Civil 3D

Civil 3D

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Score 8.4 out of 100
Autodesk Civil 3D


What is Civil 3D?

Autodesk's Civil 3D is a computer aided design (CAD) application designed to support a variety of civil infrastructure projects including rail, roads and highways, land development, airports, drainage, storm and sanitary, and civil structures.
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Entry-level set up fee?

  • No setup fee
For the latest information on pricing, visit…


  • Free Trial
  • Free/Freemium Version
  • Premium Consulting / Integration Services

Starting price (does not include set up fee)

  • $305 per month
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Product Demos

Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D overview
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Product Details

What is Civil 3D?

Autodesk’s Civil 3D is a civil engineering design tool for engineers, architects, and designers, featuring tools to improve drafting, design, and construction documentation. The tool supports the design and visualization of an array of projects, like rails, bridges, pipes and sanitary systems, corridors, and works with a variety of surfaces and sites.

Civil 3D is available standalone with a number of licensing options. It is also available as part of Autodesk’s Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Collection, a solution that includes Civil 3D with other CAD and BIM tools including Revit, AutoCAD, InfraWorks, and Navisworks Manage, in a discounted bundle for engineering and construction firms. This package also includes professional grade support and unlimited cloud storage for project files, and all the applications in a common data environment.

Many of Civil 3D’s features are enhanced or completed by inclusion in the AEC Collection. For instance, users can conduct grading design studies based on project constraints. Grading Optimization is available in Civil 3D only as part of the Architecture, Engineering & Construction Collection. Project Explorer is also an extension available in Civil 3D through the AEC collection, and enables users to simplify design review and modification and validate design objectives.

On its own, Civil 3D does support various design projects; popularly, road design can be done in Civil 3D with what the vendor describes as dynamic, flexible 3D models of road corridors that enable users to simulate driving and evaluate sight distance, as well as manage road rehabilitation projects and drainage design. Civil 3D also supports surface modeling, stormwater and wastewater analysis, and the software enables users to download, create, analyze, and adjust survey data, and conduct topographical and terrain modeling.

Autodesk announced expansions to the AEC Collection, including the additions of updated collaboration, project management, and document management tools, particularly Autodesk Docs, a document management tool available exclusively through the AEC Collection to improve approval workflows and data management, and an updated BIM Collaborate and BIM Collaborate Pro, presented as a tool to help teams execute on design.

Civil 3D Features

  • Supported: Collaborative Working Environment
  • Supported: Bridge Design
  • Supported: Surface Modeling
  • Supported: Railway Design
  • Supported: Road Design (materials, intersections, road rehabilitation)
  • Supported: Site & Survey
  • Supported: Corridor Modeling
  • Supported: Storm & Sanitary
  • Supported: Plan Production & Documentation
  • Supported: IFC Import & Export

Civil 3D Screenshots

Screenshot of Civil 3D - Infrastructure Software from AutodeskScreenshot of Civil 3D - Rail Alignments

Civil 3D Video

Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D Overview

Civil 3D Integrations

Civil 3D Competitors

Civil 3D Technical Details

Deployment TypesOn-premise, Software as a Service (SaaS), Cloud, or Web-Based
Operating SystemsWindows
Mobile ApplicationNo

Frequently Asked Questions

Autodesk's Civil 3D is a computer aided design (CAD) application designed to support a variety of civil infrastructure projects including rail, roads and highways, land development, airports, drainage, storm and sanitary, and civil structures.

Civil 3D starts at $305.

MicroStation, OpenRoads Designer, and ARCHICAD are common alternatives for Civil 3D.

The most common users of Civil 3D are from Small Businesses (1-50 employees).
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View all alternatives
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Reviews and Ratings




