Each year, the release of new software versions brings with it a list of cool new features and functionality. This year is no exception for the 2014 release of Civil 3D . Historically, one of the challenges with new releases of Civil 3D was that Civil objects such as surfaces, alignments, etc were never backward compatible and end users would lose object functionality as a result of saving the drawing back to a previous version. Although, the AutoCAD platform allows for saving back to previous dwg formats, this would not encompass Civil 3D objects. For example, if a drawing was created in Civil 3D 2012, the drawing format for that release is AutoCAD 2010. The challenge with that, is the fact that the created Civil 3D objects are unique to every yearly release regardless of the AutoCAD drawing format. What has this meant to you historically? It has always been the recommendation to use the latest release of Civil 3D due to it’s rapid evolution. This isn’t always the easiest of tasks in this world of interchangeability. We sometimes have to work with consultants that are not using the latest and greatest technology which creates the need to explore different ways of sharing data among the project members. This often leaves us with the unfortunate option of using the dirty “E” word in Civil 3D. What is that dirty E word you ask? EXPLODE! This obviously is not the best option as it destroys any dynamic capability that Civil 3D offers.
With all that being said, have you ever wished that just once, a new release of Civil 3D could be backward compatible? For example, wouldn’t it be useful to create a drawing in Civil 3D 2014, and then be able to open that drawing in Civil 3D 2013 without having to deal with the issues that have been there in the past? Well wish no more! Yes! For the first time, this is a reality with Civil 3D 2014. I decided to blog about this compatibility because of the magnitude that this presents to Civil 3D users that have stayed away from upgrading in the past. While Civil 3D 2014 has a great list of features that it comes with, this was the one that stood out the most to me. I will blog later about some of the other new features but in the meantime, check out this Autodesk link for Civil 3D 2014:
Create a drawing in 2014 and open it in 2013 without any issues? Seriously? Yes! Seriously!