When the first version of this app was born just over two years ago, my hope was for it to be one app in a long and successful series that will educate, inspire, and even excite many people about the use of the Autodesk®  AutoCAD® Civil 3D® software. In order to do all this, I decided that each app in the series has to meet the following criteria:


  It should be basic enough to enable anyone to learn Civil 3D.

It should be in-depth enough to enable a person to be productive using Civil 3D for basic tasks.

It should foster understanding by associating the things you do in
Civil 3D with familiar things that you see every day.

The examples and exercises should be based on the real world.

The app should not simply demonstrate random software features, but it should also teach the process of project completion using Civil 3D.

Since the first version of the app was released, I have received tons of great feedback about how well this app functions in many learning environments.

I have also used the app myself to teach classes in a corporate environment, and I am very pleased with how it performs. I am confident that the goals listed above have been met, and for that reason I have held to the same writing style, format, and delivery that proved to be so successful in last year’s version.

As you work your way through the app, as a teacher, student, or end user, you will find that the first two chapters, although very important, are more general and introductory. After that, you are going to take a journey through the completion of a residential land development project—start to finish. In fact, the example project is based on a residential development that was built about 10 years ago, not far from my home. The topics are presented as though you have never touched a CAD program before, and wherever possible, there are sidebars and other forms of augmentation that relate what you’re doing to the real world.

You will also find that as I wrote this app, I tried to sympathize with future readers by thinking back to my college days when I was learning about surveying and civil engineering for the first time. There were many times when I felt frus- trated and lost because I was learning many new and foreign concepts, and did not see how they related to the real world. I can remember being out in the field


during my surveying class—looking through the survey instrument, writing down measurements, and having no idea why. That was not an enjoyable feeling and not one that I want you to experience as you learn the new and foreign concepts in this app. Eventually, I learned all about surveying and now have an in-depth under- standing of how those measurements relate to designing and building roads, build- ings, and other things—but it took many years. It is my sincerest hope that this app gives you a head start on some of those types of concepts while at the same time relating them to Civil 3D in ways that hit home for you.

Whats New in this app?

If you already own AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 Essentials, you’ll be happy to know that AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014 Essentials has been updated to address important changes in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014. In addition to this, AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014

Essentials goes into more depth on pressure pipe design—the newest feature set in AutoCAD Civil 3D. In fact, so much information was added that a new chapter was created (Chapter 15) that is completely devoted to pressure pipe design.

Another difference you will see in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014 Essentials is a greater focus on working in 3D. Many of the exercise drawings are set up with multiple viewports that show your design in top-down or plan view as well as in 3D view. Many of the tasks you are asked to complete will be done within the 3D view, and in many instances you will be able to see the results of your actions in their full 3D glory. Why is this important? To perform civil engineering and survey design, you will need to be comfortable working in a 3D environment.  These changes will help you accomplish that.


As with last year’s version, videos have been made available that show the author completing the exercises in the “Essentials and Beyond” section at the end of each chapter. The difference this year is that a new set of videos for ver- sion 2014 has been provided. You can access these videos at go/civil3d2014essentials and use them to compare your results with the author’s, and gain some additional insight about alternate ways to apply what you’ve learned.

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