Civil3D - Data Shortcuts - Manage Data Shortcuts

Hi folks. I have created a roadmap idea for “manage data shortcut” routine to be added to API/Dynamo.

The reason for this? My employer has a few “large complex project” they are called.
These projects live in the cloud (ACC).

We love working in the cloud!!! However, as with any paradigm shift, we are experiencing some headwinds.

We have narrowed down the main culprit to DREFS
(currently working with autodesk helpdesk to solve)

The idea would effectively eliminate the DREF in the cloud.
you would “promote all DREFs” on close.

On load, you would “manage data shortcuts”

strict match of civil object name = data shortcut object name.

If you think this would benefit your team, please go vote for the idea!!!

Have a great day.

Also, anyone hit me up if you love CIVIL3D dynamo and want to collaborate on cool workflows…no head hunting, no business development, only nerds allowed!


We don’t use ACC at the moment but we use Vault as a CDE at my company.
What we see is that the amount of files in Uses list (dependencies to make the design work when the checked out file is downloaded on your c-drive) tend to grow in a wrong direction. Do I understand if you have the same issue and would like to solve this with this function?

Yes. There is a function call “reference explorer”.
It will discover whatever dependencies you have.

In ACC environment, a XREF set to overlay will bring along with it all its nested XREF (even if the nested XREF is set to overlay)

Therefore, the “SPIDER WEB” of dependencies can get incredibly large and cumbersome.

On one project, we experienced 15 min file open time.
Once a single Pipe Network DREF was promoted, load time was reduced to seconds.

So promotion works! But it is hard to manage and the risk is you perform “design work” on stale content.

Remembering to relink and synchronize can be tough in a file with dozens of DREFS

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I feel that we have the same need and issues in ACC and in Vault/Projectwise with a growing Spiderweb.

Interesting that you mention Pipe networks because we have the same issue with them as you do.

For surfaces we created a flow where we can vit of the dependensie chain from corridor by export to 3D faces and then import them in to a new surface file that holds the surface that we share to other disciplines. Instead of having dref to corridor surface and every file in their web we only have one reference. Much faster but we had to automate export and updating surfaces to make usable.

For Pipe networks we don’t have this kind of flow yet but it always comes up as a need.

I have had in my mind if it was possible to use a csv file as a format for transfer between design and shared Pipe network but maybe that’s not the best solution regarding object handles.