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Thread: Civil 3D vs Inroads

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    Default Civil 3D vs Inroads

    I been an Inroads/Microstation user for last 4 years. For the last few months I been working fulltime on Civil 3D pretty much trying to do the same thing that I did using Inroads.

    Following are my comments:

    Pros:
    1. Civil 3D is very very DYNAMIC compared to Inroads. No question about that

    2. Corridor Modelling is little bit simpler in Civil 3D compared to Inroads

    3. It will suit well with the BIM line up of Autodesk especially Navisworks, Eventhough they don't talk much now, but I am sure in the future they will

    Cons
    1. It seems that Civil 3D is very 'hi fi" technology running on an older platform. For every command it looks like it throws everthing in to the memory. Every time C3D has new releases, we have to upgrade our machines. On contrary Microstation runs on a much sophiscated platform, which requires less memory regardless of relaeses until XM.

    2. I am having a very very hard time dealing with reference files compared to Microstation. Being a Design Engineer, dealing with reference files is like 1/4th of my job.

    3. In Civil 3D all the aspects of Corrdior Modeling (Alignments, Profiles, Assembly, etc. ) is stored in one dwg file (well I guess that whats makes it dynamic). We have 64 bit high end machines, still Civil 3D crashes all the time. As the corridor becomes bigger, it gets worse. (Right now I am working on a 10 mile complex highway project)

    4. I am not sure how this will work with multiple engineers working on the project. I hope this is where the Vault comes in to picture, which we haven't used it yet.

    5. Finally Assemblies. Boy I have to brush up my VBA skills to do some assemblies that are out of the box. Setting the Target Parameter for a custom sub assembly requires huge programming skills. These things can be done so simply without any programming in Inroads XM

    Conclusion

    Am I biased towards Inroads/Microstation becasue of my history? You guys decide!!!!!!!!!!

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    Default Re: Civil 3D vs Inroads

    Quote Originally Posted by vkumar.205005 View Post
    4. I am not sure how this will work with multiple engineers working on the project. I hope this is where the Vault comes in to picture, which we haven't used it yet.
    Vault is most likely NOT your answer. What you can acheive with Vault can be accomplished via data shortcuts without the need for the vault, it's database and associated hardware.

    We use GEOPAK and C3D here in my office. I'm primarily C3D but I have seen the GEOPAK. To me GEOPAK, and from my understanding, Inroads work much like Land Desktop did. They write all the information to separte files and produce only line work in your drawing.

    As to your crashing, what video cards do you have? Are they Autodesk certified? How much RAM? I've seen two typical crashes with large C3D files in this office. One is the out of memory error. This can be easily found by watching the task manager. It'll flatline at the RAM limit and then the program will die. Video is a bit more tricky to pin point.

    What particular issues are you having with reference files? Most things work pretty much the same between Microstation and C3D.

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    Default Re: Civil 3D vs Inroads

    It crashes due to two reasons:

    1. Out of memory.
    We have 2.66 GHz, 20 GB of RAM, XP Prof. x64 Edition & still out of memory.

    2. CreateFile failed with error 3
    I got to open up & clean up the temp folder to re run C3D, which sounds so stupid to me.

    So if it's not Vault, then how could mutlpile engineers could work on the same project/file at the same time, if every aspects of design is on the same dwg file?

    With respect to referecne file I could do the following in Microstation:
    1. Offset the lines on a reference file to my file (without the stupid ncopy command for each segment)
    2. See what layer a particular line or an element is on by simply clicking on it (even with ncopy you won't be able to do it in C3D, because it makes the copied element to the active layer)
    3. Measure the radius/length of an element (again without ncopy)

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    Default Re: Civil 3D vs Inroads

    Quote Originally Posted by vkumar.205005 View Post
    1. Out of memory.
    We have 2.66 GHz, 20 GB of RAM, XP Prof. x64 Edition & still out of memory.
    How much of that is available to a 32 bit program? My 64bit experiance is limited.

    Quote Originally Posted by vkumar.205005 View Post
    So if it's not Vault, then how could mutlpile engineers could work on the same project/file at the same time, if every aspects of design is on the same dwg file?
    You do not put everything into one drawing. Grading can be in one file or many files. If in many files a master file is created, surfaces referenced (via data shortcuts) and pasted into a final surface. File management can be tricky and vary from project to project.

    Vault will not allow multiple users to work on the same DWG file either. If the file were checked out of Vault only one person may write to it until it is checked back in.

    Quote Originally Posted by vkumar.205005 View Post
    With respect to referecne file I could do the following in Microstation:
    1. Offset the lines on a reference file to my file (without the stupid ncopy command for each segment)
    2. See what layer a particular line or an element is on by simply clicking on it (even with ncopy you won't be able to do it in C3D, because it makes the copied element to the active layer)
    3. Measure the radius/length of an element (again without ncopy)
    I expected these.

    1. This is the most common gripe about AutoCAD references. I don't know of a way, other than Ncopy or copy and paste to get a line from a reference to a current drawing.

    2. xlist works for this unless it's a civil 3d object.

    3. Distance command will let you snap to the object. No need to have the object in your file.

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    Default Re: Civil 3D vs Inroads

    Thanks for the x-list command. That is a good one.

    I guess I have to work on my file management skills in C3D. Since We have a huge highway project & eventually multiple people are going to work on it. So I need a game plan.

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    Default Re: Civil 3D vs Inroads

    You're welcome. Glad i could help out.

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    Default Re: Civil 3D vs Inroads

    Quote Originally Posted by gandocadguy View Post
    How much of that is available to a 32 bit program? My 64bit experiance is limited.
    4GB can be used by C3D, but because it typically ends up getting quite fragmented, it generally ends up being about 3GB of effective memory that is actually available to the application. The OS will also use some memory, as well as any other programs that are running simultaneously with C3D. But I'd say at least 14GB of that 20GB is sitting essentially unused.

    As an upside, once you run a program, it will stay resident in memory for a LONG time. So when you shut down a program, it will generally startup pretty fast the next time you use it.

    As a downside, XP isn't as good at managing memory as Vista and Win7. So even though you can use 4GB, things can get tripped up easier on XP than on the newer operating systems. That seems to be one reason why many people are having better luck running C3D 2010 on Vista or Win7 than on XP.

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    Default Re: Civil 3D vs Inroads

    Civil 3D makes things much slower as the project size increases.

    This explains why 90% of the State Department of Transportation (DOT's) uses Microstation/Inroads as compared to Civil 3D.

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    Default Re: Civil 3D vs Inroads

    Quote Originally Posted by vkumar.205005 View Post
    Civil 3D makes things much slower as the project size increases.

    This explains why 90% of the State Department of Transportation (DOT's) uses Microstation/Inroads as compared to Civil 3D.
    90% of the DOT use Microstation because Bentley gave it to them at little or no price so the firms that want to do DOT work had to buy the seats they needed.

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    Default Re: Civil 3D vs Inroads

    Quote Originally Posted by SRBalliet View Post
    90% of the DOT use Microstation because Bentley gave it to them at little or no price so the firms that want to do DOT work had to buy the seats they needed.
    In addition to that most states have no motivation to improve their process.. The DOT's are not trying to make a profit. I remember years ago when V8 microstation came out I called Arizona DOT about their CAD standards being updated because you could now name levels. They said name them 1 through 63 and use the old pre-v8 standard because they weren't getting any money to update.

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