I moved to C3D partially in 2005, without giving up LDD obviously, because 2005 was ****. I suffered, immensely, through the initial years of C3D, and have seen it come a long, long way. However, I do harbour those bad impressions, and still resent paying the many thousands for the honour of being a beta tester to an enormous company's newest tool.
After all the years, 6ish now, I'm extraordinarily proficient, but still find myself explaining to clients/boss why certain things can't be done a particular way, or when they are frustrated, why we should be using this or that feature; basically trying to now "sell" the software, constantly, to people who long for the days of LDD.
The Map/C3D vertical convergence/divergence has been nothing short of amusing to watch, release after release, as these two verticals knock into eachother year after year. Amusement comes after Fury on Anthony's Hierarchy of Frustration.
Edit to add: I've been onthese boards since early 2000's, changed usernames (and names) often to avoid crossing paths with clients/prospects/bosses (I know many of you from years on these boards), and the frustration and outrage at the early (and recent) releases from Autodesk that have been voiced here - have largely amounted to: Nothing. Not that I expect them to read here - but I think that they should allow their Moderators on the forums to submit the "temperature" of the users to the feedback department, and the Mod's submissions should be taken seriosuly. I think it's great folly to ignore the feedback goldmine that this forum is.
A trip down memory lane...
We had a couple of complete projects that we were going around in circles with in revisions and I felt like a batch file running iterations and revision to sites...
Civil 3D preview, I think in 2004, got me interested to the point we broke out a project for pilot working on Civil 3D 2006.
Surfaces instant feedback was like a sugar-high...and going into the peak development cycle I was looking for speed!
We did lots of grading (yes, with Grading Objects), subdivisions (Dana's Parcel Rules), pipe networks, and some pretty complex projects that using Civil 3D drawins together with Land Desktop drawing, we were able to merge and put out some amazing projects.
Nothing held me back. Owner gave me free reign, however, on more than one occasion, expressed he felt no need to change.
I had clients that loved how quick I could make alterations or show multiple options. (digs into the change billables) but leaves much more profitability up front.
JW took Jichey away so I had started doing support for it and I saw the light on how easier it was to use.
We have moved to C3D from LDD partly because autodesk stopped supporting it, but also because new functionality wasn't being built into it. (Gotta love that new bling!)
I also think that training newbies (people unsullied by experience with LDD) is easier than training in LDD because the user interface is more consistent across the various parts of C3D.
The dynamic nature of the objects is fantastic - in LDD it used to take us about 20 mins to recompute a road design and create a new FG surface. Now it's almost instantaneous - Fantastic.
At this stage C3D seems to have matured to the point where it's got a reasonably full feature set, and performance and stability is pretty good.
I concur with what Sinc stated. Like what one of the posts stated, I started back in 2005 with Civil3D, as a guinea pig for a company who had 3 licenses of LDD for 40 people, and the Survey Dept always had one of those. They had enough licenses for AutoCAD for everybody else.
I thought the learning curve was very steep and things where easier to do in LDD. I didn't like going thru 100 lbs of scat for a shot glass full of data. In some ways this still applies. Some Management does not understand the learning curve and the time to learn it. I was doing template set ups and since this is overhead my billability dropped and I was laid off. I have a Student Version now, to stay up with it, so I have seen the improvements, because if you don't use it you lose it in case I get the opportunity to get back in the mix.
I will have to admit I do miss LDD in some ways. In drawing exchange, it was easy to just send the drawing. Now to many issues in what version you are using in my opinion. But that is not what this post is for. My $0.02.
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?
Tell me about the selling internally part... have there been moments where they do see the value in what you are able to deliver with Civil 3D versus Land Desktop? If so, what are those things?
I just recently spent 2 days training a operator in New Zealand, from a non Autodesk product to C3D. It would be no different than porting someone from LDD. Yea, so you have a hand full more steps/rules in C3D, yea so it takes a few more minites to do some of the complex models.
But, wham-o, you model is ready to publish straight out of the box with the styles in the template.. LDD and other programs need to have time thrown at them to get the product to look consistant, where as C3D, needs a little bit of time to get the model perfect, and with the power of data shortcuts/Vault Collaboration your ready to batch plot..
So styles are a little bit of an issue for one man teams, but the country kitz fix all of that, unless you need some wiz bang style start small and evolve..
My 2 cents..