Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Pipe Network Layer Blues

Why is Civil 3D hard to use? Well I’m guessing it’s because Autodesk user’s identify issues and then see them not resolved. One such issue I came across is data shortcut layers for pipe networks.

So what is wrong with data shortcut layers for pipe networks? Well you only get once chance to get the data shortcutted pipes and structures on the correct layer. For when you import a datashortcut Civil 3D will assign the layer that is in the Object Layers in Drawing Settings. Don’t waste your time hitting the layers button on the pipe network data shortcut dialog box, because while Civil 3D will set the correct value on creation, on a Synchronize magically they will be reset back to the layer in the Object Layers and wipe out all of that hard work you just did. Half way through your project and you realize you didn’t put them on the correct layer? Well your out of luck because in order to get them updated you have to:

  • Delete them,
  • change the Object Layer,
  • import the pipe network as a data shortcut, then
  • add the pipes and structures to the profile views, and then
  • add/update the labels.

Wow, that seems like a ton of unnecessary rework when the steps should be to select the pipe and structures and use the Layer Drop Down in AutoCAD properties or on the ribbon.

Why is Civil 3D hard to use? Because Autodesk doesn’t care about you the user to fix these issues. It has little to do with user interface, but that seems to be where Autodesk focuses their attention on. I think since Civil 3D 2007 the Pipe Network Icon has been changed at least 5 times. How many times has this issue been fixed? None.

The help file doesn’t even let you know of this issue:

If you don’t believe this, here is a video showing the results I’m seeing.

I’m sure we’ll see this fixed between 6 months and never. I’d bet the answer is closer to never since I’m sure the UI will need to be redone first for 2017, 2018, 2019 ….


Anonymous said...

Add this to the list of things that have been broken since 2006 or so.

One that comes to mind: The issue where most or all of the tools in the Edit Alignment Layout and Edit Profile Layout tools are grayed out for no reason.

Anonymous said...

My reseller has asked for and gotten a long list from me regarding things within the software that don't work. I don't need 100 classes on Infraworks 360. I need C3D to work as expected.

Anonymous said...



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