Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ask for BIM

Please ask for BIM if anyone asks. Not the fake, crappy BIM that Autodesk calls Civil 3D, but real BIM. I’d love to model a site with curbs, gutters, pavement, sidewalk, cross gutters, retaining walls, curb ramps, and the like. Instead I’m managing surface labels to make sure I’m using the correct expression. It’s really disappointing to get a monthly email telling you to watch how Civil 3D and BIM can make your designs better, when in reality the program sucks at BIM.

It would be great to be able to easily label the top of wall, top of footing, and finish surface on both sides of the wall without being totally lost on where to put the stupid surface labels with expressions to get the correct elevations. Do I really need to manage labels to do the design and convey the design intent? Shouldn’t I be able to use the M in BIM to do the modeling? I’m beginning to think BIM, in respect to Civil 3D, means Building Is Missing. I certainly have a hard time building any of my, or other’s, designs in Civil 3D.

I recently was working on a project which is adjacent to another project in the bidding process. I thought hey I can model their design in Civil 3D. Unfortunately it became clear that using feature lines as curbs is sorely lacking. My tie in point was going to be a short distance into their improvements. How the heck am I supposed to model that? It’s definitely more difficult then it needs to be. Draw the feature lines representing the curbs, trim to the join line, making sure none of the elevations get inadvertently changed. Then hope and pray when you come back to the model that you didn’t accidently adjust the tie in elevations. Why can’t there be a curb object? Why can’t there be any of the objects we design?

This concludes my rant for today. Remember to ask for BIM, because if you don’t ask for it, you’re probably not going to get it. I have very little pull in getting Autodesk to add features, collectively we might just be able to make a business case for BIM in civil design.


A.J. Whitaker said...

Ouch! For a guy whose blog is called "Civil 3D Reminders," it's good to have you remind us that Civil 3D isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Seriously, can these guys take something that should be so simple in this day and age and make it more complicated? Thanks for the honesty, Chris.

Unknown said...

Sometimes I set up fake pipe networks for entities via curbs. I design the cross section in part builder draw a feature line where the curb goes, and then convert that bad boy to a pipe. Bam: I've got a curb.

It's too bad that civil 3D still is sitting on the fence for site and roadway design.

Christopher Fugitt said...

I could see that workflow working with using the Pipe Elevation Editor in the SincPac

It wouldn't take a whole lot to have feature lines extracted from the edges of the pipe part on the programming side. The hard part would be the problem of Civil 3D constantly modifying the pipes.

Anonymous said...

Pretty sad that you have to trick civil 3d into drawing a curb with a 'fake pipe network'. Think about how silly that is. Seriously, what is it 1985?
Where's parametric parking? Where's pressure pipes 'with' hydraulic modeling? It's 2013 and we're still drawing every parking stall one line at a time. Ooooh but there's the array command, no thanks. Parkcad dominates civil 3d for parking layout. speaking of, you would think that civil 3d would have swept path analysis, ummmm no.

While I'm ranting, what the heck was the interactive terrain shaping tech preview from autodesk labs a while back? If that's what the next step is for grading for release 2014-2015, then autodesk is riding on the 'time masheen' from the movie 'idiocracy'.


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