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CAD Masters, Inc.

Training Materials and Videos

Civil 3D Level I
CAD Masters, Inc. Introduction to AutoCAD Civil 3D

Table of Contents
CHAPTER 1 - Introduction......................................................................................................................... 7
The Civil 3D Environment ......................................................................................................................... 8
Ribbon................................................................................................................................................... 8
Toolspace Prospector and Settings..................................................................................................... 9
Toolbox ................................................................................................................................................11
Survey ..................................................................................................................................................11
Drawing Settings ..................................................................................................................................12
Saving Back .........................................................................................................................................13
Project Exercise - Import Data from Land Desktop .............................................................................14
Styles....................................................................................................................................................15
Templates .............................................................................................................................................16
Sharing and Copying Styles .................................................................................................................17
Project Exercise - Copy styles between drawings ................................................................................18
How Do I? (FAQs) ...................................................................................................................................19
How do I change the scale of the drawing and Civil 3D objects? ........................................................19
How do I turn off the Event Viewer? ...................................................................................................19
How do I clear the entries in the event viewer? ...................................................................................19
How do I turn off tooltips? ...................................................................................................................20
How do I export my drawing to (vanilla) AutoCAD?..........................................................................20
How do I export data to Land Desktop? ..............................................................................................21
How do I grab a zero elevation while using OSNAPS on an object that has non-zero elevation?.......21
How do I create a template? .................................................................................................................21

CHAPTER 2 Sharing Project Data.........................................................................................................22


Data Shortcuts ..........................................................................................................................................23
Accessing Data Shortcuts.....................................................................................................................24
Data Shortcut Folder Structure ............................................................................................................24
The XML file .......................................................................................................................................26
Manage Data Shortcuts ........................................................................................................................27
Project Exercise - Data Shortcuts .........................................................................................................28
Autodesk Vault ..........................................................................................................................................30
Vault Implementation ..........................................................................................................................31
Data Shortcuts vs. Autodesk Vault ............................................................................................................32
Data Reference Workflow .........................................................................................................................33
External References ..................................................................................................................................34
External Referencing of Civil 3D Objects ...........................................................................................34
Labeling Objects through an External Reference ................................................................................35
How Do I? ................................................................................................................................................36
How do I synchronize/reload a data reference? ...................................................................................36
How do I promote/bind a data reference? ............................................................................................36
How do I find the Source drawing for a data referenced object? .........................................................36
How do I automatically set the working folder and data shortcut folder? ...........................................37
How do I associate a drawing to a Data Shortcuts Project Folder? ......................................................37
How do I Repair a Data Shortcut when the source drawing has been renamed or moved? .................39

CHAPTER 3 Points ..................................................................................................................................40


Creating and Editing Points .....................................................................................................................41
Project Exercise - Create Points Manually ...........................................................................................42
Point Groups ............................................................................................................................................44
Project Exercise - Create a Point Group ..............................................................................................45
Point Styles and Point Label Styles ..........................................................................................................46
Project Exercise - Apply Point and Point Label Styles ........................................................................48

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Description Keys.......................................................................................................................................50
Description Parameters ........................................................................................................................51
Project Exercise: Create Description Keys ..........................................................................................52
Project Exercise - Import Description Keys from Land Desktop .........................................................55
Description Keys vs. Point Groups ......................................................................................................59
Importing and Exporting Points ...............................................................................................................60
Point File Formats ................................................................................................................................60
Project Exercise - Import Points ..........................................................................................................61
Import Options .....................................................................................................................................65
How Do I? ................................................................................................................................................67
How do I edit a point? ..........................................................................................................................67
How do I rotate points (marker/node) and their labels? .......................................................................67
How do I change the datum for a set of points? ...................................................................................68
If you want to change the datum for a particular set, select the points in either the drawing, the point
list on the Prospector tab of Toolspace, or in the Panorama window. Right-click, then click
Datum. This will change the datum for only the selected points. ...................................................68
How do I set elevation points based on a surface? ...............................................................................68
How do I prevent points from being modified? ...................................................................................68
How do I set a default description or elevation when creating points? ................................................68
How do I check the slope between two points? ...................................................................................68
How do I control points by layer? ........................................................................................................69

CHAPTER 4 Surfaces ..............................................................................................................................70


Introduction ..............................................................................................................................................71
The Surface Object ..............................................................................................................................71
Surface Definition ................................................................................................................................71
Surface Best Practices ..........................................................................................................................73
Project Exercise - Create a surface from points ...................................................................................74
Surface Styles............................................................................................................................................75
Project Exercise - Create a Surface Style with Only Triangles ............................................................76
Breaklines .................................................................................................................................................77
Project Exercise - Add breakline data to a surface ...............................................................................79
Contours ...................................................................................................................................................80
Supplementing and Weeding Factors .......................................................................................................80
Weeding Factors ..................................................................................................................................80
Supplementing Factors .........................................................................................................................81
Project Exercise - Create a Surface from Contours ..............................................................................83
Boundaries ................................................................................................................................................84
Non-destructive Boundary Breakline ...................................................................................................84
Surface Edits .............................................................................................................................................85
Project Exercise - Surface Edits ...........................................................................................................86
Surface Labels ..........................................................................................................................................88
Project Exercise - Label Slope and Spot Elevations ............................................................................89
Project Exercise - Label Contour Elevations .......................................................................................91
Surface Analysis .......................................................................................................................................92
Project Exercise - Create a Slope Analysis ..........................................................................................93
How Do I? ................................................................................................................................................94
How do I remove points from a surface definition above or below a certain elevation? .....................94
How do I remove triangle lines from a surface definition that are over a certain length? ...................94
How do I add text as a suffix or prefix onto an individual label? ........................................................95
How do I change the precision of the labels?.......................................................................................95
How do I minimize flat areas resulting from contour data? .................................................................95
How do I change the contour line interval? .........................................................................................96
How do I smooth contours? .................................................................................................................96
How do I grip edit my contours?..........................................................................................................96

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How do I hide the contour label line? ..................................................................................................97


How do I trace the path of water across a surface? ..............................................................................98
How do I find drainage areas for my surface? .....................................................................................98
How do I create AutoCAD objects from my surface without exploding the surface object? ..............98
How do I erase a surface I cannot see (distinguish) in the drawing? ...................................................98
How do I reduce the number of points in my surface to make the file size smaller? ...........................99

CHAPTER 5 - COGO ...............................................................................................................................101


Create Lines .......................................................................................................................................102
Create Curves .....................................................................................................................................103
Create Best Fit Entities ......................................................................................................................104
Curve Calculator ................................................................................................................................104
Project Exercise - Create lines by bearing and distance .....................................................................105
Project Exercise - Best Fit Line .........................................................................................................107
Project Exercise - Best Fit Arc ...........................................................................................................108
How Do I? ..........................................................................................................................................109
How do I use Degree Minutes Seconds for angular units? ................................................................109

CHAPTER 6 - Parcels ...............................................................................................................................110


Creating and Editing Parcels .................................................................................................................111
Sites....................................................................................................................................................111
Project Exercise - Create Parcels from Objects .................................................................................112
Project Exercise - Edit Parcels ...........................................................................................................113
Project Exercise - Create Parcels by Layout ......................................................................................114
Project Exercise - Create Parcels by Layout (Subdivide) ..................................................................116
Parcel Styles and Parcel Label Styles ....................................................................................................117
Project Exercise - Parcel Styles and Area Label Styles .....................................................................118
Project Exercise - Parcel Segment Labels ..........................................................................................120
Gathering Information from Parcels ......................................................................................................122
Project Exercise - Parcel Area Tables and Reports ............................................................................123
Project Exercise - Parcel Line Tables ................................................................................................124
How Do I? ..............................................................................................................................................125
How do I renumber parcels? ..............................................................................................................125
How do I erase a parcel? ....................................................................................................................125
How do I change a parcel to belong to a different Site? ....................................................................125
How do I create a span label? .........................................................................................................125
How do I renumber parcel line or curve tags? ...................................................................................125
How do I sort a tag table? ..................................................................................................................125
How do I reverse the value of a bearing label? ..................................................................................126
How do I flip a label ..........................................................................................................................126
How do I check whether a label has been reversed or flipped? .........................................................126

CHAPTER 7 - Alignments ........................................................................................................................127


Creating an Alignment............................................................................................................................128
Creating an Alignment............................................................................................................................128
Sites....................................................................................................................................................128
Project Exercise - Create an Alignment from a Polyline ...................................................................129
Project Exercise - Create an Alignment by Layout ............................................................................130
Editing Alignment Geometry ..................................................................................................................133
Project Exercise - Edit Alignment Geometry .....................................................................................133
Alignment Styles .....................................................................................................................................134
Project Exercise - Set Alignment Styles ............................................................................................135
Alignment Labels ....................................................................................................................................136
Label Sets ...........................................................................................................................................136

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Station/Offset and Segment Labels ....................................................................................................136


Project Exercise - Alignment Labels..................................................................................................137
Project Exercise - Alignment Labels..................................................................................................138
Gathering Information from Alignments ................................................................................................141
Project Exercise Alignment Area Tables and Reports ....................................................................141
Project Exercise - Alignment Curve Tables .......................................................................................141
How Do I? ..............................................................................................................................................143
How do I reverse an alignment? ........................................................................................................143
How do I change an alignment's reference point location and/or corresponding station value? ........143
How do I delete an alignment segment? ............................................................................................144
How do I delete a single label that is part of a label set? ...................................................................144
How do I reset the labels after deleting a single label (re-station the alignment)? .............................144
How do I move a label to avoid a conflict?........................................................................................144
How do I select the PI point of a curve's tangents? ............................................................................145
How do I change PC and PT labels to read BC and EC? ...................................................................145
How do I get perpendicular station labels to read with the + sign centered? .....................................145
How do I create a best fit line or curve that maintains tangency? ......................................................146

CHAPTER 8 - Profiles ..............................................................................................................................147


Profile Components ................................................................................................................................148
Profiles ...............................................................................................................................................148
Profile Views .....................................................................................................................................149
Project Exercise - Create a Profile from a Surface .............................................................................150
Profile Styles ...........................................................................................................................................152
Project Exercise Set and Change Profile Styles ...............................................................................153
Project Exercise - Draw a Finished Grade Profile .............................................................................155
Profile Transparent Commands .............................................................................................................158
Editing Profile Geometry ........................................................................................................................158
Project Exercise - Draw Vertical Curves ...........................................................................................160
Project Exercise - Edit Vertical Curve Data.......................................................................................161
Profile View Style ...................................................................................................................................162
Project Exercise - Edit a Profile View Style ......................................................................................162
Profile View Bands .................................................................................................................................163
Profile Band Styles ............................................................................................................................163
Project Exercise - Add Profile View Data Bands ..............................................................................164
Label Sets................................................................................................................................................165
Station Elevation, and Depth Labels ..................................................................................................165
How Do I? ..............................................................................................................................................166
How do I change the vertical scale of a profile view style? ...............................................................166
How do I display the title of my profile views? .................................................................................166
How do I copy an existing profile to use as a design profile? ............................................................166
How do I draw two profile lines on top of each other? ......................................................................167
How do I delete a profile segment?....................................................................................................167
How do I delete a single label that is part of a label set? ...................................................................167
How do I reset profile labels after deleting a single label? ................................................................167
How do I move a label to avoid a conflict?........................................................................................168
How do I change the length for a vertical curve segment? ................................................................168
How do I run reports? ........................................................................................................................168