(1-7 of 7)
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Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Autodesk Civil 3D is used for the design of roads and civil services, i.e., stormwater, sewer & water reticulation. It is also used to complete earthworks designs. We use it to design new infrastructure or determine the most appropriate and feasible upgrade solutions to existing services. Drawings are completed on Autodesk Civil 3D for the various stages of each project. This includes Preliminary Design, Detail Design, Tender drawings, construction drawings, and ad-built drawings.
  • Ease of functionality
  • Templates make design and drawings easier to complete
  • The ability to design and setup drawings simultaneously, where the drawings will be updated as the design is updated should there be changes
  • I think I need more experience in using Autodesk Civil 3D as it is a huge jump from the previous software that I had been using
  • Some functions could take less steps to complete
I only have good reviews for Autodesk Civil 3D currently. It is very useful for completing designs, in my case, mostly the design of civil services such as stormwater, sewer, and water. Creating long sections and analyzing the long sections while analyzing the plan at the same time is a huge help. Updating the plan updates the long sections rather than having to recreate long sections etc. Updating input data automatically updates the long section results as well. Drawings are easy to create. Creating templates for different design scenarios is extremely helpful, especially when working on multiple projects of the same nature.
Mahmoud obaid | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Autodesk® Civil 3D® software is a civil engineering design and documentation solution that supports Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows on civil infrastructure projects, including roads and highways, rail, site development, airports, and water. Civil 3D helps civil infrastructure professionals improve project delivery, reduce risk, errors, and omissions, and respond faster to project changes. Additionally, users can streamline time-consuming tasks such as corridor design, (road and rail), intersection design, parcel layout, site grading, and piping design with specific tools and customizable design standards.
  • Very useful for projects that contain rail alignment in such showing profiles along with the utilities that the rail is crossing it
  • Manage GIS data along connecting the design to documentation in order to support the productivity
  • Provide team coordination along using visualizing, simulation, and analysis that integrates with the design process to improve the delivery
  • The processing of huge sized files in such in big projects, the delay of opening a sheet in Civil3D would burn time
  • Sometimes, it crashes while opening or processing
  • The vast number of tools and functions which make it difficult to use at times hence decent amount of training may be required
It is well suited when you are planning to create profiles, this is very helpful in such by generating these profiles, it becomes greatly interactive without wasting time in addition to the visualization tools that make understanding the project easier. It would be less appropriate if you are using it for a big-sized project since it may crash or take time to open but still it is somehow reliable. Also, it would be difficult to learn quickly since it requires proper training thus a company must have a fair amount of experts before starting any project based on Civil3D
October 26, 2021

Autodesk Civil3d Review

Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
AutoCAD Civil 3D is used by the drafting and design department to create design drawings, design models and maps. The models produced with the program are used for communicating ideas to key stakeholders, as well as using approved models in the field to build earthen structures. In addition, construction survey data is imported for design checks and quality assurance.
  • Mapping
  • Design shell models
  • Topographic modeling
  • Has removed the function to import point clouds
  • Performance slows when handling large amounts of topographic data
Autodesk Civil 3D is well suited for: Site grading exercises that are limited to specific bounded areasSurvey checksShell models for existing, proposed and as-constructed civil structures (i.e. Basic roads, Dams, ditches)Creating site mapsAutodesk Civil 3D is less appropriate for: Large scale grading exercises management of large topographic data setsAnything that is not civil infrastructure related
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Most of the entry and mid-level engineers in my group use this program to create plan sets, model pipe networks and produce exhibits. I think this is the most widely-used and widely-known software for land development projects. It is very intuitive and easy to pick up. It is mostly command-focused, so if you want to draw a line, type "line". If you want to measure something, type "measure".
  • pipe networks
  • site plans
  • topography
  • integrating GIS information from streamstats and the like
  • GUI-button and menu use
  • heavy roadway modeling
Autodesk Civil 3D is well suited to site development, modeling pipe networks, and topography. It is also great for converting surfaces over into other formats. I find that it is mostly used on the land development and aviation side. It is less useful if you are doing heavy roadway or highway modeling. Most DOTs require different software for transportation models.
October 25, 2021

