Is it the Joker or is it the Part Builder?

No other aspect of Gotham [Civil 3D] is as heavily shrouded in mystery or has caused citizens [users] as many sleepless nights as the Joker [Part Builder]. While the Joker in this summer’s blockbuster hit, the Dark Knight, may pose the rhetorical question “Why so serious?”, that same question asked to Civil 3D users trying to understand Part Builder would invariably result in a deluge of tears, expletives and incoherent babble.


All joking aside, documentation is scarce and, when available, simply provides a sterile workflow without real insight as to why the module functions and behaves the way it does.


For the uninitiated, Part Builder is derived from Content Builder which is native to AutoCAD Building Systems, now known as AutoCAD MEP. Part Builder was introduced into Civil 3D as a means to provide civil engineers with a tool for parametric modeling of real world infrastructure.


Having cracked the Fort Knox of the Civil 3D world (with a colleague of mine and with a little guidance from Autodesk), I feel it would benefit others to share in what is still an evolving process in truly understanding Part Builder by holding two online webinars at the end of the month.

Part I of this webinar is designed to establish a basic working knowledge of the nomenclature and properties of Part Builder elements as well as provide attendees with an understanding of the uses, techniques and limitations of Part Builder.


Part II builds on the previous seminar by utilizing the skills and techniques learned to create a customized parametric part from the ground “down”. In addition to understanding how a custom part is designed, attendees will also gain insight in the practical application of using Part Builder to develop parts for uses outside infrastructure design. After attending this webinar you will be able to:


·        Comfortably navigate the Part Builder Interface

·        Create work planes for designing customs pipes and structures

·        Understand and utilize Geometry, Profiles, Dimensions and Constraints as they pertain to Part Builder

·        Employ modifiers to flesh out customized parts

·        Distinguish between model and size parameters

·        Create a new custom structure

·        Visualize and create custom parts that aren’t limited solely to infrastructure design


For more information about the webinar such as dates and times, and to register for these free online webinars, please click on the links below.

 {edit – links removed as events have passed}

Civil 3D Webinar Part I:  PART BUILDER: RELOADED



About Steven Costa
Steven Costa has been with Microsol Resources, an Autodesk Platinum Partner, for 9 years and specializes in all things Infrastructure and provides technical support for the Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite family. He specializes in streamlining the collaborative workflow between the Autodesk Building and Infrastructure family of products with a focus on data exchange between Civil 3D and Revit. He also maintains the Microsol Resources website. In his spare time he dabbles in front and back end web design, scours Reddit for all the latest stories and news, and loves giving recommendations on bars and restaurants in New York City.

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