable it is. The unfortunate problem with
> Civil3d as it seems to be developing is that the UI (user interface) is
very
> high level - it tries to make it simple enough for a drafter with little
> experience able to do a lot of design by not digging into the details,
which
> would require a lot more parametric design, such as CAICE and the sort.
> However, when projects near construction, there are always numerous
details
> that exist regardless, and it means that the entire model must be exploded
> and torn apart so that the details can be added since the software doesn't
> provide the flexibility.
>
> I understand there is a tradeoff of UI flexibility and how easy it appears
> the program is to use, but Autodesk needs to consider the change in the
> office environment as Engineers in the next generation are moving to doing
> design on paper to design on computer. Most of my peers are drafting 80
> percent of their work. If a lower level UI means carrying a model to
> construction (or production) without losing the data and passing the full
> model to the contractor as part of the bid package, then it's well worth
> doubling the price of the current software package.
>
> Maybe Civil3d should consider breaking up into modules for different
aspects
> of design, such as road design, utility design, site design, and the sort
> that could be purchased separately to recoup more costs and provide more
> comprehensive UI's for different projects. It just seems most of my
peers,
> the engineers about to hit the thirties that have grown with CAD are
looking
> for this project. We're there, but there's nobody in the market to supply
> the need.
>
>
>
*Rizzo, Jon
Message 3 of 44 (99 Views)

Re: Civil3d has potential, but too high level UI

10-16-2003 01:55 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Let me get this straight. Are you complaining that the UI is too easy to
use?

It seems to me that the purpose of this program is to ultimately eliminate
drafting as a skill that any engineer should need. In Civil3D, the drafting
is a byproduct of the design, not an extra chore that the engineer must
perform. The idea is that once your standards are set up, the program
should just follow them automatically. You shouldn't have to give any
thought to the height of your text, or whether the program will station an
alignment every 50 feet or 100 feet.

The point is not to give the tools to a draftsman & have them performing
engineering design, the point is to give the tools to an engineer, and have
the drafting done automatically.

Jon Rizzo
Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.




"news.bs.webusenet.com" wrote in message
news:5F0E98A4F8B7EE11D8E96F3FCB407E03@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> After playing with Civil3D a bit and attending a presentation by Autodesk
> showing the new software, a couple of things are evident about the new
> release. The software will be incredibly powerful on the front end -
> conceptual planning can be done with a high degree of efficiency, and
makes
> it easy to give layouts to our clients. Threre has been a big discussion
> about the lifecycle of data from Autodesk, and I can't agree more, that
the
> longer the data can be maintained and used without reconstructing or
> recaluculating it, the more valuable it is. The unfortunate problem with
> Civil3d as it seems to be developing is that the UI (user interface) is
very
> high level - it tries to make it simple enough for a drafter with little
> experience able to do a lot of design by not digging into the details,
which
> would require a lot more parametric design, such as CAICE and the sort.
> However, when projects near construction, there are always numerous
details
> that exist regardless, and it means that the entire model must be exploded
> and torn apart so that the details can be added since the software doesn't
> provide the flexibility.
>
> I understand there is a tradeoff of UI flexibility and how easy it appears
> the program is to use, but Autodesk needs to consider the change in the
> office environment as Engineers in the next generation are moving to doing
> design on paper to design on computer. Most of my peers are drafting 80
> percent of their work. If a lower level UI means carrying a model to
> construction (or production) without losing the data and passing the full
> model to the contractor as part of the bid package, then it's well worth
> doubling the price of the current software package.
>
> Maybe Civil3d should consider breaking up into modules for different
aspects
> of design, such as road design, utility design, site design, and the sort
> that could be purchased separately to recoup more costs and provide more
> comprehensive UI's for different projects. It just seems most of my
peers,
> the engineers about to hit the thirties that have grown with CAD are
looking
> for this project. We're there, but there's nobody in the market to supply
> the need.
>
>
>
*Cannon, Steve
Message 4 of 44 (99 Views)

Re:

10-16-2003 02:42 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Jon,

I seem to agree with you. It almost seems that news.bs.webusenet.com is
saying that the non-complex UI opens the program up to the unqualified, as
well as limits the functionality of the program.

