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We often work directly with civil engineers who are stuck in Autodesks Civil3D world. I know that the suite of tools they use to model terrain, roads, and sites isn't too far off from Vectorworks site models and site modifiers.

Everytime we try to collaborate with Civil3D users, we have to dumb the data down to a base .dwg and in doing so we lose a lot of what Civil3D calls AeCc objects. These have a lot of information included that is useful, including the basic graphic attributes and operability. 

It would be awesome if the import commands for .dwgs or whatever file type is best can better aide the interchange between the two programs! And for that matter, the interchange should work both ways. I should be able to send files with objects that a Civil3D user can easily use and manipulate!

Edited by ericjhberg
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

As far as I was aware, DWG was how this was already done, do you know what other formats Civil3D uses? I thought it had it's own proprietary format and used DWG to communicate with everyone else, including other Autodesk products.

Or alternatively, what pain points do you hit when using DWG as the interchange format?

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You are correct Jim, to the best of my knowledge it is a .dwg interchange based format and it is proprietary. Sounds about right for Autodesk.

That being said, their website has an article about file interchange (https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/autocad-civil-3d/learn-explore/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2017/ENU/Civil3D-UserGuide/files/GUID-FA18FB87-C55B-4E1B-BA56-C4CD879C958B-htm.html)

It has a section about LandXML which I know nothing about. Maybe this is the correct path to take? 

  • "Export to other software - Export the AutoCAD Civil 3D design to LandXML and use a third party application to import the LandXML."
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Yes LandXML would be useful to have, even though originally it is mostly for exchange with AutoCAD Map 3D. That being said, quite a bit of the generic Map 3D functionality is incorporated into Civil 3D so LandXML would still be a preferred route.

In the meantime you could try to split the file into dwg and shapefile for exchange with Civil 3D. Shapefiles would be useful for contours etc. for the DTM as well as other polygon/polyline objects that have data attached. That way you could keep some of the data to objects. All other objects still would be exchanged through dwg files.

This  is one of the reasons why I asked for an option to have VW records attached to objects/symbols to be exported as extended entity data (EED) into DWG files so that at least the associated information is maintained with the objects. And to create records to keep EED info in dwg files so that they become visible in Vectorworks. (there were quite a few more wishes/requests but I'll wait until after VW2017 has been released to see which ones should be resubmitted into the new wish list forum for voting up (or down)).

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