Civil 3D 2017 Objects Not Backwards Compatible with Earlier Versions

I just read a Blog about Civil 3D 2017 and while it is still the 2013 DWG file format, the Civil 3D objects will be updated to a new version and not compatible with 2013-2016. So if a version of MicroStation is released with RealDWG 2017 and the Civil 3D 2017 Object Enablers are installed, be forewarned that opening a DWG file with that version could update the Civil 3D objects so that the earlier versions can no longer access them. As these objects are the design data and their display, such a conversion essentially locks out access to the design to the Civil 3D users unles they upgrade to Civil 3D 2017.

I believe that when MicroStation with Real DWG 2017 is released, Bentley needs to provide the option to use Real DWG 2016 so that in a mixed platform shop, CAD Managers can prevent any accidental upgrade of Civil 3D objects.

  • Hi Chuck,

    it seems nobody is interested in your note...

    What you described is solely Autodesk issue, so I'd like to ask if there is some information available what workflow or solution is recommended by Autodesk itself? Because if I understand it right, the problem will happen not inly in MicroStation with RealDWG 2017, but also if older files will be opened in new AutoCAD.

    With regards,

  • Exactly. But it bit me in the A** a long time ago, when XM first supported RealDWG and allowed the install of Civil 3D Object Enablers.

    I decided to test it on a real project. Next thing I know, I'm having to convince my boss we really need to upgrade from 2008 to 2009. Needless to say, I didn't tell him it was because I had just made the Land Desktop data inaccessible for an entire project. I sold it for updates and fixes needs.

    Charles (Chuck) Rheault
    CADD Manager

    MDOT State Highway Administration

    • MicroStation user since IGDS, InRoads user since TDP.
    • AutoCAD, Land Desktop and Civil 3D, off and on since 1996
  • Thanks for sharing the info, Chuck! It's a bit of surprise to me that their C3D team has brought back the practice of changing C3D data format when DWG file format stays the same. I thought that they had actually listened to their customers and stopped this disruptive practice. Hopefully, this is only a one time data format change as opposed to a yearly change as they had done a few years ago.

    CONNECT Update-4 uses RealDWG 2017. Unlike V8i generation, we have not planned on delivering multiple RealDWG versions for CONNECT generation. Obviously with a multi-version of RealDWG, C3D data format change can be effectively worked around. But at the same time it also confuses users who do not use C3D, and find difficult to manage the products impacted by multi-version RealDWG. My recommendation is to open C3D 2017 file in CONNECT as read-only. DWG R2018 has a file format change. When RealDWG 2018 will be supported for CONNECT in near future, C3D data format change shall not be an issue, because in this case a SaveAs is required to go back to an older version. You shall not run into the problem of accidentally saving a wrong C3D data format.  For R2017, however, open C3D file read-only may be the only workaround.