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AutoCAD Civil vs Carlson Intelicad

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Eagle1215
(@eagle1215)
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This topic has not been discussed since the last time. What is better for the surveyor, Civil 3d or Carlson Civil? We do siteplans with proposed vs existing contours, calculate volumes between said contours, and stormwater calculations. It feels like we are dipping into engineering. We also do the boundary work for the site plan. The projects are mostly Amish guys that want an at home business. The county has them going through site planning process for this. Which is the better software? We are currently using Carlson Survey OEM. I feel like it is not enough to do some of the volumes and stormwater calculations. I am also having issues creating proposed contours. I currently manipulate the contours individually by hand. This takes a long time. The stormwater calculations are done by my boss by hand. I know there is a better way. We are at a point we need to think about either switching to civil 3d or Carlson civil. Do we need to switch or will Carlson Survey handle what we need to do?

 
Posted : April 19, 2022 4:36 am
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JPH
 JPH
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I know absolutely nothing about the civil side, site design, proposed contours, stormwater, etc.  But I'd think that since you're already using Carlson software, and I'll assume you like it, that you might want to give Carlson Civil a shot.  I'm sure you can download a demo and try it out.

And unless you're already proficient at C3D, if you switch, you will have a lot of down time trying to learn it, and maybe also the expense of a class or two.  I'm not sure about the cost difference, but will assume that C3D is more expensive than sticking with Carlson.

 
Posted : April 19, 2022 5:14 am
Learner
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Licensed as Surveyor and Engineer.  I used Civil 3D early on, and found it to be extremely hardware/resource and CAD standard intensive.  You had better be really good at CAD standards, or have someone to lean on.  I don't think Autodesk had the small shop in mind when they invented C3D.

  I now use Carlson on IntelliCAD, doing small boundary, topo, site design, subdivision work, grading, stormwater.  Carlson Survey does almost all you need for this.  You will need Carlson Civil for profiles. 

I prefer Hydrology Studio for all my stormwater hydrology and hydraulic design.  Easy to learn and use, decent import into CAD for final drawing production.

I like the recommendation above of trying the demo.  Carlson and Hydrology Studio offer free demo installs.  Both these companies offer great technical support in my opinion.

 
Posted : April 19, 2022 5:23 am

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Eagle1215
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@learner 

Do you have any resources that explain how to use carlson survey for proposed contours, profiles, volumes, and stormwater?

 
Posted : April 19, 2022 4:56 pm
tfdoubleyou
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I started my career briefly with Carlson, then got on with a large company and used Civil for several years. Now I am on my own and back to Carlson..

They both have their place, but frankly if the prices were in anywhere in the same ballpark, I'd be back on Civil. It's bullet proof and there's no asking.. "can it do that?". There's a few things I like about Carlson.. but overall I miss Civil. I'm definitely not a fan of IntelliCAD.

Granted, I'm just drawing maps here, probably only using 10% of what either application is capable of. Just my opinion. If Civil3D is in your budget, don't think twice. If you can't, Carlson is a robust and capable (if clunkier) alternative.

 
Posted : April 19, 2022 6:04 pm
kjypls
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Posted by: @tfdoubleyou

I started my career briefly with Carlson, then got on with a large company and used Civil for several years. Now I am on my own and back to Carlson..

They both have their place, but frankly if the prices were in anywhere in the same ballpark, I'd be back on Civil. It's bullet proof and there's no asking.. "can it do that?". There's a few things I like about Carlson.. but overall I miss Civil. I'm definitely not a fan of IntelliCAD.

Granted, I'm just drawing maps here, probably only using 10% of what either application is capable of. Just my opinion. If Civil3D is in your budget, don't think twice. If you can't, Carlson is a robust and capable (if clunkier) alternative.

Interesting. Is there a good online resource for using Civil3D for survey mapping? Is there an add on module or something? I've always been curious to see what it can do.

 
Posted : April 20, 2022 6:28 am

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BlitzkriegBob
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Which is better? Only you can decide that. I think much of it depends on what type of work you do, and who for whom you are providing a service. Either can do the work. Both require learning. Both have free trials. I know C3D has a student version available (your profile says you are still in school). You can also use C3D on a monthly basis, for a fee, which most people blast but I think is great for situations like yours.

With all that out of the way, my personal opinion is that learning C3D is better for the younger generation. You can get jobs if you know it. There is much more demand for people who know C3D than there is for people who know Carlson. If you learn C3D first I think it is easier to adapt to Carlson later if needed than the other way around.

I write all this as a C3D user (also living in Indiana) who has mainly done engineering work for the last 20 years, so factor all that in. If you are wanting to give C3D a spin, I would recommend training courses from Imaginit Technologies. Regardless of which software you choose, there is a learning curve if you are starting from scratch. Regardless of which software you choose, you can always post questions on this site asking for help.

 
Posted : April 20, 2022 6:41 am
Learner
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@eagle1215 Sorry, I don't.  I mine the help menus for things I don't know how to do.  You might try emailing support.  I have always found Carlson to be very responsive.

 
Posted : April 20, 2022 6:52 am
VA LS 2867
(@va-ls-2867)
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@eagle1215 For the profiles, contours, stormwater, etc.  look at getting the Carlson Civil and Hydrology modules.  For simple grading to create a surface, you could always build your breaklines with 3dpolys and create a surface from that.

 
Posted : April 20, 2022 6:59 am
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Eagle1215
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It sounds like the company will stick with Carlson and may use Carlson Civil/Hydrology. This is something that is not immediate. 

 
Posted : April 20, 2022 12:44 pm
JPH
 JPH
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@blitzkriegbob

Posted by: @blitzkriegbob

learning C3D is better for the younger generation. You can get jobs if you know it. There is much more demand for people who know C3D than there is for people who know Carlson.

Can't argue with that

 
Posted : April 21, 2022 9:08 am