The 2008 version of AutoCAD Civil 3D has been available for some time now. With another version comes more to learn. This means more tools and features that will help you do your job more efficiently. For those of you that haven’t ventured into Civil 3D yet as you may be aware it’s going to be a learning curve but in the end it will pay off. As you learn this new Civil/Survey software package, be willing to adjust how you have done things in the past, and in a sense go with the flow of how Civil 3D works.
In this article we’ll examine briefly a few of the new tools that Civil 3D 2008 provides.
Lines and Curves
Here is a new feature that in some ways is new and in others is not – the Lines/Curves menu. Here you will find the commands you need to make building lines and curves easier. You now have the ability create reverse or compound curves as well as the other options you can see in the graphic below. Be sure to check out the others options in the Lines/Curves menu. If you are a Land Desktop user these tools may look familiar, but be aware, they are not exactly the same as the tools in the Lines/Curves menu in LDT. This new menu in Civil 3D for the most part just automates the use of the Civil 3D transparent commands that have been with Civil 3D from the beginning. So Land Desktop users you still have a bit to learn here about how the new commands work.
Alignment from Xref
If you have an xref attached to your drawing with a polyline that you would like to use to create an alignment in your current drawing you now have the ability to create the alignment from the xref. When you use the Create Alignment from Polyline command you now get the option to pick a polyline from xref. This new command could come in handy from time to time. I like the idea of being able to get at the data in the xref.
Editing a Single Label
This new feature is useful and quick. Now you can add static label text to a single label or add or remove any label property that can used with that label in the text component editor. Using a Ctrl left click you can pick the label and then use a right click to access the short-cut menu and select the Edit Label Text… option. There are more useful features using the Ctrl pick method, like deleting a single label or changing an individual label’s style.
As you can see in the graphic below if you later wanted to revert back to the original text label value you can clear the label override.
Plan Production Tools
This is the big new feature of Civil 3D 2008. It put it simply; these new tools automate the creation of Plan and Profile sheets. If you tried to use Sheet Manager in Land Desktop this is the same idea, with one big difference, it is easy and quick to setup and use.
There are many more improvements throughout the product but remember one of Autodesk’s main focuses in this release was stability and speed. So if you have used previous versions of Civil 3D you will notice a difference. For those of you that haven’t used a previous version, you won’t realize to the same extent how nice it is to have more speed and better stability in the product.