What’s New? Civil 3D 2023

It’s always fun to see the new items in all of Autodesk products.  Could there be more? Absolutely!! But continuing to see enhancements of key features and performance updates throughout the year, and with the annual release, this is always a date I look forward to!

Keep in mind that some things like Project Explorer and Grading Optimization is only available with subscription to the AEC Collection!  However, there are some great new features and functionalities in Civil 3D 2023.  Here are just a few:

Performance Enhancements

Section Views and Sample Line Editing

Addressed performance issues with corridor section views, including known issues with corridor feature lines, pipe networks and Quantity in section views. This eliminated the recreation of all view draw operations and instead cache the results, so they are not recreated each time other content within the section view is updated. Sample line editing will be 20% faster on average based on the real-world drawings.

Event Viewer

The hated event viewer has been addressed, somewhat!!  Autodesk has increased the overall efficiency of the Event Viewer. The previous, poor performance, of the event viewer database and its results dialog box had been impacting large numbers of functions in Civil 3D. The major issue was the more events in the viewer, the slower the process. For example, one customer corridor that created a lot of targeting events took 90 seconds to rebuild immediately after opening the drawing. Making no changes and repeating the rebuild, the second rebuild took 150 seconds, followed by 210... each rebuild added 60 seconds to the build time and this is due to the event viewer. With the fix all the corridor rebuilds in now take just under 1 minute. The progressive slowdown is resolved, and the initial build is faster.

Corridor Modeling Updates

Property Set Data for Corridor Solids has been expanded and enhanced.

In order to further meet BIM mandates, these improvements include:

  • Added property set definitions to identify the relationship of the corridor solid to and the subassemblies.
  • Enhanced the corridor solid to that the handle of the solid won’t change if the number of corridor regions changes, even when the corridor solids are dynamically linked to the corridor.
  • Fixed an issue where property set values on existing corridor solids now update when the name or limits of the corridor region are modified.
  • APIs were added to allow users to track back to the applied subassemblies.

Corridor Targeting Efficiency

I must admit, I’m not a huge fan of the change that was made in an update to targeting in 2022, I liked how it was, but hopefully these corridor targeting enhancements in 2023 will help improve your efficiency design and modeling workflows.

Within the targeting dialog box, you can now filter alignments, feature lines, and polylines by name or by characters.  The target map will only display the items that have been identified by the character search.  You can also easily turn the filter off.

The subassembly list displays the offset parameters for each element.  In Civil 3D 2023, when you hover over offset values indicated with “varies”, a tooltip popup will display the offset elements targeted by the subassembly.

When you add feature lines and polylines to a target layer, the corridor can be updated dynamically to include the new elements.  You can view specific elements by selecting the Details icon.  Items you select in the dialog box will highlight in plan view to help you identify target areas.

Surface target selection has also been optimized.  You can now choose a surface for all surface targets at once (like it was previously!!).

Pressure Pipe Newtworks

Civil 2023 adds some customer requested improvements for pressure pipes, including:

Added "Search by keyword" text to the pressure parts drop down list indicating that users can use it to search the list.

Added the ability to show the pressure/gravity network plan part’s property set data in a profile view label.

Profile Improvements!  Where Pressure Pipes have really lacked since day 1 just got a little bit better!  The profile editing improvements include:

  • Reduced the number of PVIs on pipe run profile to just cut lengths and elbows 
  • Removed Dynamic column from Pipe Run Profile dialog
  • Added Reference Profile to Pipe Run Profile Dialog Break cut lengths at PVIs  
  • Changed the text of the tooltip for “Cleanup PVIs”
  • Use default cut length from feature settings if no cut length in parts list

Drawing Transformations

This updated was introduced recently in an update to Civil 3D 2022.  One of the most painful things to do is transform a Civil 3D project, and this update may help a little on some tasks, but this still has a long way to go!!

The Drawing Transformation tool allows for horizontal transform, vertical datum transform, and vertical units transform from US Survey Foot to International Foot and from International Foot to US Survey Foot and will only functions in a drawing with an assigned coordinate system.

