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Civil 3D limitations with dgn references

Civil 3D limitations with dgn references

(OP)
We are working on a project that is 3 miles long. We have full survey and design done. Parts of this project are being done by 4 different companies and everyone is sharing their work. Our problem is that our drawing has 4 dgn references and 4 dwg references. It is a little over 28Mb now. This includes full corridors, sections, etc. We have about 80 sheets associated with this drawing. About 2 months ago we started having extreme difficulty getting the drawing to even open. We have purged, audit, and tried to recover (although it will not successfully perform the recover). The official response we got back was that we had too many sheets and that we should have several drawings and then utilize the sheet set manager. They say that it is the large number of sheets that is killing the drawing.

Do we really need to have 10 drawings with 8 sheets a piece? That would be 10 - 25Mb drawings instead of 1 - 28Mb drawing. Does that 3Mb make that big of a difference? Or do we have a "corrupt" dgn reference that is killing us? We do not have microstation so we cannot check the dgn.

RE: Civil 3D limitations with dgn references

Right now you have all your eggs in one bloated unstable basket. If that drawing gets corrupted or becomes unusable you are going to lose a LOT of work. In most large projects you will see recommendations to put your cross-sections in a separate file, which that one step alone should help your file size and stability. Your sheets should also be in different files, different than your corridor. At my company we use a single dwg file for each sheet, though I don't see a reason why you couldn't have 10+ sheets per dwg. Use data references to bring in the surfaces and alignments/profiles you need, then label them in your live sheet files. Your sheet files should end up significantly smaller than your base files - I'm not sure where you get the assumption that it would only be 3MB smaller.

Sheet set manager will help you keep track of those sheets/files and be able to quickly access them. Take advantage of the Sheet Set Properties to populate Fields (project name, plan set name, issue date, etc.) that will be used across all the sheet sets, and it will save you time when you have to hit a new milestone. Plotting also becomes very quick and easy with the ability to batch Publish the whole set with just a few clicks.

One word of warning - There is a problem if you data reference information from a base file AND you xref it into the sheet, then you can run into a situation where the data-referenced information does not update properly when opening or printing a file. Xref dumb CAD linework where needed, Data Reference the critical Civil3D design information, and then use Civil 3D labels live in the sheet file to annotate it and you should be fine.

It doesn't make much of a difference on small projects, but as you are finding out, large projects can bloat files quickly and make file management critical. Here is a Best Practices guide that might help, especially the section on Project Management:
http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=...

Or this 2011 version if you prefer a PDF, most of the info still applies:
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&am...

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