CHAPTER 9 Corridors ............................................................................................................................169


Corridor Prerequisites ...........................................................................................................................170
Assemblies ..............................................................................................................................................170
Project Exercise: Creating an Assembly ............................................................................................171
Editing Assemblies and Subassemblies ...................................................................................................175
Project Exercise: Name the Subassemblies ........................................................................................176

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Project Exercise: Create a Corridor....................................................................................................177


Editing Corridors ...................................................................................................................................180
Editing Corridors with the Ribbon .....................................................................................................182
Project Exercise: Create a Corridor Surface and Boundary ...............................................................183
Viewing and Editing Corridor Sections ..................................................................................................185
Project Exercise: View Corridor Sections ..........................................................................................186
Corridor Utilities ....................................................................................................................................187
How Do I? ..............................................................................................................................................188
How do I mirror a subassembly? .......................................................................................................188
How do I reposition a subassembly if it has been placed incorrectly (e.g. the wrong marker was
selected in the process of attaching it to the assembly)? ....................................................................188
How do I copy subassemblies to another assembly? .........................................................................188
How do I copy an assembly between drawings? ................................................................................188
How do I stretch/transition a corridor with targets? ...........................................................................188
How do I automatically add a corridor surface boundary? ................................................................188

CHAPTER 10 Sections..............................................................................................................................189
Sample Lines ...........................................................................................................................................190
Sample Line Groups ...............................................................................................................................190
Project Exercise: Creating a Sample Line Group ...............................................................................191
Editing Sample Lines ..............................................................................................................................192
Editing Sample Line Groups ..............................................................................................................193
Creating Section Views ......................................................................................................................194
Editing Section Views........................................................................................................................195
Project Exercise: Creating Section Views ..........................................................................................196
Project Exercise: Generating Volume Reports .......................................................................................197
How Do I? ..............................................................................................................................................201
How do I erase all my section views? ................................................................................................201
How do I add an additional surface to my section views? .................................................................201
How do I change all the labels for my section views? .......................................................................201
How do I place my sections on an appropriate sized sheet? ..............................................................202
How do I make my sample line orthogonal to the alignment direction? ............................................202
How do I change the swath width on sample lines that are already created? .....................................202
How do I control how sections of projected AutoCAD solids are displayed? ...................................202

CHAPTER 11 - Grading ...........................................................................................................................203


Creating and Managing Sites .................................................................................................................204
Creating and Editing Feature Lines .......................................................................................................204
Drawing or Converting Objects to Feature Lines ..................................................................................205
Editing Feature Lines .............................................................................................................................206
Feature Line Behavior ............................................................................................................................208
Project Exercise - Create a Feature Line from an object and set the elevation .....................................209
Grading Best Practices ...........................................................................................................................210
Creating and Managing Grading Groups ..............................................................................................211
Grading Object ...................................................................................................................................213
Project Exercise - Create a Grading Group and Grade to a Surface...................................................214
Project Exercise - Use feature lines to model a finished ground surface ...........................................217
How Do I? ..............................................................................................................................................219
How do I trim a feature line? .............................................................................................................219
How do I edit grading? ......................................................................................................................219
How do I combine existing and finish grade surfaces (i.e. merge a finished surface into an existing
surface)? .............................................................................................................................................219
How do I calculate cut/fill volumes? .................................................................................................219

CHAPTER 12 - Labels ..............................................................................................................................220

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Labels .....................................................................................................................................................221
Label Styles .............................................................................................................................................221
Editing Label Styles ...........................................................................................................................222
Dragged Labels ..................................................................................................................................222
Components .......................................................................................................................................223
Component Attachment .....................................................................................................................223
Contents .............................................................................................................................................224
Project Exercise - Create a Custom Label Style ................................................................................225
Expressions .............................................................................................................................................228
Project Exercise - Create and Use Expressions ..................................................................................228
Project Exercise - Create a Dragged Label with No Leader ..............................................................230
Reference Text ........................................................................................................................................231
Project Exercise - Create a Label for Alignment Intersections ..........................................................231
Label Civil 3D Objects Through an Xref ................................................................................................234
Project Exercise .................................................................................................................................234
How Do I? ..............................................................................................................................................236
How do I change the text style of a Civil 3D label?...........................................................................236
How do I change the layer property of a label? .................................................................................236
How do I change the text size? ..........................................................................................................236
How do I change the justification?.....................................................................................................237
How do I change the precision of my labels? ....................................................................................237
How do I drag my labels so that there is no leader and the text does not rotate? ...............................237
How do I control the capitalization of my labels?..............................................................................237
How do I edit individual labels that belong to a label set? .................................................................238

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CAD Masters, Inc. Introduction to AutoCAD Civil 3D

CHAPTER 1 - Introduction
Thank you for choosing CAD Masters, Inc. to provide training for AutoCAD Civil 3D.
Using AutoCAD Civil 3D for your survey and civil engineering projects can be a
challenging and rewarding experience. Attending a training course was a good decision.

AutoCAD Civil 3D will help you and your team complete a wide range of civil
engineering projects faster, smarter, and more accurately. At the core of Civil 3D is
dynamic modeling which automatically outputs updated plans. This allows you to
evaluate multiple design alternatives quickly and minimize manual edits.

You may be migrating to this software from Land Desktop. If so, you will find that Civil
3D functions quite differently. We urge you to leave Land Desktop behind as you
embark on this journey with Civil 3D. This way, the process of learning Civil 3D will be
smoother.

Note: AutoCAD Civil 3D 2016 is supported on 64-bit editions of Windows 7 and


Windows 8 operating systems.

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The Civil 3D Environment


As you go through the training exercises in this manual and in the class, you will be
instructed to browse, click, and expand such things as Toolspace, Prospector, Settings,
Panorama, Tool Palettes, Toolbars, etc. The purpose of this section is to introduce you to
these terms and the Civil 3D environment.

Figure 1.1: AutoCAD Civil 3D Environment

Ribbon
The ribbon is an alternative way to access commands in Civil 3D. It is not required to
use the ribbon. Type RIBBONCLOSE to disable it, and RIBBON to enable it. If you
want access to the classic style menus, set the MENUBAR variable to 1.

Figure 1.2: Civil 3D Ribbon

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Toolspace Prospector and Settings

Note: If the Toolspace is not visible on screen, access it from the Home tab > Palettes >
click Toolspace or from the General Menu, and click Toolspace.

Figure 1.3: Toolspace Tabs Prospector Tab (left) and Settings Tab (right)

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The Toolspace has two main tabs: Prospector and Settings.

The Prospector tab provides tools to work with:

1. Objects: points, parcels, alignments, profiles, etc.

2. Projects for sharing project data via Autodesk Vault.

3. Data Shortcuts for sharing project data.

4. Drawing Templates (*.dwt files).

The Settings tab will set:

1. Styles for objects and labels.

2. Drawing Settings like scale, coordinate system, abbreviations, and object layers.

3. Feature Settings for predefining object creation defaults.

4. Command Settings for predefining command defaults.

At the top of the Toolspace, in both the Prospector and Settings tabs, a drop-down allows
you to filter the amount of data shown in the Toolspace.

Figure 1.4: Prospector Tab View Options

With Master View, you can view and work with all open drawings. In setting this view
in the Prospector Tab, one can browse the current drawings Data Shortcut Project
information, and access Drawing Templates. In setting this view in the Settings tab, one
can access all drawing settings content for all open drawings, thereby facilitating the
transfers of styles and such from drawing to drawing.

With Active Drawing View, only the current drawings data is accessible. This view also
disables access to Drawing Templates in the Prospector tab.

Note the two additional view options available in the Settings tab, as shown in the figure
below.

Figure 1.5: Settings Tab View Options

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CAD Masters, Inc. Introduction to AutoCAD Civil 3D

Toolbox
Reports Manager

The Reports Manager is in the Toolbox tab of Toolspace. It is used to generate reports
for any Civil 3D information in the drawing.

On the Home tab, Palettes panel, click Toolbox to show/hide the tab in Toolspace.

For more information on running reports, see page 122, Gathering Information from
Parcels.

Miscellaneous Utilities

This section contains Corridor Solids and CAiCE Translator.

When using the Extract Corridor Solids command, there are three types of AutoCAD
entities you can extract from a corridor, AutoCAD Bodies, AutoCAD Solids, and
AutoCAD Swept Solids.

With the CAiCE Translator, you can import CAiCE Projects, Cross Sections, DTM
Triangles, DTM Points, Alignments, Project ASCII, Survey and Survey to Text. The file
formats you can import include the following: .PT4, .EAR, .TRI, .XY, .HA, .KCP and
.SRV.

Survey
Civil 3Ds Toolspace also has a Survey tab. This book will not discuss the Survey
Toolspace.

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Drawing Settings
In Toolspace, in the Settings tab, right-click the Drawing Name. Click Edit Drawing
Settings.

Figure 1.6: Drawing Settings Units and Zone

The Units and Zone tab specifies the drawing units and the drawing scale. Vertical scale
is not accessible here. You will set the vertical scale for profiles and section views via
object styles. You can also specify a coordinate zone here.

Figure 1.7: Drawing Settings Object Layers

The Object Layers tab specifies default layers for objects. You can append object
names to their corresponding layer names as a prefix or a suffix by entering an asterisk
(*) symbol in the Value field, and selecting the desired prefix/suffix Modifier. For
example the default layer for alignments is C-ROAD. If a suffix of -* is added, an
alignment named Main St would go on a layer called C-ROAD-MAIN ST.

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The Abbreviations tab specifies abbreviations for features like Tangent-Curve Intersect
(PC) and Grade Break (GB).

The Ambient Settings tab sets units and decimal precision for specific measurements
like Angle, Elevation, Distance, and Coordinate.

Online Map Imagery can be inserted into the drawing after the coordinate zone is set.
Go to the Geolocation tab Online Maps panel map type drop-down select Aerial,
Road or Hybrid. Sign into Autodesk 360. The map should then be generated and
displayed in the drawing. To plot the map, you have to first Capture Area and choose a
polygonal area to plot.

Saving Back
In previous versions of AutoCAD Civil 3D, drawing (or .dwg) files could not be saved
back to previous versions or opened with previous versions of the program. However,
with AutoCAD Civil 3D 2014, 2015 & 2016 there is now interoperability between these
versions and the 2013 version of Civil 3D. You can open a 2014, 2015 or 2016 version
.dwg file in the 2013 version and still be able to save the drawing file.

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Project Exercise - Import Data from Land Desktop


In this exercise, you will import data from an existing Land Desktop project.

NOTE:
The class tutorial files were provided either on a CD or electronically. Copy the entire
folder to your hard drive (C:\Civil 3D Projects) and open the sample drawings in the
examples from this folder.

1. Open drawing Intro-1-Import.dwg.

2. On the Insert tab, Import panel, click the Land Desktop icon. For the Land
Desktop project path, browse to the location of the Project folder in the class
files. For Project name, select DesignComp. Select the objects as shown below.
Click OK.

Figure 1.8: Drawing Settings Object and Label Styles

3. Click OK to verify that the data migration completed.

4. Zoom Extents to see the objects imported. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab
for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces and Alignments to verify everything
has been imported

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Styles
In order to create a quality set of construction documents for your civil engineering
projects with proper and consistent labeling, lineweights, and linetypes, you will use
styles. Whereas the dynamic model is the core of AutoCAD Civil 3D, styles are the key
to expressing that model in a set of construction documents. Changing the definition of a
style will change the appearance of all objects or labels in the drawing using that style.
You can also use styles to assist in developing company standards that will give all of
your projects a clean and consistent look.

