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More Civil3D Extensions and an Alternative

Wow, AutoCad has finally brought Civil3D out of the dark-ages with a couple of extensions that should have been included long ago.

Having had the misfortune of using Civil3D, I am shocked that they actually responded to something that their competitors have done for years. Three small extensions that will add significant usability to thousands of users, the ability to import/export HEC-RAS model data, some subassemblies for sections like pipe trenches, and the ability to get pond stage storage data from a surface were just announced last week.

[ad#200-left]All of these functions were available in 12D software at least four years ago, along with many other functions that still are impossibly difficult in Civil3D. As with many things in North America, the market is stuck buying products from one big company, and in the case of Civil Design software along, I’d have to say that this would cost millions of dollars in lost productivity each year – that’s not the story you get from AutoCad of course – in their mind, the industry just couldn’t survive without them. (and really, when you are continually paying maintenance fees for software that you aren’t even allowed to sell if you don’t want it, many companies keep using it in the hopes that it is as good as the next software, or perhaps that it will one day get better!) Doesn’t that sound just like a drug addition?

It’s rare that I will beat on a particular company on this blog, but Civil3D by AutoCad misses the mark on almost every level of usability and functionality when compared with alternative design software.

Civil 3D 2009 Extensions Available on the Autodesk Subscription Site

At the rate that the Autodesk Developers keep improving and adding new tools, you know, the tools you keep asking them for…

I have to ask – why is the largest civil design software company having to respond to user’s request for functionality in a product several years old? Certainly not the apple iPod or iPhone experience.

If you are in the market for some new software, and don’t mind a small learning curve, you have to check out 12D. It is truly the best civil design software package available today.

I’d love to hear your comments on  your favourite or worst software!

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.

One thought on “More Civil3D Extensions and an Alternative

  1. Good to get that off your chest hey!? Civil3D would have to rate as one of the most frustrating software packages in the world. From what you’ve said in the past about 12D, it rocks and doesn’t crash!

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