Maybe it is because I have a couple decades on him, but all most of my civil
engineer colleagues are intimidated by the complexities if LDD. They run
their laptops with word-processing, spreadsheets and non-cad design
programs. AutoCAD is more complexity then they want to deal with.

My first impression of CD3 was that it is still too complex for most civil
engineers that I see in the Albuquerque area. I was hoping for a product
that did away with the complexity of the autocad base, instead of adding to
it. Maybe I am wrong, and the 20 and 30-something's are taking over the
design profession - I just do not see it here. Will the market dictate the
product, or will the product change the market? Oh well, retirement cannot
be very far off.

sc


Jon Rizzo wrote in message
news:E4D795C09B67B8D84C50F83E3548A9E6@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
>
> Let me get this straight. Are you complaining that the UI is too easy to
> use?
*Alan
Message 5 of 44 (99 Views)

Re:

10-16-2003 04:53 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
"Jon Rizzo" wrote in
news:E4D795C09B67B8D84C50F83E3548A9E6@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb:


Interesting how my last post used a newsgroup name as my ID. My
apologies. I am the original author of this thread. I'm not complaining
the UI is too easy to use, but I'm complaining that there are far too few
parameters to make this program practical to carry a project all the way
to construction. If you had a single street with no stream buffers,
unusual grading constraints, intersections, or environmentally sensitive
areas that required frequent manipulation of shoulders, or if you have
two intersecting streets meeting at unusual grades, with the current UI
there are not nearly enough parameters to make the model reflect the
necessary detail. The model, because of a lack of parameters to keep it
simple, limits you to designing the ideal situation, not the challenging
situtions with existing conditions and other constraints that are often
encountered on a jobsite.

The cost issue - I realize that adding more would require a lot more work
than is put into the current version, I wouldn't want to pay double the
cost for the same product.

I don't understand how anyone would be less fearful of Civil3d than LDD
due to complexity. The less you have to enter and do, the more
calculatiosn the computer makes, making the software more complex, and
harder to follow.
*Mills, Ron
Message 6 of 44 (99 Views)

Re:

10-16-2003 05:14 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
Alan, the points you offered are all valid in my opinion, however I don't
think you've been paying complete attention to this newsgroup. It's been
stated time and time again that this is a PREVIEW or "PUBLIC BETA" release
of C3D. Autodesk and most of the users here know that this is a work in
progress and by no means complete. I for one, applaud Adesk for doing what
they are doing with this package. What a novel idea to throw an incomplete
package out to the consumers with the understanding that it isn't for
production, to get feedback, response, troubleshooting and insight. Kudos
Adesk!

As you can guess, and I am making an assumption by what I've seen the
programmers say here, much more is still coming in regards to C3D. Yes,
there's a lot missing at this point. I would believe that once Adesk gets
the current bugs and user input processed, the other stuff will be quick to
follow. I would venture to guess that once this package is complete, 90% of
what you would need for the final plan will be included, for even the most
complex projects. It's my contention that at least 10% will still need to
be done by conventional drafting, but most of that would company specific
preference.

In any case, it's way too soon to say that this package "is not what's
needed". Let the engineers truly finish the package.


