Major Civil engineering software used for drafting and visualization

Civil engineering software used for drafting and visualization


Civil engineering software – AutoCAD is a computer-aided software drafting program. It is used for drafting of buildings, foundations, bridges etc. It has 2D and 3D drafting applications. With the help of this software, accurate 2D drawings can be drawn for any engineering domain. This also helps to render to 3D models to help on visualization of the end product.

AutoCAD help model 3D objects with colors, materials and/or textures applied to various surfaces making them vivid and easier for the user to visualize the end product. It has inbuilt tools that allow any number of revisions and changes easily and quickly.  AutoCAD creates drawings from only lines, never volumetric models. It limits the number of file formats it can import or export. When other programs with more powerful tools are exported to AutoCAD, it might create problems because their geometry, colour and effects may get lost.

Drawing done in AutoCad
                                                   Drawing done in AutoCad


Revit is one of most widely used software which caters to the specific needs of engineers as well as architects. There exists a special relation between 2D and 3D drawings which acts as an advantage of this software. This relationship between your 2D and 3D drawings is a key element in Revit. In other softwares, the 2D and 3D drawings are to be drawn separately.This relation may also act a disadvantage when the drawings in 2D are not correct and hence the quality of the 3D drawings get compromised.

When changes are made in 3D model, 2D models will also reflect that change and get updated. The same is true if 2D drawings are changed, 3D drawings will get updated accordingly. The Revit software always retains the data, and adapts to your changes. This software has a library of families which can be used in the modeling. But this usage may enlarge the project file considerably.

Drawing done in Revit - Civil engineering software
                                                     Civil engineering software – Drawing done in Revit

ArchiCAD – Civil engineering software

ArchiCAD is a software package which has 2D and 3D drafting and also visualization which has the drawing tools for creating accurate and detailed technical drawings. ArchiCAD is a software that caters solutions to the common aspects of engineering during the whole design process buildings, interiors, urban areas, etc. ArchiCAD software has a friendly user interface.

This softwares had a good layout approach and drafting. It gives a decent rendering which helps in visualization. This software has parametric objects which are very flexible and efficient which don’t affect the file size. But some extensions are not properly updated which will affect while drawing the models.

Drawing done in ArchiCAD
                                       Drawing done in ArchiCAD

Civil 3D

Civil 3D is an engineering software application used by civil engineers and other professionals to plan, design, and manage civil engineering projects. Civil 3D is employed to prepare 3D models of land, water, or transportation features. Civil 3D is well known in the civil engineering community and widely used on a variety of infrastructure projects both large and small.

This software’s sole purpose was to be an add-on for AutoCAD. For this reason, it was developed, but as its popularity and demand grew, it was further evolved and developed into a stand-alone product, built on the AutoCAD platform. Civil 3D provides a similar design environment and many AutoCAD-compatible shortcuts along with true DWG file support.

One of advantages of this software is that it allows the users to store and share their design data. In this software, the changes done to drafting and annotation are automatically reflected throughout the model for quick and efficient visualizations that remain in sync as you make design changes at any stage of the process. Civil 3D software is actually known for its fully integrated survey functionality, which provides a consistent environment for survey tasks and allows for raw imports of survey data, survey observation edits, and automatic creation of survey figures and surfaces.

Drawing done in Civil 3D
                                                        Drawing done in Civil 3D

3DS MAX – Civil engineering software

3Ds max software is a product by Autodesk. It is implemented to perform Architectural 3D modeling, can perform 3D Mechanical modeling, 3D Architectural rendering, Exterior & 3D Interior walk-through and 3D Architectural fly-through.

3Ds Max software comprises of many high quality features that helps the modelers, the renders and the designers to prepare flawless photo-realistic 3D images as well as 3D animations of any construction element.3Ds Max software has excellent capabilities in developing the effective3D models and It has great compatibility with Microsoft Windows operating system. This software is not known to work well with anything that involves movement, it is only good for texturing and meshing models. This software has a closed-up file format when saving files. It is harder to directly convert files saved in the .max file.

Drawing done in 3DS MAX Civil engineering software
                                          Civil engineering software -Drawing done in 3DS MAX