You can access styles via the Settings tab of Toolspace. You will work with both Object
Styles and Label Styles. The figure below shows an example (at right) of an alignment
object, with labeling, and the corresponding styles it is utilizing.

Figure 1.9: Drawing Settings Object and Label Styles

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Templates
When you use an older drawing that was created in AutoCAD or Land Desktop, the
drawing will only contain a minimal collection of styles. It would be much more
efficient to start with a Civil 3D template that has pre-configured Civil 3D styles and
settings. There are two ways to create a new drawing from a template:

1) Application Menu:

a) On the Application Menu, click New.

b) Choose a dwt file. Click Open.

2) Toolspace:

a) In the Prospector tab (set to Master View), expand Drawing Templates.

b) Right-click a dwt file. Click Create New Drawing.

A company standard template should be developed to suit your needs. We recommend


starting with one of the following templates and customizing it as necessary:

_AutoCAD Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS.dwt

_AutoCAD Civil 3D (Metric) NCS.dwt

By default, templates are found in the following path:

Windows 7:
C:\Users\<username>\appdata\local\autodesk\c3d <version>\enu\template

The above paths are typically workstation-specific settings and can be verified in the
Civil 3D program by the following:

1. Type OPTIONS at the command line.


2. On the Files tab, expand Template Settings.
3. Expand Drawing Template File Location.

In a multi-user office environment, it is best to set the above path to a location on your
network, thereby fostering standardized use. Place standardized drawing templates in
this network path, and set the Drawing Template File Location path on all workstations
to this path. It is also a good idea to change the Default Template File Name for
QNEW to callout the companys standard template.

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Sharing and Copying Styles


If you open a drawing created in AutoCAD or Land Desktop, or if you start a drawing
with a non Civil 3D template, you will notice that only Standard exists for most styles.
To address the lack of styles in such cases, it is typically best to start a new drawing from
a template that contains pre-defined styles, and then copy the linework into the new
drawing. As an alternative, you can also import styles into a drawing using the following
methods:

1. Copy individual styles between drawings. By this method, styles can only be
transferred between drawings one at a time.

2. From within the drawing into which the styles are required, execute the Insert
command, and browse and select the drawing file which contains the desired
styles. All styles from the source drawing will be brought in.

3. From the Manage ribbon tab, Styles panel, use the Import command. Of the
options stated herein, this method provides the most comprehensive functionality
for managing styles.

Be careful when using these methods. Users should also consider the need to set up the
drawing settings, as discussed on page 12. When starting off with old non-Civil 3D
drawings or drawings based from the acad.dwt template, the drawing scale will likely be
1:1, and another side-effect is that all Civil 3D objects will be created on layer 0.

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Project Exercise - Copy styles between drawings


In this exercise, you will copy styles from one drawing (Intro-3-Surface
Styles.dwg) to another (Intro-2-Styles.dwg).

1. Open drawing Intro-2-Styles.dwg.

2. Open drawing Intro-3-Surface Styles.dwg.

3. In Toolspace, make Intro-2-Styles.dwg active by selecting the Prospector


tab, then right-click Intro-2-Styles. Click Switch to.

The text Intro-2-Styles should now appear in bold, and move to the top of the list
of open drawings.

NOTE:
CTRL+TAB can be used as an alternate method to switch between open drawings. Make
sure your cursor is active in the drawing area, and NOT on top of the Toolspace palette.

4. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, select Master View, expand Intro-3-


SurfaceStyles, expand Surface, expand Surface Styles.

5. Drag Contours 0.2 and 1 Existing into the drawing area.

6. Drag Contours 0.2 and 1 Proposed into the drawing area.

You have now imported and applied two styles from Intro-3-
SurfaceStyles.dwg to Intro-2-Styles.dwg. The entire Surface Styles
folder can be dragged as an alternative to steps 5 and 6. This method will copy all
surface styles. Steps 7-9 below confirm that the styles have been transferred.

7. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, expand Intro-2-Styles, expand Surfaces,


right-click Final. Click Surface Properties.

8. On the Information tab, change the surface style to Contours 0.2 and 1
Proposed. Click OK.

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the surface OG and use Contours 0.2 and 1
Existing.

For more information on surface styles, see the Surfaces chapter.

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How Do I? (FAQs)
At the end of each chapter you will find a section called How Do I? This section
contains questions that people frequently ask. Some of the questions that appear here are
more advanced than the other topics in the book. Some might give you ideas on new
things to try. Let these questions increase your curiosity and hopefully they will spark
your own How Do I? questions.

How do I change the scale of the drawing and Civil 3D objects?


The scale of Civil 3D objects inside of the model tab is dictated by the drawing scale.

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, right-click the
DrawingName. Click Edit Drawing Settings.

2. On the Units and Zone tab, change the scale using the box under Scale or type a
custom scale.

Note that the Annotation Scale setting will also control the scale of objects in the
drawing. The two methods above control the same setting.

The scale of Civil 3D objects within a paper space viewport is dictated by the scale of the
viewport. When the viewport scale is changed and the viewport is regenerated using the
REGENALL command, the Civil 3D text and annotation will resize based on the new
scale and the settings in the styles.

How do I turn off the Event Viewer?


The Event Viewer in Civil 3D records messages and errors during a Civil 3D session. It
can be useful for identifying problems in your Civil 3D objects, but in many cases, the
information in the Event Viewer can be ignored. Follow these steps to turn it off:

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, right-click the Drawing
Name. Click Edit Drawing Settings.

2. On the Ambient Settings tab, expand General, change the value for Show Event
Viewer to No.

How do I clear the entries in the event viewer?


The Event Viewer will keep a running log for the entire Civil 3D session, until the
drawing is closed. To manually clear the Event Viewer, without exiting Civil 3D, in the
Event Viewer, click Action, click Clear All Events.

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How do I turn off tooltips?


In Civil 3D, when the crosshairs hover over, or are adjacent to Civil 3D objects, a tooltip
window will appear, providing contextual information pertaining to the objects. Figure
1.10 shows a tooltip window that is referencing six separate Civil 3D objects. This may
be too much information.

Figure 1.10: Tooltips

Follow these steps to globally turn off Civil 3D tooltips.

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, right-click the
DrawingName. Click Edit Drawing Settings.

2. On the Ambient Settings tab, expand General, change the value for Show
Tooltips to No.

To turn tooltips off individually for each object, deselect the check box for tooltips in
the properties window for each object.

For Example,

1. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, expand Surfaces, right-click on a surface.


Click Surface Properties.

2. On the Information tab, clear the Show tooltips check box .

How do I export my drawing to (vanilla) AutoCAD?


If you give a Civil 3D drawing to another user who is not using Civil 3D, they will not be
able to see the Civil 3D objects unless they have an object enabler or unless you use the
Export to AutoCAD command.

Access the command via the Application Menu Export Export to AutoCAD, and
click the desired file format. This command will explode all AEC Objects down to
simple AutoCAD entities. For example, a point object will become basic lines and text.
Likewise, the eTransmit command has options for converting Civil 3D content in the
current drawing and all xrefs to basic AutoCAD objects in the Transmittal Setups.
Lastly, Object Enablers can be downloaded from Autodesks web site.

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How do I export data to Land Desktop?


There are two methods to export Civil 3D data to Land Desktop:

1. LandXML is an open source data file format for land data. Civil 3D, Land Desktop,
and other software packages can read LandXML files. LandXML is also useful for
the LandXML Reporting program that comes with Civil 3D. On the Output tab, in
the Export pannel, click Export to LandXML. There are various versions of
LandXML - for older versions of Land Desktop, use 1.0. The resultant LandXML
file may then be imported in Land Desktop through its LandXML importing routines.

2. Use EXPORTLDTDATA to export Civil 3D Data directly to a Land Desktop


project. Be careful with this command as it is easy to overwrite existing Land
Desktop project information. Note that the command IMPORTLDTDATA may
need to be invoked first before the EXPORTLDTDATA command becomes
available.

How do I grab a zero elevation while using OSNAPS on an object


that has non-zero elevation?
When you run commands and use OSNAPS, the coordinate point of the OSNAP
selection will include the object's Z elevation by default, which may be undesirable (e.g.
when laying out 2D/Plan linework). To counteract this, AutoCAD has functionality to
control how OSNAPS behave in the third (z) dimension.

Set the OSNAPZ system variable to a value of 1 to ignore the Z coordinate of objects
that are snapped to - the resultant Z that is used is 0. Inversely, an OSNAPZ setting of 0
will utilize the Z value of the object being snapped to.

How do I create a template?


A template file (.DWT) is exactly the same as a drawing file (.DWG). It will hold all
drawing objects, layers, and styles just like any other .DWG file. The file extension
causes the program to treat the file differently.

1. To create a new template file, on the Quick Access Toolbar or Application


Menu, click Save As.
2. For the Files of type, choose AutoCAD Drawing Template (*.dwt).
3. Type a file name.
4. Click OK.
NOTE:
Create a standard template for your company by starting with one of the Civil 3D
templates that ships with the software such as _AutoCAD Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS.dwt.

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CHAPTER 2 Sharing Project Data


In Civil 3D, its typically not feasible to place all data for a single project into a single
drawing. You want to keep drawings small and modularized for several reasons:

1. Team Collaboration Multiple team members may need to work on a single


project. User A may need to work on an alignment for Ridge Road. User B may
need to work on the corridor for Ridge Road.

2. Speed and Performance Speed and performance are critical when working with
drawings. Small drawings with minimal data will outperform large drawings with
lots of data.

3. Project Stabilization Distributing your work over multiple drawings will single
out any corruptions that may occur, hence dont put all of your eggs in one
basket.

With this in mind, how do you share and reference data between drawings? If you create
an alignment for Ridge Road, how do you use that alignment to create a corridor in a
different drawing? How do you do this while maintaining the integrity of the dynamic
model and avoiding duplication of data? In Civil 3D, there are three team collaboration
tools available:

1. Data Shortcuts

2. Autodesk Vault

3. External References

The first two tools work similarly in that a single instance of a Civil 3D object, such as an
alignment or surface, can be shared by many users for the purpose of design or
construction documentation. With external references, you cannot access Civil 3D object
data in the same way that you can with Data Shortcuts or Autodesk Vault. However, you
can label Civil 3D objects through external references and accordingly, should include
this functionality as a data sharing option.

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In this chapter, you will learn about the following:

Data Shortcuts vs. Autodesk Vault


Using Data Shortcuts
The XML file used with data shortcuts.
Using external references in Civil 3D.

Data Shortcuts
Data shortcuts are used as a means of facilitating data references. The following Civil 3D
object models can be data referenced between drawings via data shortcuts:

1. Surfaces
2. Alignments
3. Profiles
4. Pipe Networks
5. Pressure Networks
6. View Frame Groups
You cannot use data shortcuts to share Points.

Data references work much like external references with a child (drawing with actual
data) and parent (drawing that references in data) relationship. The more recent
terminology of source and consumer drawings is likely more intuitive. For example, a
source drawing might have an Existing Ground (EG) topo surface. This surface object
can then be data referenced into other (consumer) drawings for various purposes, such as
calculating volumes, cutting cross sections, etc.

