AutoCAD Civil 3D Tip: AutoCAD Civil 3D Object Enabler

Written by:  Bryan Sullivan

Although AutoCAD Civil 3D is built on AutoCAD, Civil 3D objects such as surfaces, alignments, profiles, and other objects created with Civil 3D might not be viewable in other DWG capable software such as AutoCAD or MicroStation, without first installing a Civil 3D Object Enabler.

If you open a drawing with Civil 3D objects in AutoCAD or MicroStation, Civil 3D objects are displayed as proxy objects. Whether these objects are visible or not depends on the drawing settings. With an object enabler installed you can view these objects without worrying about the drawing settings. You can also the query Civil 3D objects, but not edit them.

Autodesk scatters the download pages for the Civil 3D Object Enablers across their site. Here is a convenient list of these locations:

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2008 Object Enabler

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2009 Object Enabler

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2010 Object Enabler

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011 Object Enabler

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012 Object Enabler

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2013 Object Enabler

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014 Object Enabler

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2015 Object Enabler

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 Object Enabler

AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017 Object Enabler

(As an alternative to downloading, the object enablers may also be found in the Civil 3D installation media, but they may not be the most current file version. Search your installation media for an “ObjectEnabler” folder.)

For Autodesk products you would install the OE version that matches the version of your product. (For AutoCAD 2016 install the 2016 Object Enabler, etc.) For Bentley products with RealDWG 2010 install the 2010 OE. For Bentley products with RealDWG 2014 install the 2014 OE. For Bentley products with RealDWG 2016 install the 2016 OE. The Object Enabler installers come in 32-bit and 64-bit types. For Autodesk products choose the 32-bit or 64-bit type that matches your Autodesk product install. For Bentley products only the 32-bit versions will work.

When the Object Enabler installer is run it will scan the computer for compatible applications and then automatically configure the OE to each appropriate product.

Note: The Object Enabler only configures products it sees at the time it is installed. If a new DWG capable product is installed after an OE was first installed, an Object Enabler installer must be run again.

Bob Mecham

Bob Mecham

Bob joined the training and consulting firm EnvisionCAD in 2000 and became a partner in June of 2002. He has specialized in the software MicroStation & InRoads from Bentley Systems, Inc. Mr. Mecham is an industry expert in the implementation, configuration, development, and customization of the two software applications MicroStation and InRoads. Bob instructs MicroStation classes ranging from fundamentals to advanced productivity. He has extensive experience using, implementing, and instructing both InRoads Survey and InRoads Site Design. Bob received his degree in Civil Engineering Technology from the Madison Area Technical College in 1992 and has over a decade of experience in the use, implementation, and management of software and CADD systems. He has worked for a wide range of organizations providing services from general survey and engineering services to specific applications such as landfills and site design.

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2 comments on “AutoCAD Civil 3D Tip: AutoCAD Civil 3D Object Enabler

  1. Chris Mexas Reply

    I tried this, but for some reason, The object enabler program does not list MicroStation as one of the options when I run it.

  2. Bryan Sullivan Bryan Sullivan Reply

    A few things to verify.

    MicroStation works with the 32-bit installers only.

    The Object Enabler version must match the RealDWG version in MicroStation

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