"Alan" wrote in message

news:Xns9416A1F1819E4albellsouthnet@64.124.46.110...
> "Jon Rizzo" wrote in
> news:E4D795C09B67B8D84C50F83E3548A9E6@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb:
>
>
> Interesting how my last post used a newsgroup name as my ID. My
> apologies. I am the original author of this thread. I'm not complaining
> the UI is too easy to use, but I'm complaining that there are far too few
> parameters to make this program practical to carry a project all the way
> to construction. If you had a single street with no stream buffers,
> unusual grading constraints, intersections, or environmentally sensitive
> areas that required frequent manipulation of shoulders, or if you have
> two intersecting streets meeting at unusual grades, with the current UI
> there are not nearly enough parameters to make the model reflect the
> necessary detail. The model, because of a lack of parameters to keep it
> simple, limits you to designing the ideal situation, not the challenging
> situtions with existing conditions and other constraints that are often
> encountered on a jobsite.
>
> The cost issue - I realize that adding more would require a lot more work
> than is put into the current version, I wouldn't want to pay double the
> cost for the same product.
>
> I don't understand how anyone would be less fearful of Civil3d than LDD
> due to complexity. The less you have to enter and do, the more
> calculatiosn the computer makes, making the software more complex, and
> harder to follow.
>
>
*Alan
Message 7 of 44 (99 Views)

Re:

10-16-2003 06:35 AM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
I'm sure a lot more is coming - I was just providing feedback from what
I've seen and experienced in using it with the hopes that maintaining a
higher degree of flexibility will be coming down the road. Without
industry comments, it's hard for the team that is writing the software to
know what level of detail best serves the industry since there has to be
some balance between simplicity and flexibility.

"Ron Mills" wrote in
news:CF11FF7266535C77017C00631135D643@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb:

> Alan, the points you offered are all valid in my opinion, however I
> don't think you've been paying complete attention to this newsgroup.
> It's been stated time and time again that this is a PREVIEW or "PUBLIC
> BETA" release of C3D. Autodesk and most of the users here know that
> this is a work in progress and by no means complete. I for one,
> applaud Adesk for doing what they are doing with this package. What a
> novel idea to throw an incomplete package out to the consumers with
> the understanding that it isn't for production, to get feedback,
> response, troubleshooting and insight. Kudos Adesk!
>
> As you can guess, and I am making an assumption by what I've seen the
> programmers say here, much more is still coming in regards to C3D.
> Yes, there's a lot missing at this point. I would believe that once
> Adesk gets the current bugs and user input processed, the other stuff
> will be quick to follow. I would venture to guess that once this
> package is complete, 90% of what you would need for the final plan
> will be included, for even the most complex projects. It's my
> contention that at least 10% will still need to be done by
> conventional drafting, but most of that would company specific
> preference.
>
> In any case, it's way too soon to say that this package "is not what's
> needed". Let the engineers truly finish the package.
>
>
*Jessup, Allen S.
Message 8 of 44 (99 Views)

Re:

10-16-2003 09:12 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
It always boggles my mind that people with a P.E. find the software too
complex. Designing a multi-million dollar road project with all the
intersections, utilities, medians, driveways, etc. is complex. Compared to
that I find the software easy.

Allen

"Steve Cannon" wrote in message
news:42A800EFC0175F9DB722DC649FB70476@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...

> My first impression of CD3 was that it is still too complex for most civil
> engineers that I see in the Albuquerque area. I was hoping for a product
> that did away with the complexity of the autocad base, instead of adding
to
> it. Maybe I am wrong, and the 20 and 30-something's are taking over the
> design profession - I just do not see it here. Will the market dictate
the
> product, or will the product change the market? Oh well, retirement cannot
> be very far off.
>
> sc
>
>
> Jon Rizzo wrote in message
> news:E4D795C09B67B8D84C50F83E3548A9E6@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> >
> > Let me get this straight. Are you complaining that the UI is too easy
to
> > use?
>
>
>
Active Contributor
tailleur
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎12-01-2003
Message 9 of 44 (99 Views)

Re: Civil3d has potential, but too high level UI

10-16-2003 10:03 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
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.
*Ernst, Fred
Message 10 of 44 (99 Views)

Re:

10-16-2003 11:24 PM in reply to: *news.bs.webusenet.com
From what I've seen, especially with Grading, it's
pretty early in the development process. It looks like they are
still working on the Object relationships and dependencies. After that gets
more stable, it's imperative that they provide rigorous linear editing tools as
I have mentioned before.

 

It would be even better if they opened up
Feature lines to edited by our VBA and LISP routines that we readily use now.
This would also make product transitioning much easier.

 

Fred


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.
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