The Coordinate System Transformation dialog box allow us to assign a target category and specific coordinate system.

The Drawing Transformation Tool produces a comprehensive report of what was transformed (and what was not) along with the before and after coordinates to validate the accuracy of the transformation results.

Once installed, it can be found under Miscellaneous Utilities on the Toolbox tab of your Toolspace.

Civil 3D - Project Explorer

Since its introduction in Civil 3D 2021.1, the functionality of Project Explorer has continued to expand. 

The 2023 release makes reporting and tables even more powerful by allowing you to display quantity totals for rows and columns, as well as custom notes. When you enable the Total Cell setting, these values are displayed in both the Object tab and report.

You can display the totals row for AutoCAD tables by setting the Total Cell to yes in the Object Sets. You also have full control over text size and row heights for tables using the Edit Table Styles function. In this dialog, you can adjust the size and text of data rows and total rows independently.

The “Compare to” feature now allows you to evaluate COGO points and parcels to feature lines. This is something I do on almost every project and will save me a ton of time!!

Grading Optimization (GO)

As this is one of the best new tools in Civil 3D in a long time, I’m sure you’ll be seeing plenty more information and upgrades to come. GO debuted last year and GO 2023 adds the following new functionality: 

Non-Colinear segments returned to Civil 3D -- In previous versions, when the optimized surface was returned to Civil 3D, feature lines often were overlapping and returned as “colinear feature lines”. In 2023, feature lines are returned as non-colinear, which reduces the number of feature lines a customer must manage and reduces drawing instability.

Enhanced Convergence and Validation Graphs – These graphs provide information to customers to monitor the progress and quality of the optimization. The graphs have been enhanced to provide better visibility and more useful assistance during the optimization process.

Notification Center – This new interface provides information about the optimization process, including conflicts between constraints.

Help Center – This new interface provides access to user assistance, including the GO help system, basic workflow assistance, tutorials, and sample files.

Enhanced Progress Bar – The progress bar has been enhanced to show visual cues regarding the current stage of the optimization process.

Geotech Module

Sam Lucido absolutely killed it with 2 recent articles for AUGIWORLD on the Geotechnical Module!

With the Geotechnical Module you can manage and update borehole information within a Civil 3D profile using the same functionality of Civil 3D styles and settings.

Take a look at the March 2022 article titled “Autodesk Civil 3D: Exploring the Geotechnical Module”.

Rail Switches & Crossings

Rail features continue to be added to complete the rail design capabilities. The new turnout feature now supports US standards and continues to expand to accommodate custom inputs.  Civil 2023 added the following functionality:

US Catalogues and conversion scripts. There is a set of scripts for US catalogue conversions.

Catalogue replacement. Existing catalogue can be replaced by a catalogue with the same catalogue name and units. The following modifications are supported:

  • Add/Remove models
  • Modify model parameters
  • Modify model parameter values

CANT information labels can be placed anywhere along a rail alignment. Users can add stationing, CANT, elevation, and several other elements.

Subassembly Composer

I don’t remember the last time SAC had an update!  I was happy to see a couple items that will definitely help in my workflows.

Subassembly Composer Enhancements

  • Added the ability to create an auxiliary curve object (comparable to the auxiliary line and auxiliary point objects).
  • Customers can use the auxiliary curve to create temporary geometry to base other design elements upon.
  • Added indicator to inform users when the subassembly they are working in has unsaved changes.

AutoCAD Platform Items

Here are a couple new things to look forward to in all AutoCAD platform products:

    • As you are working, you can see the pop-up that will provide helpful insights to recommend features that can help you complete the steps you are working on faster, by automating some of the repetitive processes or suggesting something new that you may not have tried. The pop-up will provide the information to you at the right time and context.

    • After the release of Trace last year, Markup Import and Markup Assist helps you send and implement comments and feedback from colleagues faster than ever before.


I may not have covered all the features and there may not seem like a ton of new features, but the new features and enhanced features will help in your everyday workflows.

I would love to hear from you regarding the new features and features you would like to see added or enhanced, so feel free to call or email me anytime.

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