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Focus on the grading tools in Civil3d

Focus on the grading tools in Civil3d

The word has been out for years. Power users have expressed their distain, new users are as puzzled as all have been.

make the existing grading tool work reliably.


here is a small sampling of opinion to the software development. If the development is to phase out civil3d for other avenues please tell us.

Status changed to: Under Review

Hi @Joe-Bouza . Thanks for posting, but this is a big topic! Would you please be a bit more specific about which grading tools you'd like us to focus on (and what your expected end result of that focus should be)? 

And I'm happy to say there's no plan to phase out Civil 3D for grading or other purposes.


Hello Tim

I'm not trying to be snarky but do you and the development team actually believe gradings are trouble free? If so, there in lies the problem.


The grading "tools" work fine that is the tool bar actions. The gradings themselves are hyper-sensitive and cause lost drawings, lost work and lots of frustrations, at time. At other times they can be quite stable.


One could casually comb the forums and find post of people losing work because the grading became unstable.


Those types of post are what prompted this one, along with the link to users trying to understand why the development of the optimizer .


2023 and users are still frustrated with the existing grading. the workflows are good, the commands are good the results are usually impeccable, until the grading get a bellyache then things get frustrating


I agree with Joe on all of this.  It's not that the functionality is lacking, it's that we've had to modify our workflows around the stability issues for so long that we simply don't trust grading objects in general anymore.


If you want very specific examples of improvements then you can give us back the ability to do Mitered grading corners like we had back in ye olden days with Land Desktop.  I remember that being a huge missing feature when Civil 3D first came out and I'm still doing manual mitered corners 15 years later.


This is a link to my previous post on 09-06-2017: fix-grading-objects-or-admit-defeat-and-identify-the-replacement-workflow   (18 upvotes, average rank of upvoters 6.8)


I have reviewed the post. I admit that almost 7 years, having passed, I feel that there has been stability improvement.
That said, I stand by the post, repeated below. 


Fix "Grading Objects" or admit defeat and identify the replacement workflow



Grading Object system is broken. Have a little pride Autodesk! Fix this! If this cannot be fixed, publicly admit defeat and move forward. Identify the replacement for grading objects. This may be corridors. This may be Revit. This may be something in Infraworks. It is time to let your users know what is going on.



Grading object are fragile, at best. When they work they are great, but we all know that they will at some point become unstable. Sometimes they just disappear. Sometimes adding a new grading object changes older grading objects. They often corrupt drawings., and cause the drawing to freeze or crash. If you successfully create a grading object then immediately run audit you often find errors.


My workflow: create a grading object, checking existing gradings, and run audit. If there are no errors, save; if there are errors abandon the drawing and open the saved drawing and try again. This is sort of like a workflow for transporting nitroglycerine along a rough road in a truck with no shock absorbers. (it works, but not for long.)


Many experienced users suggest we think of grading objects as temporary. Create them then detach the surfaces and dele the grading objects, or explode and use the resulting feature lines as break lines. This removes the very powerful nature of the dynamic grading objects.

I agree that over the years, grading objects have become more stable. If this is as good as it gets, it is still not good enough. Autodesk, do you really feel that this is acceptable?


Corridors are being suggested as a stable alternative to grading objects. If this the direction that Autodesk supports, the process should be documented, the tools/codes updated, and examples provided. I have reviewed the Codes Script file and find it lacking as to site grading. That leaves individual users/companies to develop kludgey workarounds using existing codes, or add their own custom codes that might conflict with future standard codes. I don't really understand this, but it can't be good. This is a place where Autodesk should take a lead.


I am not familiar with how Revit or Infraworks might play into this, but the emphasis on the AEC Collection leads me to believe that Autodesk could envision Revit or Infraworks as the successor of the grading object system.


All commenters might want to check out the Civil Infrastructure Product Roadmap.

Link: autodesk-civil-infrastructure-product-roadmap 


@sirjoelsph, you will appreciate one of the 'cards' 



There is another card that I am interested in and concerned about at the same time.

This is a 'New' card.
I think this is civil 3D related rather than Infraworks. I do not know if it internal, external or cloud based.
It definitely seems to be a new object rather than an addition to grading objects.
If it is a replacement or even parallel functionality, I would think it will take at least a few years to develop.

I am very concerned that this will be a major team resource competitor to focusing on grading objects. 



There are a number of Grading Optimization (GO) cards.

This is to be expected since GO is ramping up development.

This is a competitor but is obviously a done deal.


Perhaps it is the Don Quixote in me, but I hold out hope for better behaved grading objects.



Hi @Joe-Bouza,

No snark taken from your comment -- it's a totally valid question. We certainly understand grading objects are often fragile. As @ChrisRS mentioned, we've worked on stability over the past few years, but clearly there is more work to be done. I was asking for specifics so we could focus the discussion a bit. The most helpful thing for us is having reproducible cases (when did the bellyache start) for us to troubleshoot and fix. I know that's often a tall order because things seem to go sideways randomly. But when they do, our best bet for finding and fixing the issue is (when possible) to send us the drawing and steps to reproduce.

I appreciate @ChrisRS pointing out the new functionality that's under consideration on the public roadmap. Those cards are meant to give customers an idea of what's on our radar and have the customer votes be an influence on what we work on next. So please vote for what's important to you.

As I mentioned earlier: the Civil 3D grading tools are not going away. We just need you to help us focus on what are the most critical areas we should focus on.


Hi @TimYarris 


I understand the importance of trying to catch the issue as it happens. I will most certainly reach out when a GO goes kabluey next time.


I'll spend some time on the road map




I'd concur with the sentiments about gradings - when they work they are pretty good but once they get glitchy it's game over in the drawing and better hop i have a good backup. I tend to create a backup before using gradings and use AUDIT regularly.


If I delete gradings directly from the ribbon there still seems to be detritus left in Propsector - my approach is to delete the Site to be sure.




very good

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