Working with Civil 3D templates

[Update: Civil 3D 2015 Service Pack 2 has been released (11-24-2014) and resolves the issues related to using acad.dwt as a basis for a new Civil 3D template. Currently, this update is apparently only availble through the Autodesk Application Manager. I would suspect that will change over the next few weeks.]

How do you start creating a new Civil3D template? As most people know, Civil3D ships with a few templates as shown below:

Default Templates

Default Templates

Basically, the choice boils down to either “acad.dwt” OR “Civil 3D NCS.dwt.” Of course, acad.dwt is completely empty of any style or setting including no layers, text styles, etc. While Civil 3D NCS.dwt contains the national cad standards with several styles and settings pre-defined.

If you use the national cad standard layers, then that template would be a great starting point. But what if you don’t use those cad standards? Do you start with the blank acad.dwt and add all of your content? Do you start with the NCS template?

The answer you chose could very well create undesirable results down the road. Let’s take a look at your options after the break…

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Contractor Workspace

Contractor Workspace by Jerry Bartels

Finding all kinds of tools tonight and this one is a Contractor Workspace as detailed by the Autodesk Transportation blog. If you move dirt or pour concrete and asphalt for a living, do yourself a favor and download this custom workspace provided by Jerry Bartels! Yeah, he’s gonna kill me for that mug shot….

Double Click actions in Civil 3D

How many times have we simply wanted to double click some civil 3d object/label thing and have “X” happen. Well, today I found my little round “to it” coin and made some of those changes. Here’s a list of actions and reactions that now happen when you double click a civil 3d object/label.  Read more of this post

News Flash: Falling Sky ≠ New Software

This just in…

Your new BIM software is NOT a sign that the sky is falling. I repeat, the SKY is NOT falling.  That is all…

The Future of Civil Engineering and Surveying Technology

OK, the title is a little bit of a stretch.  Anyone who knows isn’t telling and anyone who does tell really doesn’t know. That said…

Have you wondered what others are thinking about where civil engineering and surveying technology is headed? Then join an upcoming webcast (November 13th at 2pm) hosted by the editorial director of CE News, Shanon Fauerbach, PE.  She is joined by the CAD Systems Manager for Miller Legg (29th Best Civil Engineering Firm to Work For).

Click below to register for the event: 


To be discussed:

  • 3-D Modeling and it’s current adoption in the industry
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • GPS Machine Control
  • 3-D Laser Scanning

This webcast was born out of a desire to expand on the detail of the November CE News cover story – Civil Engineering Technology, How far have we come? The article details a survey generated with input from the people who make the engineering tools (software / hardware companies) to the people who use or manage the tools (civil engineering firms). Take a look at the article online to see the results, you will be intrigued.

Christmas is coming – is new hardware coming for your desktop?

Many folks have been calling lately to find out compatibility of Civil 3D with different hardware/OS configurations. Here’s the current compatibility status across the board:

Windows XP on 32 bit machine-yes

Windows XP on 64 bit machine-no, but hack available

Windows VISTA on 32 bit machine-yes, but not supported

Windows VISTA on 64 bit machine-no, but hack available

OK, that’s all good, but what will Civil 3D 2009 compatiblity be?  Let me put my kreskin hat on – I would expect full compatiblity with VISTA 32 bit machines.  I know there is talk and effort to create a 64 bit version for XP and VISTA, but do not know if that will appear in the 2009 version. 

So, what does all that mean?  For the typical office, stick with XP. Request this OS when specifying new machines.  For those firms who live on the technology leading edge, jump to the 64 bit machines with VISTA and all the RAM you can get (both system and video).  🙂

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