EG Topo.DWG Align/Prof.DWG Corridor.DWG

Source Source/Consumer Consumer

Grading.DWG

Consumer

Figure 2.1: Sharing data for a surface object

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Accessing Data Shortcuts


Data shortcuts are accessed via Prospector.

Figure 2.2: Data Shortcuts via Prospector

From the Prospector, you can perform almost all of the necessary tasks to work with
data shortcuts:

1. Set the working folder


2. Create or set a project folder current
3. Create and delete data shortcuts
4. Create references
5. Open source drawings

Data Shortcut Folder Structure

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Figure 2.3: Data Shortcuts file structure

Figure 2.3 shows an example of a directory structure that can be implemented for
managing data shortcuts. The Working Folder is the directory that holds Civil 3D data
shortcut Project Folders. Within a given Project Folder, Civil 3D will automatically
create a folder named _Shortcuts. Within the _Shortcuts folder, sub-folders for the
aforementioned data shortcut types are likewise created automatically (i.e. Alignment,
Pipe Networks, Pressure Networks, Profiles, Surfaces, and Viewframe Groups). It is in
the Alignment, Pipe Networks, Profiles, Surfaces, and Viewframe Groups sub-directories
that corresponding data shortcut files are stored and accessed from.

There are a number of ways to create and establish a data management structure when it
comes to Civil 3D data shortcuts. The previous example shown in Figure 2.3 is the
simplest form since only one Working Folder need be established. Alternatively, there
are essentially two other formats noted below, each growing in complexity in terms of the
folder structure and the effort that would be needed to be mindful of establishing the
correct path settings in order to access the desired data.

Figure 2.4: Data Shortcuts Multiple Figure 2.5: Data Shortcuts Multiple
Working Folders with multiple Project Folders Working Folder Scenario, one for each
individual Project Folder
Figure 2.4 shows the next alternative, based upon something along the lines of a year-
based project system. Figure 2.5 shows the last alternative, in which by virtue of the
depth of the Project Folder in the directory structure, a Working Folder must be
established within each project.

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The XML file


When using a data reference, the method by which a consumer (parent) drawing initially
pulls Civil 3D object data from a source (child) drawing is by means of an XML file.
This XML file is essentially the Data Shortcut file, which is what is viewed in the Data
Shortcut list within Prospector. A given Data Shortcut file provides the reference
information for one Civil 3D object model. It dictates where the source drawing is
located, and what object within it a consumer drawing can reference. It simply contains
'link' information. It does not contain any Civil 3D object data itself. The schematic
process of creating a data shortcut in a source drawing (and corresponding XML file) is
shown by steps 1 and 2 below. The process of accessing a data shortcut, and creating a
reference from a consumer drawing is shown by steps 3 through 6 below.

Figure 2.6: The XML file

Note that as stated above, Data Shortcuts are used as the initial means of establishing a
data reference. Once a data reference has been established in a consumer drawing, the
link information to the source drawing is saved in the consumer drawing itself.

Warning: If an objects data shortcut file is deleted, and another object is created with
the same name and a new data shortcut file created, data references that were established
with the older (deleted) data shortcut may cease to work. Use of Civil 3Ds Data
Shortcut Editor program may be helpful in remedying such issues.

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Manage Data Shortcuts


Ribbon Manage tab Data Shortcuts panel Manage Data Shortcuts.

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Project Exercise - Data Shortcuts


In this exercise you will set a working folder, create a new data shortcut project folder,
create a data shortcut, and create a data reference to an existing ground surface.

1. Open drawing DS-1-Child EG.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, right-click Data Shortcuts. Click Set


Working Folder. Browse to C:\Civil 3D Projects and click OK.

3. Right-click Data Shortcuts again. Click New Data Shortcuts Project Folder.
For the name, type 2016. For the description, type Tutorial Project.
Click OK.

Figure 2.7: New Data Shortcut Folder Window

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4. Right-click Data Shortcuts a third time. Click Create Data Shortcuts, Select
EG and click OK (see Figure 2.7 below):

Figure 2.8: Create Data Shortcuts Window

5. Save and close DS-1-Child EG.dwg.

6. Open drawing DS-2-Parent FG.dwg.

7. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, expand Data Shortcuts, and expand


Surfaces. The EG surface should be available for reference. Right-click EG,
and click Create Reference. Click OK in the Create Surface Reference
Window.

8. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces. If
you see , then you have successfully created a data shortcut.

In this exercise you created a data shortcut for a surface. This enables you to use the
surface in the consumer drawing for design purposes. As you go through the book,
you will create many Civil 3D objects. The exercises from this point forward in the
book do not use data shortcuts. This is so that you can do each example with a fresh
start. This does not mean that CAD Masters, Inc. does not think that data shortcuts or
data sharing are important for successfully completing projects in Civil 3D.

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Autodesk Vault
With Autodesk Vault, a Vault Server acts as a central repository for drawings and data.
Vault provides similar functionality as data shortcuts the ability to reference data from
different drawings. However, Vault is more robust. Drawings and data are stored in a
database driven filestore. You can use Vault for data management, version control, and
archiving.

Vault is a lot like a public library. With a library card you can check out books. When
you are done, you would return the book and check out others. When you check out a
book from the library, no one else can check out that book while you have it. When you
return the book, you are allowing others to check the book out. Vault works just like this.

Eg.dwg plan.dwg

Vault
Server
grading.dwg

Figure 2.9: Data Sharing with Autodesk Vault

You can use Autodesk Vault to share the following data:

1. Survey Data
2. Points
3. Surfaces
4. Alignments
5. Profiles
6. Pipe Networks
7. Pressure Networks
8. View Frame Groups

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Vault Implementation
If you decide to use Autodesk Vault for data sharing, you need to consider and plan for
the following:

1. Vault requires a server. Will you use an existing server or a new server? What
are the required hardware specifications?

2. How are projects currently organized and how will Vault fit into this directory
structure?

3. Using Vault will require a shift in understanding where drawings are located and
how they should be opened (checked out) and closed (checked in). Are your
users prepared for this change?

4. How will images and external references be affected by the implementation of


Vault?

5. Do you need to purchase SQL Server or can you use SQL Server Express?

6. How will Vault be backed up, archived, and purged? Who will handle this IT
maintenance? What is the disaster recovery plan?

7. Who will create and maintain the SQL maintenance plans?

You should consult CAD Masters, Inc. to help answer these questions and plan your
Vault implementation.

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Data Shortcuts vs. Autodesk Vault


Should you use Data Shortcuts or Autodesk Vault for data sharing in Civil 3D? This is
not an easy question to answer. It will depend on many factors:

1. How large are the projects that you generally work on?

2. How many people will be working on a project?

3. Do you have remote offices with users that need to work on the project?

4. Do you have full-time IT staff available for implementation and maintenance?

5. Are you interested in some of the other features of Vault? Version Control? User
Permissions? Milestone establishment?

Generally, Data Shortcuts and Autodesk Vault work similarly. Vault is a more
comprehensive solution that packages the data reference process nicely, but requires
more overhead.

If you are part of small company with 10 or fewer users and you do not have in-house IT
staff, data shortcuts may be the better solution. If you are part of a large company with
multiple offices and full-time IT staff, Vault may be a better solution. Consult CAD
Masters, Inc. to determine the best solution for you.

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Data Reference Workflow


When an object is data referenced via Vault or Data Shortcuts, the object exists exactly
like it does in the source drawing. The only difference is that it can only be modified in
the source drawing, not in the consumer. Different styles and labels can be applied to the
Civil 3D object. The object can also be used in calculations. For example, if the object is
a surface, volumes can be calculated from the source drawing surface.

You may be wondering how external references fit into the data sharing process. Why do
you have to worry about Vault or Data Shortcuts? See the next section on External
References.

Figure 2.10: How to choose a reference type

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External References
External references (XREFs) can be used as a data sharing mechanism, but with
limitations. With external references, you can do the following:

1. Relate one drawing to another. For example, externally reference a base map in a
design drawing so that you can reference existing information.

2. Create sheets for construction documentation. Externally reference design


drawings in sheet drawings for printing and presentation.

3. Label Civil 3D Objects through an external reference. You may want to label an
object differently in one sheet drawing vs. another.

4. Create sections from an externally referenced corridor object. You can reduce
drawing size and increase performance by placing your sections in a different
drawing from the corridor.

External reference functionality has been available in AutoCAD for years, and the first
two items reflect this. But the last two items are specific to Civil 3D. Accordingly, you
should identify how the Civil 3D Features can fit into your workflow.

External Referencing of Civil 3D Objects


Civil 3D works with objects. These objects are like very smart blocks. Typically, Civil
3D objects have subcomponents that are created on layers. These layers typically dictate
the properties of the objects.

This means that if you externally reference a drawing with Civil 3D objects, its similar
to externally referencing a drawing with blocks.

In AutoCAD, for an AutoCAD object

In the consumer drawing

o The external reference itself will be on its own layer.

In the source drawing

o The Block will be on its own layer.

o The AutoCAD entities of the block will each be on their own layer.
This may or may not be the 0 layer.

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In Civil 3D for a Civil 3D object

In the consumer drawing

o The external reference itself will be on its own layer.

In the source drawing

o The C3D object inside the external reference will be on its own
layer.

o The components inside of the C3D object will each be on their


own layer. This is typically not the 0 layer.

When externally referencing a drawing with Civil 3D information, you will not be able to
use styles to control visibility. You will have to use the Layer Property Manager.

In conclusion, externally referencing Civil 3D drawings for pure linework can be done.
However, if you need to modify the properties of the referenced objects and/or labels,
please be aware of how these properties are managed in the source drawing(s). You may
want to consider placing linework and objects in separate drawings. This way you can
externally reference the linework and data reference the objects. By data referencing the
objects, you will have ultimate flexibility in displaying objects and labels.

Labeling Objects through an External Reference


With Civil 3D, you can label an object through an external reference. This functionality
gives you flexibility in how you share your data and organize your project.

If all you need to do is label an object, you can do it via external references.

If you need to use the object for design, modeling, or volume calculations, then you
must use data shortcuts or Vault.

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How Do I?
How do I synchronize/reload a data reference?
One of the great benefits of Civil 3D is its dynamic capabilities in modifying Civil 3D
objects. If such objects are modified but have already been data referenced into consumer
drawings, then such references need to be updated in the consumer drawings. Known as
data synchronization, the process is similar to reloading external references in AutoCAD.
First, note that just like XREFs, data references are automatically synchronized when
opening a consumer drawing. Otherwise, if a data reference is known to have been
changed while the user is already in a consumer drawing, then the data reference may be
updated as follows:

Toolspace Prospector tab Browse through the drawing's content to the desired
data reference object Right-click on the object and select Synchronize.

This will update the object model to reflect its current state in its source drawing.
Usually when a data reference object has been modified in its source file, a balloon
notification will appear as shown in Figure 2.11. Click on the Synchronize link to
update the data shortcut.

Figure 2.11: Synchronization warnings

How do I promote/bind a data reference?


In the same way an XREF can be inserted/bound into a consumer drawing (thereby
breaking the link to the source drawing), a data reference can be "promoted" via:

Toolspace Prospector tab Browse through the drawing's content to the desired
data reference object right-click the data reference object and select Promote.

A promoted data reference becomes a fully editable object in the current drawing. This
should only be used for good reason.

How do I find the Source drawing for a data referenced object?


The source drawing for a data referenced object can be determined via the Prospector.

