Tips and tricks in AutoCAD and Civil 3D

Posted in: Bridges, Highways


glowing keyboard with tips and tricks keyOctober 1st and 2nd marks the fourth consecutive year for the American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin Civil 3D User Group workshop in Wisconsin Dells. Design professionals from across Wisconsin gather for this annual two-day workshop to sharpen their AutoCAD and Civil 3D skills in all sectors of the transportation field. Along with numerous breakout sessions, attendees gain access to networking opportunities with engineers, technicians, resellers, and government officials.

In 2015, I attended a “60 Tips in 60 Minutes” presentation for AutoCAD users. Last year, I teamed up with some fellow inspired users to put our own spin on the presentation, expanding to include other features within Civil 3D program. This year, I along with Mark Degner from Ayres and Matt Graun from Becher-Hoppe will build on our class from last year. Our presentation, “Tips and Tricks in AutoCAD and Civil 3D” version 2.0 will expand on additional efficiencies in the following categories:

  1. Computer Performance/Workspace – Keyboard shortcuts, external reference management, and multiple Civil 3D sessions are a few of the commands and efficiencies we will discuss, along with commands you can use to attempt to save your work from AutoCAD and Civil 3D if your computer crashes.
  2. Cross Sections – We’ll look at ways to stage cross sections on roadway projects. We will also tackle how to detail a divide roadway cross section when the alignments are not parallel.
  3. Corridor Modeling and Surfaces – From rehab to complex urban roadways, setting up the assemblies and corridor can make your project more efficient from beginning to end. We will show helpful assembly setup tips for rehab projects, as well as a shortcut to trim a corridor surface using a border surface.

Helpful insight in these key areas of the program should help users complete AutoCAD tasks faster, expedite engineering processes, and become more productive in Civil 3D. More and more project managers are requesting increased productivity from CAD users in both AutoCAD and Civil 3D. Our presentation highlights some lesser known commands along with some relatively common ones, so attendees can find useful ways to incorporate the tips and tricks into their everyday workflow.

I look forward to sharing my knowledge with my professional community. Conferences like these offer us a chance to build partnerships, learn from our peers and share knowledge with other passionate program users. Hope to see you there!


Brian Veit

About the Author

Brian Veit, PE  is a Senior Project Engineer with infrastructure experience including preparing and overseeing designs, reports, and construction documents; monitoring budgets and deadlines; and mentoring project staff. He has a deep understanding of how to meet client needs and is committed to helping communities through providing safe, sustainable transportation infrastructure.

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