Urban underground design

Halan Bastos Oliveira | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Land surveying is being carried out using RTK GPS so surface points could be collected. After that, these points are imported to Civil 3D and Digital Terrain Models can be built through TIN surfaces. Once Digital Terrain Models are finished, engineers start to analyze water discharge points from flow paths created from water drops. With these discharge points, they can create each catchment from the surface, and, consequently, obtain surface hydraulic length, slope, and area and water flow rates. The next step was to create stormwater pipes and structures according to the discharge points and check their dimensions. When stormwater project is ready, the same process is taken with wastewater, but catchments are no longer necessary. In the end, interferences are verified with an interference check tool, so systems won't touch each other and lower excavation volume is needed. The land survey Team and Urban Infrastructure Design Team are responsible for these tasks.
  • Digital Terrain Modeling
  • Catchment and water discharge points' identification
  • Urban Drainage Systems design and excavations' volumes
  • Specific tools for sewers design
  • Possibility for the users to choose other rainfall data and parameters
  • Possibility to create vertical pipes in gravity networks
Civil 3D is the ideal software for infrastructure design, like earthworks, roads, excavation, drainage and sewers systems. However, it would be an even better product if it was possible for the users to create pipe networks parts in an easier way. It is extremely difficult to create pipe diameters or structures' dimensions when you need to design underground systems.
vijay kumar | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Facilitates site grading and utility design, dynamic, so many tools available to the user, still discovering new ways to use it to make my work easier. Generates excellent work product. Facilitates detail orientation. The aesthetics of the program layout are also a bonus. The ability to use the program for various utilities applications is also beneficial as is its integration with other programs like StormCAD. This is a great tool for anyone looking to get into Surveying/Engineering or further their design skills and shorten the design time with association of AutoCAD Civil 3D software tools. Revisions are made quick, easy and efficiently. Creating a surface is made with less that a few click of the mouse from the toolspace, which contains all the necessary tools and command settings. Once your surface is made, now you can open up to new designs. Examples like changing an alignment of a road, storm structure or any other alignment allows the profile to change along with the modifications made. If you have structures, corridors and labels associated they too will be adjusted as well. If you are looking for a great efficient, effective and essential software for surveying and/or engineering, this is the one for you.
  • We use this software for the optimal and advanced design of pipelines and complex structuring, or it can also be said that we use it mainly for a geotechnical model, due to its high definition of the large proportion of the works that are carried out through of this application, since the tasks that are used with Civil 3D require extreme patience, precision and a lot of time to develop a model in its entirety, but we managed to acquire all the necessary and strategic points, to establish and start the production of a prototype digitized in particular.
  • Easy to export to normal AutoCAD or collaborate with most Autodesk products.
  • Vehicle Turning Simulation and Stormwater analysis is great addition to the package. Ability to use the all familiar AutoCAD tools, as well as LISP and SCR to automate some processes is one of the greatest advantages of the software.
  • There is nothing to improve in Civil 3D, I personally use Autodesk products like Maya, max and other including Civil 3D and Autodesk has a separate R&D team for tools development which they do their jobs perfectly.
Well suited:
  1. Simple and self-explanatory user interface.
  2. Inter usability between other software such as MicroDrainage and Bentley CivilStorm.
  3. Autodesk customer service.
  4. Easily customizable.

Not suitable: The software is still very resource intensive on the machines and often crashes when too much data is being shown. Though significant improvements have been made in other Autodesk software like Revit, older applications like AutoCAD and C3D seem to be stuck on old, inefficient source codes.

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Our organization use three main software of Autodesk, which are Autocad for product design and plan payout (if we need). Architecture mainly for plan design and Autodesk Civil 3D for pipe and structure design, or you can say we use it for geotechnical modeling mostly, Because of its accuracy in complicated Autodesk Civil 3D designs. We all know that the design of intersections, roundabout, corridor, pipeline, etc. are very time-consuming tasks. They have very little parts that cannot be done on Autocad. So, I can say that we use it to test the accuracy of our project in design for transportation, land development, and geospatial analysis.
  • The best part of using Autodesk software is that all of its software is connected, which helps us to switch according to our project use.
  • Pipe Network Part Replacement is very easy. It analyze the gravity flow and recommends the size accordingly. It also helps to understand the pressure parts.
  • When you are using Autodesk Civil 3D with Navisworks, things get a little complicated, and Autodesk Civil 3D has no tutorials for that, and I think they need to address those little bugs.
  • There is no automatic file saving feature in it, so after making every tiny change, we have to save that manually, which is so annoying for me.
Most land design related software mimicked the paper-based 2D workflow, which has some error and is not very useful in reading. Autodesk Civil 3D shows a very effective 3D base plan design.
For example- For street and road design, Autodesk Civil 3D uses assemblies to generate cross-sections, with multiple cross-sections strung together along an alignment and profile to form a corridor. Because all Autodesk Civil 3D objects are parametric, their parameters can be edited to associate with different alignments. The style-based design and documentation automation and change-management features of Autodesk Civil 3D make the process transition worthwhile for any member of the land-design team. In my consulting work with design firms, I see that the more of these disciplines a firm combines under one professional service umbrella, the greater the practice benefit of Autodesk Civil 3D's integrated, dynamic-modeling approach.
They have a vast open community, which has helped us understand Autodesk Civil 3D from the beginning. They have provided many templates and tutorials videos to our team due to that we can learn every new feature from them. Autodesk Civil 3D has also helped us to interconnect all its software in an internal bridge, which helps us switch between software as we need.
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