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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Curb Ramps

One of my recent projects was designing some curb ramps. I was quickly affirmed of my belief that Civil 3D is not a BIM software product. Take a look at the image below.

image

It’s a Caltrans Type F curb ramp, well not really it’s a bunch of feature lines and a Civil 3D surfaces (EG & FG). Can you tell where the curb ends and the asphalt begins? I can’t. Can you tell me what material is between the curb return and the handicap ramp? I can’t. Can you tell that I’m using both curb and gutter and asphalt dike? I can’t.

I don’t know about you but, I’d expect a BIM product to do the basics, like letting you design curbs that are actually curb objects. Feature Lines are an extremely poor substitute for a modeling curbs and curb ramps. I would expect a real BIM Civil software product to allow me to model my design and then let me see the differences of the various materials involved.

If I had a curb object then I could label the curb instead of labeling a surface. In labeling a surface I’m prone to making errors, such as labeling the wrong point on the surface. Whoops did I just label the flowline as the Top of Curb? Yep.

Design changes anyone? Forget it with the current process. What you want to move the curb ramp 90 degrees ? Guess what I’m starting nearly from scratch because of the lack of BIM capabilities of Civil 3D.

Maybe someday Autodesk will have a Civil BIM product, but it definitely isn’t today.

(Note: Most of the rant is extremely affected from sitting through Autodesk Marketing events. Seeing what the architects can do with their products that are BIM provide a vary stark difference.)

4 comments:

John Evans said...

Preaching to the choir brother, but you've tapped the subject once again... and as usual, I am compelled to keep quiet. The walls have ears...

Anonymous said...

Of course Civil 3D is not BIM. It is based on the same convoluted code as Architectural Desktop which obviously is not a BIM product either. We can only dream that Autodesk will someday release a civil product with Revit-like capabilities.

forest.peterson said...

speaking of revit (or Tekla or ArchiCAD or SketchUp) - can revit be the source of concrete structural and flat work, then integrate the two tools? If one is good for A and another is good for B, then why try to create AB and not just use A+B. :) A quick review of forum threads shows that C3D and Revit do not communicate very well; makes sense since Revit was purchased and not developed in-house - not sure about C3D origins, maybe it was also purchased. Combining C3D and Revit files in navisworks or any other 4D application is not a problem but also does not allow quality analysis native to each product. Last, revit supports the ifc standard, if C3D supported the ifc standard then maybe there is the VDC (aka BIM) solution. Search found this about C3D and IFC http://directfromcarlson.com/2009/04/07/bim-vs-cim-is-it-a-noun-or-verb/

Christopher Fugitt said...

Forest, Civil 3D was developed in house by Autodesk. I guess in 2003/4 when they were developing Civil 3D it was decided that the civil industry didn't want or would buy BIM so the product is being primarily developed as an improvement to LandDesktop.

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