Civil 3D is used around the world for some pretty amazing projects but, when you think of Civil 3D projects, you think of roads and land development. Dana Probert with Autodesk has shown some pretty cool things that Civil 3D can do but recently I ran across someone that is really thinking outside the box. Read on for more.

2012 Olympics in London

In 2012 the Olympics will once again draw people from across the globe to compete for the highly coveted gold medal. Prior to that, a lot of work has to be done. I’m sure that Civil 3D will be used for many different aspects in the design of the infrastructure needed for such an important event, a roadway here, a parking lot there, a drainage structure over there. These are all very important and cool (to a geek like me) but, there is one place that Civil 3D will be used in a rather unconventional way.


Scott Shipley with S2O Design and Engineering in Boulder, CO is a world class kayaker. In his thirty years as a kayaker, Scott has four world titles, has been in the Olympics three times, he has 10 national titles, as well as numerous other awards. In other words, when it comes to kayaking, Scott knows all about it.



Scott has taken that kayaking knowledge and combined it with his engineering degrees and has started his own business designing white water parks, including the one that will be used in the 2012 Olympics. He was recently in the CAD-1 offices needing a little guidance in using Civil 3D to help him with his design (he didn’t need much help, just enough to get over a couple trouble spots he was having) and what I saw was pretty impressive.

Since Scott is primarily a mechanical engineer, he didn’t do the design outside of the channel of the white water course but he modeled the actual channel itself using a corridor model. The following images are screen shots of the corridor and the corresponding surface created from the corridor.

Next time you are talking to someone and they say, “I’m not going to use Civil 3D because I’m not doing a road” you can think back to this and chuckle at them. Civil 3D is a tool that can be used in many places, not just designing roads.

I don’t know about you but I’m definitely going to be watching the whitewater sports a little closer in 2012 knowing I had a very small part in it.