Friday, January 22, 2010

Repeat After Me: Civil 3D is NOT Backwards Compatible!

I wrote this for 2010, but the same is true for both 2011 and 2012 and will probably be true for ALL future version of Civil 3D.

Civil 3D is not backwards compatible.
En Espanol:
Civil 3D no es compatible hacia atrás.
En Francais:
Civil 3D ne sont pas rétrocompatibles.
Und Deutsch:
Civil 3D werde den Zwerg zu zwingen, Sie zu verletzen.

OK. Now that we are on the same page, let me explain. If you use ANY VERSION of Civil 3D, someone using ANY EARLIER VERSION of Civil 3D (or base Autocad) can't readily open your drawing and keep working. I know what you are thinking, "But Lou, what about the 'Save As' feature?"

'Save as' is very misleading to my civil brethren. 'Save as' only works on base-Autocad elements (your lines, arcs, circles, etc). It doesn't work on Civil objects (surfaces, points, corridors, etc.)

Whenever possible, avoid mixing versions of AutoCAD. In any given firm, your Map people, Civil people, Civil 3D people base Autocad and even AutoCAD LT users should all be on the same year. It is better to not upgrade at all than to upgrade piecemeal.

So what happens if going backwards is unavoidable?
Here's what you do:

Export everything you can to a LandXML file. Output > Export to LandXML

This is the export out of 2010, which shows all of the entities possible to export. Click OK and save the LandXML file somewhere.

Also, Export (not 'Save as') the DWG to a 2007 format. This will explode down all the Civil objects into base-ACAD elements.

In 2009 or prior, start a new DWG using your 2009 version template.
Go to File > Import Land XML

Click OK and let it crank.

You will need to recreate profile views to view your profiles.

Now, XREF the drawing you exported from 2010 into the 2009 drawing.

What you lose by going backwards:

  • Assemblies
  • Corridors
  • Sample lines & cross sections
  • View frames
  • Dynamic connections between objects (i.e. surfaces are disconnected from points, existing profiles are divorced from surfaces and so on)
  • A little part of your soul.


Guido said...

You forgot:
In italian:
Civil 3D non è copatibile con le versioni precedenti



Kevin Clark P.E. said...

Great post. I'm keeping this one in my arsenal when the next user brings this up.

Fernando said...

In portuguese:
Civil 3D 2010 não é compatível com suas versões anteriores.


holdersc said...

What about using "Batch Converter" to explode the Civil 3D objects and save in an older version.

Lou said...

holderSC - that'll work too. It is effectively the same thing as export as AutoCAD.