Toolspace Prospector tab Data Shortcuts Browse to the object's


corresponding data shortcut entry Right-click the entry and select Open Source
Drawing...

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How do I automatically set the working folder and data shortcut


folder?
Since the release of Civil 3D 2011, each drawing file now has the ability to individually
retain its own specified Working Folder and subsequent Data Shortcut Project Folder.
This means that when switching between drawings belonging to different projects
(thereby having different Working Folders/Project Folders/Data Shortcuts), it is no longer
necessary to reset the Working and/or Project Folder path(s). See How do I associate a
drawing to a Data Shortcuts Project Folder?, below.

How do I associate a drawing to a Data Shortcuts Project


Folder?
Take a scenario where there are several Civil 3D Data Shortcut Working Folders with
multiple Data Shortcuts Project Folders. A new drawing without data shortcuts will not
have a Data Shortcut project association. However, the Data Shortcut Project Folder
which was used last will be listed in the Prospector. If a data reference is then created,
the drawing will become associated to the Data Shortcuts Projects Folder that the
reference was drawn from. This happens implicitly and nothing further need be done to
establish the drawing-project path association noted in the previous How do I
above. Thus, the next time the drawing is opened, the Prospector will reflect the Data
Shortcuts Project Folder that was associated, regardless of what the previously opened
drawings project path may have been.

If the current Data Shortcut Project Folder is different from that which the current
drawing had been associated to, the following message will appear when an attempt is
made to create a data shortcut for a Civil 3D object.

Figure 2.12: Synchronization warnings

If a mistake occurs and the current drawing should be using a different Data Shortcut
Project Folder, fix it by going to the Prospector, right click on Data Shortcuts, and choose
Associate Project to Current Drawing To do this for several drawings, use the option
Associate Project to Multiple Drawings.

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How do I Repair a Broken Data Shortcut?


If you delete a source Civil 3D object that is data referenced by a consumer drawing, the
data reference will be broken. In opening the consumer drawing a warning in the Event
Viewer should arise, which will say Drawing contains a broken reference - .

If a new object of the same type and name is created in the source drawing, the data
reference in the consumer drawing may not fix itself automatically. If so, you can use the
Data Shortcuts Editor to change the matching option for the data shortcut. The Data
Shortcut Editor is accessible outside of Civil 3D:

In Windows, go through Start All Programs Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D


20xx (version as appropriate) Data Shortcuts Editor.

You can use the Data Shortcuts Editor to do the following:

1. Change the object name.

2. Change the path where the Source (child) drawing is located.

3. Change the name of the Source (child) drawing.

4. Change the matching options by which Civil 3D validates the object that the
shortcut will acquire.

To perform any of the above, first, open the Data Shortcuts folder:

File menu, click Open Data Shortcuts Folder... Browse to the Working Folder, and
click OK.

Figure 2.13: Data Shortcuts Editor

In this case, you want to change the Use to match option from Handle only to Name
only, or Handle or Name. Since you have created a new object with the same name, you
can use this editor to match Name only.

On the File menu, click Exit to close the Data Shortcuts Editor. Save changes if
prompted to do so.

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Close and restart Civil 3D. Open the consumer drawing. The data reference should now
be repaired, and the reference object shown in the drawing.

How do I Repair a Data Shortcut when the source drawing has


been renamed or moved?
When you rename a source drawing or modify the path to it, consumer drawings may no
longer be able to find the source drawing, nor access the reference objects it contains.
When you open a consumer drawing, a warning will be displayed in the Event Viewer.
The warning will say Drawing contains a broken reference - .

To repair such broken references, the Data Shortcuts Editor as documented in the
previous section can be used.

An alternative method exists to correct such broken references, albeit individually (object
by object, and drawing by drawing):

From within the consumer drawing Toolspace Prospector tab Browse to the
entry for a broken reference right-click the entry and select Repair Broken
Reference Browse to and select the renamed or relocated source drawing, and
click Open.

Note that the above process will only work if the specified source drawing file contains
the type of object being sought, and the object has the same name as it previously had.

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CHAPTER 3 Points
Points are used for various purposes in surveying and civil engineering:

Creation of Boundary and Topographic Surveys

GIS Analysis

Grading Design

Stakeout of Proposed Constructions

In this chapter, you will learn about the following:

Creating and Editing Points

Point Groups

Point Styles and Point Label Styles

Description Keys

Importing and Exporting Points

Figure 3.1: Points

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Creating and Editing Points


To create points, on the Home tab > Create Ground Data panel > Points dropdown
menu > select Point Creation Tools, or on the Points menu and choose the desired
Create Points command.

The following tool bar appears and contains the same commands as the points menu:

Figure 3.2: Create Points Toolbar

Click the Expand button, , on the right end of the toolbar to change the default point
creation settings such as the layer and point number.

Figure 3.3: Create Points Toolbar Settings

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Project Exercise - Create Points Manually


In this exercise, you will create points manually to replace blocks.

1. Open drawing Points-1-Create.dwg.

2. On the Home tab Create Ground Data Points dropdown menu Select
Point Creation Tools. On the following toolbar, locate the first button on the left
and click the down arrow to change options. Select Manual.

Figure 3.4: Create Points, Miscellaneous Manual

3. Click with insertion snap to the block shown.

Figure 3.5: Create Points, Miscellaneous Manual

4. Type FS for the description.

5. Type 42.5 for the elevation.

6. Click the expand button .

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7. Match the settings shown in Figure 3.6.

Figure 3.6: Automatic Descriptions

8. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for the other blocks.

9. Press Enter to end the command.

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Point Groups
Point groups assist in point organization. A point will belong to at least one point group.
The _All Points point group exists by default in every drawing as a catch-all point
group. Points groups can filter points based on number range, description, name, and
elevation range.

How can point groups assist in organizing points?

A point style and point label style can be assigned to a point group. Points
belonging to the group automatically acquire the point style and point
label style.

Use point groups to organize different survey dates and locations. Place
points 200-500 collected on March 5th into a point group called 3-5-04
survey Main Street and then place points 1100-3200 collected on March
8th into a different point group called 3-8-04 survey Penny Lane.

Use point groups to organize points by type such as control, grade break,
top of bank, toe of bank, edge of pavement, etc.

Point groups can also be used with surfaces. A surface can take point
information from a point group and generate a TIN model from it.

Point Groups are accessible via Toolspace Prospector tab right-click the Point
Groups collection Properties.

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Project Exercise - Create a Point Group


In this exercise you will create a point group and apply a point label style to the group.

1. Open drawing Points-2-Groups.dwg.

2. In Toolspace Prospector tab for the Active Drawing right-click Point


Groups New.
3. On the Information tab, type FS for the name.
4. Change the Point style to <none>
5. Change the Point label style to Grade label.
6. On the Include tab, select the check box With raw descriptions matching.
7. Type FS in the box.
8. On the Point List Tab, verify the points appear.
9. Click OK. The display of the points belonging to the FS group now take on the
groups settings.
10. In Toolspace Prospector tab for the Active Drawing right-click Point
Groups Properties.
11. Per Figure 3.7 below, move the group _All Points above FS.

Figure 3.7: Point group properties

12. Click OK.


The display of all of the points now take on the settings of the _All Points group. This
demonstrates the fact that the order of the point group list establishes what the display
settings of points will be when they belong to multiple groups. The display settings of a
point group further up in the list takes precedence over those below it. A REGEN may
be necessary to see changes to the points display.

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Point Styles and Point Label Styles


The appearance of point maker symbols and point label text are respectively set through
the application of point styles and point label styles. There are two methods by which
users can specify which styles are applied to point objects.

The first, and more basic, method is by setting the styles on an individual object-by-
object level. Applying styles to individual points can be accomplished via the AutoCAD
Properties palette, the point list editor, description key matching, or the style settings in
the Create Points dialog box.

The second method is to apply style settings via the point group(s) to which the subject
points belong. In order for point group style settings to control, the individual point
objects style settings must be set to <none> as seen in the point list editor, or <default>
as seen in the AutoCAD Properties palette. However, the control of point group settings
can further extend even to points that have their own individual style settings by using the
Overrides settings of point groups (see Figure 3.8). Because a point can belong to
multiple groups, it is important to understand which group may be currently controlling
it. This is known as the points primary point group, which can be determined via the
LIST command.

Primary point group: _All Points is an example.

The hierarchy of point groups as noted in the previous exercise will determine a points
primary point group.

The following are some further notes:

1. Point Group Override Styles only override object level style settings. If a point
belongs to more than one point group that has an override style, the primary point
group style is still used.

Figure 3.8: Point group overrides

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2. Object level Point Styles Viewing the point list can show if an individual point
has a style associated to it. Notice in the figure below that point number 6 has an
associated point style of Drill Hole.

Figure 3.9: Individual point style

3. Point Group Default Styles In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active
Drawing, expand Point Groups. Right-click the point group of interest. Click
Properties. The default style for the WV point group shown below is Water
Valve.

Figure 3.10: Point group default style

4. The _All Points group If none of the three options above have a point style or
label style associated with them, then the settings of the _All Points group will
apply.

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Project Exercise - Apply Point and Point Label Styles


In this exercise you will apply individual styles to points (steps 1 through 9), override
them by point group (steps 10 through 11), and set the points back to normal (steps 12
through 17). See page 55, for an exercise in creating a new point style.

1. Open drawing Points-3-Styles.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point
Groups. Right-click FS. Click Edit points.

3. For point number 7, click in the box under Style.

Figure 3.11: Edit single cell

4. Change the point style to Drill Hole.

5. Shift+click to select points 1 through 4.

6. Right-click the column header Point Label Style. Click Edit.

Figure 3.12: Edit multiple cells

7. Change the point label style to Point#-Elevation-Description, and click OK.

8. Right-click the column header Style, and click Edit.

9. Change the point style to Basic, and click OK.

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10. Observe the points in modelspace.

11. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point
Groups. Right-click FS. Click Properties.

12. On the Overrides tab, change the settings to match Figure 3.13 and observe the
changes which occur in modelspace.

Figure 3.13: Point group style overrides

The following steps will remove the style overrides.

13. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point
Groups. Right-click FS. Click Edit Points.

14. Select all or none of the points.

15. Right-click Style, change the point style to <none>.

16. Repeat step 13-14 and change the Point Label Style to <none>.

17. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point
Groups. Right-click FS. Click Properties.

18. On the Overrides tab, change the settings to match Figure 3.14.

Figure 3.14: Original point group style overrides

The points should be how they were when the drawing was first opened. For more
information on why the points behave this way see page 46.

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Description Keys
Description Keys are a means of applying certain point-related management tools as
points are themselves created/imported into a drawing. Description Keys are based upon
the application of user defined description filters (keys) which allow the user to capture
points and apply the following processes to such points according to the settings for each
key:

Convert Descriptions - Conversion of point descriptions from field (raw) codes to project
codes. For example, a surveyor may use a raw point description of 143 as code for a
fire hydrant. The raw description can be converted to something more descriptive (such
as FH) upon importing the point into the drawing. Thus, all points inserted with a 143
description will instead display the FH description in the drawing.

Layer Management Points are set on specified layers. Points with a description of CL
could be placed on layer V-NODE-CL while points with the description of ROW could
be placed on layer V-NODE-ROW.

Style Management Each key has the ability to set the point maker style and point label
style for captured points. For example, control points (of description CTRL) can be
labeled with a description only, while topographic points (of description OG) can be
labeled with description and elevation. Their respective markers can likewise be set
distinctly.

