How Productivity Tools for Civil 3D 2017 Save You Time During Projects

The Productivity tools for AutoCAD 2017 were released last month under the name “Russia Productivity Tools for AutoCAD® Civil 3D® 2017.” I don’t work too much on Russian projects, so what’s this all about? Well, it’s actually called Autodesk Cartogramma Utility when you go to the installer. But the point is, these productivity tools are referred to as such for a reason. Civil 3D just became more reliable and easier to navigate.

AutoDesk Cartogramma Utility
This new utility shows up under the Subscription Extension Manager under “Cartogramma Utility for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016.” Yes, 2016–but don’t get hung up on semantics.

Subscription Extension Manager

There are three commands: “Create Cartogramma,” “Edit Cartogramma,” and “Erase Cartogramma.” What do these actually do in Civil 3D? Let’s find out.

The Productivity Tools Do the Grunt Work Themselves

It turns out, the productivity tools make changes where you would otherwise have to make them, in the event of an error. I’ll walk you through my own process.

Clicking on “Create Cartogramma” prompted me with “This drawing does not contain any surfaces!” as seen in the image below.

Create Cartogramma

When I opened a drawing with a couple of surfaces in it and tried the command again, the dialogue box I needed opened up:


I needed to pick a Ground Surface, a Designed Surface, a Cartogram boundary, and a Mesh Origin point. I started by extracting the boundary of my roadway surface. When I selected this boundary, I received an error stating that the boundary was not a closed polyline and can’t be used.

But the second part asks, “Set selected polyline as closed?” Instead of giving you an error and forcing you to change it, it makes the change for you.

Selected polyline as closed

At this point, I selected the yes button, picked a random Mesh Origin point, selected the 2 check box options, and let the rest play out. The dialog box shown in the image below appeared and sat there for a bit of time.


When the utility finished, the image below shows an example of what was created.


I got each grid area with cut and/or fill and the quantity, and a table that shows this earthwork as well.

The productivity tools really speed the process along and help you focus on what’s really important in a project! There are always plenty of other hiccups during the process, so it’s nice to know improvements like this are being made to minimize it. What other ways have these tools made your job easier?

Want to learn more about Civil 3D 2017? Contact us now to find out how we can help you master this software to generate massive ROI and win more work.


Civil Infrastructure software is my main professional interest. Civil 3D, Infraworks, and Recap are what I work with mostly. I have been with CADsoft Consulting for over 10 years now. I got my start using Softdesk and AutoCAD R12 in DOS. My wife and I have four children and I am a die hard Red Sox fan.