One frequent request – particularly from those who are working on larger roadway projects – is to eliminate the different behavior between AutoCAD Civil 3D and AutoCAD drafting elements when creating and modifying roadway sections. One of the core AutoCAD Civil 3D principles is for production drafting to always reflect the design model. This relationship is obvious between AutoCAD Civil 3D modeling and drafting objects (e.g., an alignment and a station/offset label), but there have been limitations in situations where users manually add AutoCAD annotation onto their production section sheets.
Here’s the request…
I shouldn’t need to waste time cleaning up, adjusting or recreating manual drafting if I add or remove sample lines, change the width or height section views, or move a section view on a sheet.
We’ve been looking at this for a while and a couple things needed to be factored into our solution:
- Whatever we come up with needs to work well with base AutoCAD entities. Rather than trying to re-invent AutoCAD drafting capabilities, we need a solution that includes both AutoCAD Civil 3D and AutoCAD entities.
- We want something that is easy for organizations to implement. As with everything we work on, the UI and workflow should extend or complement how people already work. However, as with any change, organizations will want to understand the new behavior so that they can adjust practices/procedures.
The solution is a relatively subtle UI/workflow change in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018 that results in a significant workflow improvement to generating and maintaining section sheets. For the most part, you can work the way you’ve always worked. Create sample lines, section sheets, and then add any “ad-hoc” drafting that you need. The change is that we now include a buffer around the section view so that anything inside will move with the section. This includes if you manually move sections on a sheet or if the sections are rearranged. For example, add more sections to a view group, change the width of a sample line, change the height of a section view, or manually move a section view and all this ad-hoc drafting will move with the section view that it resides within.
Beyond the drafting buffer, we’ve added the ability to move sections from one view group to another and the ability to create plan/plan and profile/profile sheets thus allowing organizations to initiate production drafting early in a project and then progressively refine or adjust the design or production roadway deliverables. We’re also actively researching additional improvements to deliver similar capabilities to profile views as well as projecting objects to sections and profiles that will leverage underlying changes that were made in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018.
We look forward to hearing about how these as well as the many other changes in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018 impact your production drafting efficiency.