Symbol Management As a subset feature of the ability to specify point maker styles,
users have the ability to use drawing symbols in place of conventional point node makers.
For example, surveyed tree points could be given an actual tree block symbol.
Additionally, symbols may be scaled or rotated based on parameters within the point
description. For example, a point with a description of Tree 12 Oak could have a tree
symbol scaled up based on the 12 parameter.

NOTES
Description Keys are CASE sensitive. If a raw description is in uppercase format, then
the description key code must also be in uppercase format in order for the description key
to capture the point.

The asterisk (*) character can be used in description key codes for wildcard matching.

Description Key Sets are stored in the drawing. Set up your drawing template with a
standard Description Key Set. A Description Key Set can be copied from one drawing to
another via drag-n-drop.

Land Desktop description keys can be imported into Civil 3D drawings via File menu
Import Import Data from Land Desktop

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Description Parameters
Raw descriptions can have several elements or strings, which can be designated as
parameters (e.g. TREE OAK 24 has 3 parameters). Note that parameters are separated by
spaces. The first ten strings will be recognized as parameters.

Using the example of TREE OAK 24:

TREE is the 0th parameter


OAK is the 1st parameter
24 is the 2nd parameter

(Note that in the above example, TREE* or *OAK* could potentially serve as the code,
i.e. the description key code does not have to fall within a particular parameter.)

Thus, when a point with the above raw description is created or imported into a drawing,
and TREE* is defined as a description key, the following description parameter formats
can be used during code conversion, scaling and rotating the symbols.

Use this Code. To do this in a format. Example

$0 Reference the leading element in the raw TREE OAK 24


description.
$1 Reference the first parameter in the raw TREE OAK 24
description.
$2 Reference the second parameter in the raw TREE OAK 24
description.
$3 - $9 Reference the third parameter in the raw
description (and so on up until $9)
$+ Reference all the parameters in the raw TREE OAK 24
description after the leading element.
$* Reference all the parameters in the raw TREE OAK 24
description and also the leading element.
$$ Insert a single $ into the description.

Description parameters can be used in two ways:

1. Description Formatting. For a point with a raw description of TREE OAK 24, a
Description Format of $1 TREE - $2 will convert the point description to OAK
TREE - 24.

2. Scale and Rotation of symbols. For a point with a raw description of TREE OAK
24, a tree symbol can be displayed as part of a point style. The tree symbol can be
scaled 24 times based on the raw description parameter. Only numeric values in
parameters $1 through $9 can be applied for scaling/rotating.

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Project Exercise: Create Description Keys


In this exercise, you will create and use description keys.

1. Open drawing Points-4-DescKeys.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point, expand
Description Key Sets. Right-click Civil 3D. Click Edit Keys.

Figure 3.15: Description Key Editor

In the next several steps, you will create the following description keys:

Code Format Layer Scale Apply to X-Y


Parameter
ridge RIDGE V-NODE-RIDGE No No
toe TOE V-NODE-TOE No No
top TOP V-NODE-TOP No No
TREE* $1 TREE - $2 V-NODE-TREE Parameter 2 Yes

3. Click the cell labeled New DescKey. For the Code, type ridge.

4. Click Format for the ridge description key. Type RIDGE.

5. Select the check box under Layer for the ridge description key. Click in that cell
to open the Layer Selection window. In the Layer Selection window, click the
New button. Type a layer name of V-NODE-RIDGE. Click OK twice.

6. To create a new key, right-click ridge, and click New. Repeat steps 3,4, and 5 for
both toe and top. Your Description Key Editor should look

like

7. Figure 3.16:

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Figure 3.16: Description Key Editor with ridge, toe, and top keys

With these three codes, you are using description keys to convert the descriptions and to
specify unique point layers.

NOTES
Remember, description keys are CASE sensitive. In this exercise, the lowercase raw
description converts to uppercase, specified by the full description (FORMAT column).

In this example, you are not using description keys to specify Point Styles and Point
Label Styles. You can use Point Groups to specify these properties.

Next, create the TREE description key.

8. Right-click ridge. Click New. Click the cell labeled New DescKey. Type
TREE*.

9. Click the cell under Format for the new TREE* key. Type $1 TREE - $2.

10. Select the check box under Layer on for the TREE* description key, and click
inside the cell. In the Layer list, scroll down, and click V-NODE-TREE. Click
OK.

11. Select the check box under Apply to X-Y.

12. Select the check box under Scale Parameter. Set it to Parameter 2.

Figure 3.17: Description Key Editor with ridge, toe, top, and TREE keys

For the TREE* codes, you are using description keys to convert the descriptions and to
specify a layer for the point. You are also scaling the tree point style based on a
parameter in the code ($2).

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Next, you will test your description keys.

13. On the Home tab, Create Ground Data panel, click the Points drop-down, hover
over Create Points Miscellaneous and click on Manual.

14. Pick a point anywhere in the drawing window. Type a point description of ridge.

15. Repeat with a point description of toe.

16. Repeat with a point description of top.

17. Repeat with a point description of TREE OAK 16 (case sensitive).

18. Repeat with a point description of TREE OAK 48 (case sensitive).

You may need to update the TREE point group.

19. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point
Groups. Right-click TREE. Click Update.

You have created five points in the drawing window. The point layers, full descriptions,
and tree point style sizes should correspond with the settings specified in the description
key set.

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Project Exercise - Import Description Keys from Land Desktop


In this exercise, you will import description keys from Land Desktop.

1. Open drawing Points-5-ImportDescKeys.dwg.

2. On the Insert tab, Import panel, click on Land Desktop. For the Land Desktop
project path, browse to the location of the class files. For Project name, select
DesignComp). Make sure Description Keys is selected. Click OK twice.

Figure 3.18: Import Data from Land Desktop

3. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point, expand
Description Key Sets. Right-click DEFAULT. Click Edit Keys.

The description key file should now appear the same as:

Figure 3.19: Description Key Editor

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In Land Desktop, for description key symbol insertion, you specified a symbol block
name for the description key. That block would be located in the description key symbol
path.

In Civil 3D, you show symbols via Point Styles. As an example, for the FH description
key, a Point Style will have to be created or edited to specify the desired fire hydrant
symbol. In this next step, you will edit the Fire Hydrant Point Style to use a custom fire
hydrant symbol.

4. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point, expand
Point Styles. Right-click Hydrant (existing). Click Edit. Click the Marker
tab. Right-click within the white box entitled Use AutoCAD BLOCK symbol
for marker. Click Browse.

Figure 3.20: Point Style Fire Hydrant

5. Browse to the location of the class files and select K-FH.dwg. Click Open.
Select K-FH for the AutoCAD BLOCK symbol. Click OK.

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Figure 3.21: Point Style Fire Hydrant

NOTE:
Multiple drawings can be selected when browsing for AutoCAD blocks from the Point
Style Window. Use CTRL+click or SHIFT+click to select more than one drawing. This
is useful if you want to insert all the blocks for all of your description keys.

Next, you can create a point with an FH description to test description key functionality.

6. On the Home tab, Create Ground Data panel, click on the Points drop-down,
hover over Create Points Miscellaneous and click on Manual.

Figure 3.22: Create Points, Miscellaneous Manual

7. Pick a point anywhere in the drawing window. Type a point description of FH


and an elevation of 100.

You may need to update the FH point group.

8. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point
Groups. Right-click FH. Click Update.

You should see the point on the screen with a fire hydrant symbol corresponding to the
K-FH block that you specified earlier. The layer for the point should be WATER-PNTS.

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NOTE:
The FH Point Group was already created in this drawing. Point Groups are used to
specify Point Styles and Point Label Styles. You can click Properties for the FH Point
Group to see that the Fire Hydrant Point Style is specified.

In this project exercise, you learned how to import a description key file from Land
Desktop, and how to specify an (external) AutoCAD block for a Point Style. Finally, you
created a point in the drawing to test the description key functionality.

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Description Keys vs. Point Groups


Description Keys and Point Groups have similar functionality. You can use both features
to specify a point style and a point label style for a group of points. Following is a table
that demonstrates the functionality of Description Keys vs. Point Groups.

Description Keys Point Groups

Description Conversion Yes No


Layer Management Yes No
Symbol Scaling and Rotation Yes No
Point Style Specification Yes Yes
Point Label Style Specification Yes Yes
Point Management No Yes
Collector for Surface Creation No Yes

Figure 3.23: Description Keys vs. Point Groups

Based on this table, you can conclude that both features are useful. Both features can
also be used in conjunction with one another. However, you will have to make a decision
on which feature to use for Point Styles and Point Label Styles.

It may be a good idea to use Point Groups for specifying Point Styles and Point Label
Styles. You can also change Point Styles or Point Label Styles for points already in the
drawing using Point Groups.

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Importing and Exporting Points


Importing and Exporting of points are essential tasks for surveyors and civil engineers. A
surveyor will often use other software for downloading data collectors and doing
adjustments. This data is then exported as an ASCII point file. The surveyor or a civil
engineer may then import the point file into Civil 3D to draw a boundary survey or a
topographic map.

The process is reversed when a project is complete. A civil engineer may export points
to a point file for staking.

Point File Formats


In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Point, expand Point
File Formats.

Figure 3.24: Point File Formats

You can use any of these formats when importing or exporting points. You can also
create a new format. Right-click Point File Formats. Click New. To edit an existing
point file format, right-click on it and click Properties.

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Project Exercise - Import Points


In this exercise, you will import points into a drawing from an external point file.

1. Open drawing Points-6-BaseTopo.dwg.

Before importing points from a file, you must first determine the format for the file, and
check to see if that format is available. If the format is unavailable, you may have to
create a new one.

2. Check the file format. Minimize AutoCAD Civil 3D. Using Notepad, open
BaseTopo.txt from the location of the class files.

Figure 3.25: ASCII Point File

Notice that there are no column headings. Column headings can be created with
comment tags where a special character is used to tell the program to ignore certain
portions of text. The comment tag must correspond to the comment tag setting in the
point file format. Without the comment tag, you may have to guess at the description for
each column. The following point file containing column headers may be better.

Figure 3.26: ASCII Point File with Column Headings

With the first line comment by the # tag, you will know to use the point file format of
PNEZD comma delimited. P = Point Number, N = Northing, E = Easting, Z =
Elevation, and D = Description.

3. Close BaseTopo.txt and return to AutoCAD Civil 3D.

4. Browse the Point File Format. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active
Drawing, expand Point, expand Point File Formats. Right-click PNEZD
(comma delimited). Click Properties.

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Figure 3.27: PNEZD Point File Format

Notice that the Comment Tag is set to # and that the delimiter is set to a comma under
Format options. Also notice that the column headings correspond to the PNEZD format.

5. Click on Load at the bottom left corner. Select topo.txt from the Survey
Folder. Click on Parse also at the bottom left corner. The Parse button gives you
a preview of the separated point information.

Figure 3.28: Parsed Point File

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The purpose of parsing is to assure that the file will read correctly prior to actually
importing it. Compare the top table with the bottom table to make sure it is parsed
properly. Click OK. The file has not yet been imported. It is now time to import the
points.

6. On the Points Creation Tools menu, click Import Points. Specify PNEZD
(comma delimited) as the format. Click the + button next to Source File(s),
browse to the location of the training drawings, and select topo.txt. Toggle
on Add Points to Point Group, and create BaseTopo (an empty point group).
Click OK.

