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:
(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.