Civil 3D Fundamentals 2021: Course changes


The Civil 3D Fundamentals course is a four-day course covering all aspects of Civil 3D at a basic level. In addition to this course, there are also two specialized courses dealing with Civil 3D on a fundamental level:

  • Civil 3D 2021: Fundamentals for Land Developers (Grading)
  • Civil 3D 2021: Fundamentals for Surveyors

These three courses all cover the basics and there is quite a lot of overlap among the three courses.

Over the past two releases of this course, a lot of changes have been introduced, primarily in the order of chapters within the book and the folder structure of the dataset. Prior to teaching the 2021 course, it is recommended the instructors study the course to familiarize themselves with the location of various files and the new flow of the course.

The outline of the Civil 3D Fundamentals courses (Metric and Imperial) for 2021 has been adjusted to reflect a more realistic workflow.  The folder structure has changed to mimic a professional Civil project, either on a local area network of housed in a BIM 360 hub. 

Folder Structure:

Prior to the 2020 version, all files were stored in the Civil3D-Training folder within the Civil 3D Projects folder. 


For the 2020 release, various configuration files for assembly sets, various templates survey databases were moved out of the Civil 3D-Training folder.

For the 2021 release, the Civil 3D-Training folder was renamed to "Working" to mimic a typical BIM 360 project, as well as typical project found on local area networks within an office environment. Other data-management practices have been established with the introduction to a "Reference" folder for GIS data, point clouds, images and data-shortcuts. A "Plans" folder has also been introduced where the finalized plans reside, as well as the location for the Sheet Sets. A "Documents" folder is also present, although not used in the course.

Course Outline:


Whereas the folder structure had already gone through changes in the 2020 release, the course had remained the same as it had for prior releases. For 2021, this has changed. The course now emulates a more realistic workflow:

  • Introduction to Civil 3D
  • Establishing existing conditions
    • Survey
    • Surfaces
  • Preparing a project for multiple team members
    •    Project Management (incl. templates and style management)
  • Design development
    • Alignments
    • Profiles
    • Corridors
    • Grading
    • Pipe Networks (enhanced Pressure Pipes)
  • Finalizing the design
    • Sheet Production, Sheet Set Manager (incl. sections)
    • Quantity Takeoffs
    • Visualization (new to 2021)

The introduction chapter is shortened and less technical. The topics of templates and style management formerly in this chapter have been moved to the Project Management chapter (formerly Chapter 2, now Chapter 4).

The point cloud section and the 3D solids extraction formerly in the surface chapter have been moved to the appendix. With regard to the point cloud, the Quary Park.rcs file is now a separate download for the dataset.

The corridor chapter now includes sample lines and material quantities (formerly in the QTO\Sections chapter), along with an exercise on using the Corridor Section Editor.

The Plan Production Chapter now includes section generation and using the Plan Production Section tool to include sections in the project Sheet Set.

The course finishes with a bit of fun. The final chapter covers the QTO topics and then gets into the Civil 3D multiview blocks and visualization.


The intent on this rather drastic reorganization is to get the folder structure to fall in line with professional practices and typical folder organization within BIM 360 projects, as well as have the course flow with a typical workflow of Civil projects. It is anticipated that this outline and structure will remain in place for the subsequent future releases of this course.

With regard to the other two fundamental level courses (Civil 3D 2021: Fundamentals for Land Developers and Civil 3D 2021: Fundamentals for Surveyors), they have already gone through major course outline changes in 2020 and for 2021, it is anticipated that the major changes in these courses will be only in the folder structure as has been done with this course.

About the Author

Jeff Morris

Learning Content Developer<br><br>Jeff specializes in infrastructure tools such as Civil 3D and Infraworks, delivering training classes and contributing to the learning guides for these Autodesk software applications. Jeff has worked for several Autodesk resellers and has had roles of both CAD and BIM Manager with Civil and Architectural firms.

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