Figure 3.29: Import Points Window

7. Type ZE in the command line for Zoom Extents.

The points now exist in the drawing and are viewable in the drawing window.

NOTE:
For this example, Description Keys are used to insert symbols, to scale symbols, to
convert descriptions, and to place points on specified layers.

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Using this project exercise, you learned about point file formats, how to parse a point file
prior to importing and how to import points.

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Import Options
When you import points, what happens when the number for the point that you are
importing is already assigned to a point in the drawing? In other words, there is a point
number conflict between an existing point in the drawing, and one you are trying to
create/import. The options to resolve this issue in such instances are Renumber, Merge,
Overwrite, or Notify.

To view and modify these options, in Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active
Drawing, expand Point, expand Commands. Right-click CreatePoints. Click Edit
Command Settings. Expand Point Identity.

Figure 3.30: Command Settings for Point Creation

Command Settings are used commonly to specify default settings for object creation and
labeling.

Point Number Offset: If this offset value is set to 100 and the number of the first point
in the point file is 100, the point will be created in the drawing with a number of 200.
This value is only used when If Point Numbers are Supplied is set to Add an Offset.

Sequence Point Numbers From: Use this setting to specify a starting point number
when If Point Numbers Need to Be Assigned is set to Sequence From. When
importing a point file that already has point numbers, this value is only used when "If
Point Number are Supplied" is set to Ignore.

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If Point Numbers Are Supplied: Use this setting to specify what to do if point numbers
are supplied by the source file. Options are Use, Ignore, and Add an Offset. Use will use
the point numbers in the point file. Ignore will use new point numbers based on the
setting for If Point Numbers Need to Be Assigned. Add an Offset will add the number
specified in Point Number Offset to the point numbers in the point file.

If Point Numbers Already Exist: Use this setting to specify what happens if an
imported point has the same number as a point already in the drawing. Options are
Renumber, Merge, Overwrite, and Notify. Renumber will change the point number of the
conflicting point from the point file based on the If Point Numbers Need to Be
Assigned setting. Merge will merge the point data of the existing point with the point
data of the imported point. Only the point properties that are specified in the point data
file will overwrite the point properties already in the drawing. Overwrite will replace the
existing point with the new point from the point file. With Notify, you will be notified
during import that theres a conflict and you will be prompted on how to resolve the
conflict.

If Point Numbers Need to Be Assigned: Specifies what to do if a point number needs


to be assigned to points being imported. Options are Use Next Point Number and
Sequence From. This option would be used when If Point Numbers are Supplied is set
to Ignore or when If Point Numbers Already Exist is applicable and is set to Renumber.
If Sequence From is chosen, the value set in Sequence Point Numbers From will be
used for numbering the points.

When importing points, its important for you to understand these options and choose the
best settings for your situation. For a large job, where field surveys are done over the
span of days or weeks, point numbering and organization will be critical.

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How Do I?
How do I edit a point?
In Civil 3D, there are very few specialized commands to edit points because the point
data typically exists in the drawing. Most of the standard AutoCAD modify commands,
such as move, rotate and copy, will interact with the points. The remaining commands
are available in the Points menu under Edit Points.

You can also edit points using a table by selecting the points in the drawing, right-
clicking, and clicking Edit Points. Points can also be modified by the point group or
points list on the Prospector tab in Toolspace.

How do I rotate points (marker/node) and their labels?


You will find that using the AutoCAD rotate command will not rotate the point marker
and its label style, but will rather only rotate the points position. As shown below, point
markers/nodes and their labels can be rotated via the AutoCAD Properties palette, or by
using point object grips (the square grip). In the Properties window, a value of
*PROPERTY NOT SET* means that the rotation angle is currently 0.

Figure 3.31: Command Settings for Point Creation

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How do I change the datum for a set of points?


On the Points menu, point to Edit Points, click Datum. This will move all the point
elevations up or down.

If you want to change the datum for a particular set, select the points in either the
drawing, the point list on the Prospector tab of Toolspace, or in the Panorama window.
Right-click, then click Datum. This will change the datum for only the selected
points.

How do I set elevation points based on a surface?


If the points do not exist, on the Home tab, Create Ground Data panel, click on the
Points drop-down, hover over Create Points - Surface and click Random Points.

If the points already exist, in the Points menu, point to Edit Points, and click Elevations
from Surface. This will modify the points based on the options in the command: all,
numbers, group, or selection.

How do I prevent points from being modified?


In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, right-click the point group
of interest. Click Lock Points. This does not prevent points from being erased. To
prevent them from being erased, lock the layer the points are on.

How do I set a default description or elevation when creating


points?
Use the point creation settings icon, , inside the Create Points command. For more
information, see page 41.

How do I check the slope between two points?


To check the slope between two points, use the List Slope command, found in the Inquiry
menubar and the List Slope command. Type P for points and use a NODe osnap to
select two points.

To bring up the Inquiry Commands toolbar, right click on any Civil 3D Toolbar, such as
Civil 3D Standard, then click Inquiry Commands.

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How do I control points by layer?


The point layer is used to control the color and linetype of a point in the drawing. In this
scenario, the point style, label style or default layer set in the create point command
settings will control the points layer.

If you freeze (or turn off) a point layer, the point is hidden.
If you freeze (or turn off) the point style layer, the point marker is hidden, but not
necessarily the label.
If you freeze (or turn off) the point label style layer, the label will be hidden but
not necessarily the marker.

Because of the behavior listed above you will need to set up custom point and point label
styles if you want both points and their labels to reside on a single layer. Set both the
point and label styles to the 0 layer in the custom styles.

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, expand Point, expand Commands. Right-click


CreatePoints. Click Edit Command Settings.

2. Expand Default Layer.

3. For the Layer, Select <use current>.

Figure 3.32: Points by layer

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CHAPTER 4 Surfaces
Surfaces serve as digital terrain models (DTM) and can be used for:

Topographic Maps

Volume calculations

Profile and section creation

A design tool

In this chapter, you will learn about the following:

Creating surfaces

Editing surfaces

Surface Styles

Surface Labels

Contour Labels

Surface Analysis

Figure 4.1: Surface

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Introduction
A surface is a 3-dimensional model representing a portion of the earth, also known as a
digital terrain model, (DTM). It is the starting point for most Civil 3D projects. A
surface can be created from an existing ground survey, from an engineered site design, or
as a comparison between two surfaces to calculate volumes. Surfaces can be used to
generate alignment profiles and cross sections. In Civil 3D, these profiles and cross
sections are directly linked to the surface. The linked profile or cross section will
automatically update if changes are made to the surface. Understanding surfaces is a
fundamental part of working with Civil 3D.

The Surface Object


A surface object can be composed from a variety of data types. When a surface is
created, an empty surface object is added to the drawing. As data is added to it, the
surface updates to reflect the new data. If you erase an object used as part of the surface
definition, the surface will likewise update. The surface style controls the appearance of
the surface.

The following is a list of some advantages to working with surface objects:

1. Rebuild automatically if any of the data changes, the surface (for the most part)
will update automatically.

2. Immediate Effect if the surface is set to rebuild automatically, the surface


modifications are seen immediately. For example, if a breakline vertex is
changed, the surfaces contours will automatically update. This provides an
interactive approach to design work.

3. Display by style the surface object can be displayed as contours (existing or


proposed), triangles, shaded elevation ranges, shaded slope ranges, a boundary,
etc. Rather than having to regenerate contours and recreate contour labels to
change the contour interval, you can change the surface style properties and the
above elements update.

Surface Definition
A surface can be defined using the following objects:

Point Groups

Breaklines Feature lines, 3D Polylines, 2D Polylines, or 3D lines.

Contours AutoCAD 2D Polylines or Civil 3D contour objects

Point Files an external ASCII text file.

Drawing Objects AutoCAD points, lines, blocks, text, 3D faces, and/or a


polyface mesh.

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DEM Files

Boundaries

Civil 3D uses the above information to create a surface model. The data represents a
series of spot locations, each with an X, Y, and Z component (also known as a
triangulation point). For point objects, the points themselves will be the triangulation
points. For contours or breaklines, each vertex of a 2D polyline or 3D polyline
respectively will be used as a triangulation point. The polyline vertices may be
supplemented or weeded out to improve surface triangulation or improve computer
performance when working with large surfaces (see the Contours section for more
details).

Once the data has been added to the surface definition, Civil 3D draws straight lines from
one point to its nearest neighbor. These lines form a network of triangles. Each triangle
represents a small surface plane. The interlocking triangles form a surface as shown in
Figure 4.2. This is called a triangulated irregular network (TIN) and the whole surface is
frequently called a TIN.

Figure 4.2: Surface TIN Lines and Triangles

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Surface Best Practices


To generate accurate terrain models, follow these important guidelines:

Surfaces are always built based on surface input data. Therefore, you must use
correct input data; otherwise the terrain model will be inaccurate. Verify the
correct locations and elevations of all data before adding it to the surface
definition. Use 3D views and cross sections to check for errors in a surface.

Surfaces are always generated from straight-line segments to form triangles.


Contours and breaklines should be straight-line segments as well. Arc segments
of polylines and feature lines will be considered as small chord segments; see the
Contours section for more details.

Vertical faces are not allowed. Computers can calculate very large numbers but
they still cannot calculate infinity. The slope of a vertical face is infinite, so to
model vertical faces, such as road curbs or retaining walls, add a small horizontal
offset to make the slope large instead of infinite.

Contours and breaklines that cross at different elevations should be avoided. The
program may indicate such errors exist. In any case, such conditions can produce
further errors when attempting to reference surface objects for other functions
and/or return incorrect data when conducting analyses. For example, it is not
possible to create a surface model of an overhanging cliff. However, contours or
breaklines may cross at vertices, provided they are at the same elevation.

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Project Exercise - Create a surface from points


In this exercise, you will create a surface from Civil 3D points in a point group.

1. Open drawing Surfaces-1-Points.dwg.

2. In Toolspace Prospector tab for the Active Drawing Right-click Surfaces


Create Surface.

3. Change the name of the surface to EG.

Figure 4.3: Surface Creation

4. Click OK.

5. In Toolspace Prospector tab for the Active Drawing Surfaces EG


Definition Right-click Point Groups Add.

6. Select Topo.

7. Click OK.

You have just created a Civil 3D surface. The contours that you see are the actual surface
object. If you select it, you will see that it is one object.

8. Select the surface, right-click, and click Object Viewer. Orbit and use the other
right-click menu options to zoom, pan, and change the visual style to inspect the
accuracy of the surface. Close the Object Viewer when finished.

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Surface Styles
Surface styles allow you to quickly and easily change between an array of surface display
modes. For example, a contour interval of 1 minor contours and 5 major contours can
be changed to 2 and 10 intervals by switching to a different surface style. Style based
surfaces makes changing from design to analysis to presentation a snap.

The display components including contours, borders, triangles, elevation bands, and slope
analysis are controlled much like the layer properties box in the Display tab of the
surface style. Settings such as visibility, layer, and color are set here. It is recommended
that settings for color and linetype be set to ByLayer or ByBlock so that these are
controlled by the properties of the layer when the drawing is attached as an external
reference. The display settings can be controlled independently for Plan (2D), Model
(3D), and Section views. Surface objects will automatically change their display based
on the display settings associated with the current view direction.

Figure 4.4: Surface Style Display Tab

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Project Exercise - Create a Surface Style with Only Triangles


In this exercise, you will create a surface style that only displays triangles.

1. Open drawing Surfaces-2-Display Style.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surface,
expand Surface Styles. Right-click Contours and Triangles. Click Copy.

3. On the Information tab, change the name to Triangles.

4. On the Display tab, turn off Major Contours and Minor Contours under
Visible.

5. Click OK.

6. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces.
Right-click EG. Click Surface Properties

7. On the Information tab change the surface style to Triangles, and click OK.

Your drawing should now show triangles instead of contours. To change back to
contours, follow steps 6 and 7 but change the surface style to Contours 2 and 10
(Background).

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Breaklines
Breaklines are typically defined from 3D Polylines or Feature Lines at elevation. TIN
lines will be drafted from point to point between all the points in the surface definition.
However, TIN lines will also be drafted along the 3D Polyline before it drafts other TIN
lines. Therefore, breaklines control the triangulation direction of TIN lines, and control
the shape of the terrain model. Breaklines are the only objects that directly control how
the terrain model looks, so use them whenever you need to model grade breaks, crests, or
valleys in your surface.

A terrain model created exclusively with points may triangulate according to the drawing
shown below:

Figure 4.5: No Breaklines

The points notated with the RIDGE descriptions represent high elevations of an existing
surface. The surface is supposed to break along the ridge; therefore, TIN lines should
have been drafted from ridge point to ridge point. Without breaklines, the points closer
together will have TIN lines drawn between them, resulting in small valleys between the
ridge points. The surface does not accurately reflect the actual terrain.

With a breakline defined along the ridge points, the surface will triangulate more
accurately as shown below:

Figure 4.6: With a Breakline

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Looking at the cross-section lines of the two surfaces along the ridge line, the lower
section line represents the surface built only with points, while the upper section line
represents the surface built with points and a breakline along the ridge:

Figure 4.7: Breakline Profile Comparison

As you can see, building surfaces without breaklines can cause significant inaccuracies.
Not only is the surface shape without breaklines incorrect, but the contours, profiles,
cross-sections, and volume calculations will be incorrect. Therefore, use breaklines
anywhere a grade break, crest, or valley exists in your surface. Physical entities such as
ridges, flow lines, crowns, curbs and gutters, and retaining walls are also good candidates
to use breaklines. Point descriptions are a helpful tool in communicating the surface
model to the designer.

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Project Exercise - Add breakline data to a surface


In this drawing you will fix the geometry of a ridge with a breakline.

1. Open drawing Surfaces-3-Breakline.dwg.

2. Type 3P in the command line to start the 3d Polyline command.

3. Select each ridge point from left to right, snapping to each with a NODe osnap.

Figure 4.8: Ridge Breakline

4. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
expand EG, expand Definition. Right-click Breakline. Click Add.

5. In the Add Breaklines dialog, type Ridge for the description, and click OK.

6. Select the 3D polyline created in step 3, and hit Enter to finish selecting objects.

You have now added a breakline to the ridge. Notice how the contours follow the ridge
when they did not before. The 3D Polyline is a part of the surface definition. If you
delete the 3D Polyline, the surface will revert to its original form when the surface is
rebuilt. To set the surface to rebuild automatically, on the Prospector tab in Toolspace,
expand Surfaces, right-click on surface EG and toggle on Rebuild Automatic.

NOTE:
When adding breaklines in step 5, there are options for Supplementing Factors,
including Mid-Ordinate Distance. The mid-ordinate distance controls the sampling
along arc segments and how often vertices are interpolated along the arc (tessellation).
The supplementing factors add triangulation points between physical vertices on the
polyline. See the following section on Contours for more information.

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Contours
Contours typically take the form of 2D Polylines at an elevation. Using contours for
surface data is most common when building a surface from photogrammetric drawings or
scanned digitized images.

For existing ground surface models, points and breaklines are best used to build an
accurate model. However, the cost implications of trying to conduct a ground survey on
increasingly larger sites can obviously become prohibitive. In such cases, a flown aerial
producing contours would likely be more cost efficient, depending on the required
accuracy. With such cases, aerial contours are commonly supplemented with ground
surveys that focus on areas that need better (more precise) modeling.

Supplementing and Weeding Factors


Supplementing and weeding factors apply to both breaklines and contours. Depending
on the area of your site and the amount of data you have, weeding and supplementing
factors are useful. When designing with feature lines, understanding and using
supplementing factors are critical for creating an accurate surface model. In large data
sets, weeding factors can be used to remove vertices from contours and improve
computer performance while maintaining acceptable accuracy when working with the
surface. For smaller sites and contours with few vertices, supplementing factors improve
surface smoothness and triangulation.

Weeding Factors
Weeding factors are used to limit the number of vertices that are made part of a surface
definition, when adding contours and/or breaklines. Both of the following weeding
factors must be met in order for a given polyline vertex to be ignored:
ORIGINAL CONTOUR LINE
VERTEX 1
WEEDED CONTOUR
VERTEX 3

VERTEX 2

ANGLE
L1
L2

IF L1 + L2 < DISTANCE WEEDING FACTOR


AND
ANGLE < ANGLE WEEDING FACTOR
THEN VERTEX 2 WILL BE DELETED

Figure 4.9 Weeding Factors

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Distance

If the sum of the lengths of two adjacent segments on a contour line is less than
the distance weeding factor, the vertex between them may be ignored, depending
on the outcome from the angle criteria.

Angle

If the deflection angle of two adjacent polyline segments is less than the angle
weeding factor, the vertex may be ignored, depending on the outcome from the
distance criteria.

The weeding factors will be applied to all selected contours, two polyline segments at a
time. There is no rule regarding correct values for weeding factors. Remove vertices
that dont drastically affect the accuracy of the surface definition. The smaller the
weeding values, the more accurate (in theory) the surface should be, but larger the
drawing file will be. Follow these guidelines:

Set the distance factor to about twice the desired horizontal spacing of TIN lines.
For example, to have existing topo TIN lines every 20 to 25 feet apart, set the
weeding distance factor to 50 feet.

Use the angle factor to control the number of vertices removed.

To use all vertices from the selected polylines, set the weeding distance to 0.

After you build a surface from weeded contours, compare the contours from the
surface to the original contours. If the two contour sets are far apart in areas,
lower your weeding factors.

Supplementing Factors
The supplementing factors provide criteria for interpolating additional vertices to use for
the surface definition. Supplementing is the opposite of weeding. The mid-ordinate
distance supplementing factor is used to add vertices along an arc segment of a contour
so the surface follows the curve. Applying weeding and supplementing factors to a
contour data set will evenly distribute the survey data across the site.

Distance

Decreasing this number will potentially add more vertices along straight-line
segments of a polyline.

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INTERPOLATED
VERTICES

L1
CONTOUR LINE

VERTEX 2
VERTEX 1

IF L1 > DISTANCE SUPPLEMENTING


FACTOR (DSF), VERTICES WILL BE
ADDED AT EQUAL DISTANCES LESS
THAN THE SUPPLEMENTING FACTOR

Figure 4.10 Supplementing Factors

Mid-Ordinate Distance

The mid-ordinate distance factor is used if the polylines have arc segments. If the
mid-ordinate distance of an arc is greater than the mid-ordinate supplementing
factor, a vertex will be added to the contour data set at the midpoint of the arc
segment. Additional vertices will be added along the curve as the mid-ordinate
distance is decreased.

CONTOUR LINE

ORIGINAL
VERTICES

ADDED VERTEX

IF M > MID-ORDINATE DISTANCE


SUPPLEMENTING FACTOR,
THEN A VERTEX WILL BE ADDED AT THE
MIDPOINT OF THE ARC SEGMENT.

Figure 4.11: Mid-Ordinate Supplementing

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Project Exercise - Create a Surface from Contours


In this exercise you will create a surface from digitized contours and a couple of points.

1. Open drawing Surfaces-4-Contours.dwg.

2. On the Home tab Create Ground Data panel Surfaces drop-down click
Create Surface.

3. Change the name of the surface to EG.

4. Click OK.

5. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
expand EG, and expand Definition. Right-click Contours. Click Add.

6. Match the settings in Figure 4.12, and click OK.

Figure 4.12: Create Contours

7. Select all the contours in the drawing.

8. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
expand EG, and expand Definition. Right-click Point Groups. Click Add.

9. Select EG.

10. Click OK.

You have now created a surface out of both contours and points.

11. Select the surface object, right-click, and choose Object Viewer. Orbit and use
the other right-click menu options to inspect the accuracy of the surface.

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Boundaries
Surface boundaries are 2D or 3D closed polylines that limit the extents to which surfaces
are built and displayed.

The four types of boundaries are as follows:

1. Outer boundaries allow the surface model to be built within the boundary
limits, not beyond. Only one outer boundary may be defined for a surface.
2. Hide boundaries allow the surface model to be built outside the boundary
limits, not within.
3. Show boundaries allow the surface model to be built within an area where
surface data exists, but has not been used due to the application of either
of the first two boundary types.
4. Data Clip boundaries serve to exclude any additional data added to a
surface definition that falls outside of the data clip boundary.

Non-destructive Boundary Breakline


The Non-destructive breakline option determines whether triangle lines are trimmed
when triangulation lines would cross over the boundary line. If enabled, then TIN lines
will be trimmed right to the boundary. If this option is disabled, then the entire line will
be removed. If the surface boundary does not work as a destructive boundary, try again
with a non-destructive boundary. In general it is better to create a boundary that hits each
triangulation point and to add that as a non-destructive boundary.

Figure 4.13: Non-destructive Boundary Vs. Destructive Boundary

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Surface Edits
Surface edits are a way to modify a surface without adding physical objects to the
definition. Although it is usually best to add objects such as breaklines and boundaries to
force accurate triangulation, edits can also be used to clean up a surface. TIN lines can
be added, deleted, or swapped, and points can be added, removed, or modified. The
surface may be raised or lowered an incremental value to help in balancing quantities, or
smoothness may be applied to the contours.

The following is a list of some common surface edits and ways that they can be used:

Add line Adds a single line to the surface that acts as a breakline. This can be
used for fixing triangulation at a curb.

Delete line This will remove a triangle line from the surface and will also create
a hole inside of a surface. This can be used when a boundary is not a feasible
solution.

Swap Edge Formerly the Flip Face command in Land Desktop. This command
can be used to simulate a breakline and control the direction of triangulation for
an existing TIN line. It can be used anywhere as a replacement for a breakline.

Raise/Lower Surface This command can be used to raise and lower a surface
without changing any of the information used to build the surface. It can be used
to account for any changes to the datum or to experiment with balancing
quantities in a design.

Paste Surface This command is used to combine two surfaces. It is important


to note that this command will prompt the user for two surfaces. The first surface
is the surface being pasted into; the second surface is pasted into the first. This
means that where the two surfaces overlap, the definition of the second surface
"wins" - it will override the first. This command is useful for creating a final
(composite) surface that combines both existing and design data.

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Project Exercise - Surface Edits


In this exercise you will edit a surface by directly editing the TIN lines to replace a
breakline and remove erroneous triangle lines

1. Open drawing Surfaces-5-Edits.dwg.

2. Erase the magenta Ridge breakline.

3. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces.
Right-Click EG. Click Rebuild-Automatic.

4. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
expand EG, expand Definition, Right-click Edits. Click Swap Edge.

5. Select the lines shown in Figure 4.14.

Figure 4.14: Swap Edge Locations

You have now fixed the ridge.

6. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
expand EG, expand Definition. Right-click Edits. Click Delete Line.

7. