Productivity – part of the work-life balancing act

Civil 3D

Budgeting the time for all of the requirements of your job and still cultivating a personal life seems to be the ultimate cocktail party conversation and the ultimate nirvana of most of us.  Our personal lives are full of activities and almost as scheduled as (if not more than) our work lives. That said, finding the balance nirvana is a quest for many of us. Just Google work-life balance (if you have the time) and you’ll get blogs, pictorials and info graphics with tons of ideas on how to have that better balance. But from where does that balance come?  Well, it is about planning your life, making changes that get you to balance. But there are short term strategies as well: setting your schedule, blocking time for work; and accepting fewer, more targeted meetings as a starting point. If you haven’t seen that funny video, conference call in real life, you should.  It will make you chuckle, and quite frankly it might make you choke up a bit, because well…familiar. Woman juggler And beyond that, how can you be more productive at your work – when you finally have a few moments to get to that work.  And I’ll ask an associated question – how often have you complained that technology slows you more than it speeds what you must accomplish in your day?  And if the technology you are currently using is an older version, have you asked yourself if your work-arounds are inefficient?  Is it time to come to grips with taking a short amount of time to learn new things in order to make your work more efficient?  Likely we can name several applications that eat into our time (for now, we’ll leave out from this conversation Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – just saying).  How about we focus on your civil engineering tasks? How many of you are on older versions of Civil 3D?  And, you’ve been guilty of saying something such as… “I’m not going to change because frankly, [insert your favorite desired, yet still missing widget here] just hasn’t materialized!” And so there you sit on your laurels happily working in your older version of Civil 3D. No time, you say, to learn new capabilities/features if the one thing you want isn’t there, right? Let’s go back to that balance conversation for a moment.  Have you thought about what might be improved in the software that isn’t so apparent to you just by installing a new version?  Productivity is most always a topic of conversation when it comes to year over year releases.  So, have you considered that you could be improving your project productivity?  Have you really considered it?  Are you managing a team? Have you thought about a full team improving their design productivity? Okay, so now is the time to consider it.



Check out this study performed by LandProject, Inc.

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 Productivity Study: A comparison of AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 and AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 Workflows

By Jeff Lyons, Landproject Inc.

The performance results and statistical information reported in this paper were derived from tests commissioned by Autodesk conducted on a standalone system using Autodesk® AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 software and Autodesk® AutoCAD® Civil 3D 2016 software. Various workflow tasks were designed to simulate day-to-day production tasks. As with all performance tests, results may vary based on machine, operating system, filters, and even source material. While every effort has been made to make the tests as fair and objective as possible, your results may differ. Product information and specifications are subject to change without notice. Autodesk provides this information “as is,” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied.performance level conceptual meter

Executive Summary

The following study was developed to look at upgraded and new features of Autodesk® AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2016 software and compare actual time savings using the same feature or similar workflow in Autodesk® AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2010 software to produce equivalent results. In 5 out of the 6 workflow cases we were able to do a direct comparison to more accurately measure the time savings and calculate the Productivity Improvement when comparing to AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 features or work-around to deliver equivalent results. For typical daily tasks like Basic Corridor modeling, Pipe Network Crossing annotation and Force main design, drafting and annotation, the gain was on average a 97% increase in productivity. A significant increase in productivity was found in the workflow to project objects from plan view into multiple sections views automatically. This task was 271% more productive than the feature functionality found in the legacy version of AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010. When comparing workflows to manage Data Shortcuts for projects where objects needed to be replaced or swapped with updated information, the new Data Shortcuts Manager option proved to be over 405% more productive. Image1 The one workflow task that we could not do direct comparison with was Build Surface from Point Cloud. Instead we compared LiDaR Point Cloud surface building against surface building with standard ASCII point files. This study was added to show that AutoCAD Civil 3D can in fact build surfaces from Points Clouds directly, whereas AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 had no ability to do this. The metrics show that using Autodesk® ReCap™ 2016 software to index LiDaR files and display them more quickly and easily, without AutoCAD Civil 3D is on its own a big advantage when working with Point Clouds. Once the ReCap files were created, we used AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 to attach the ReCap file and Build a Surface. This workflow was slightly slower (about 40% less productive) for a surface size of 0.5 million points compared to a typical ASCII Point File attachment to a surface. We know from experience that once the ASCII Point files start to get into the millions, this older workflow to build surfaces from ASCII files becomes significantly slower. To conclude the study we performed an automated script to build a large dataset and then produce plan and profile sheets using plan production tools, a feature found in each version of AutoCAD Civil 3D. The automated performance improvement overall was on average 50% better when creating the large dataset. The plan production workflow is the same for both and the plotting to DWF™ only slightly faster in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 at 18% faster. These metrics could be attributed to better computer hardware used for the AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 testing. Image2 The main take away from this testing was that using the latest version of AutoCAD Civil 3D means overall better speed and performance compared to AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 in every case tested.

Want more on the study?

Need to understand how a report like this can help you make the case for an upgrade – then you’ll want to read the section on ‘show me the money’.  And for the engineer in you that really wants to dig into the details, the study will show step by step how they came to the conclusions they did via the six (6) identified workflow tasks:

  1. Basic Corridor Modeling – detail a complex land development street network with variable targets and intersections
  2. Surface from Point Cloud – compare workflow against building a surface using 500,000 Points
  3. Pipe Network Crossing Label in Profile and Section Views – compare a manual process using profile view labels with this new crossing pipe labels annotation feature.
  4. Pressure Pipe Network in Profile and Section Views – compare a manual process of creating a watermain using Profile Projection and an Offset Polyline with the new forcemain object.
  5. Data Shortcut Management – swapping and replacing data shortcuts mid‐project.
  6. Multiple Section View Projection – compare the differences in the feature functionality to project multiple object types to the alignment section views

Get the full study here.

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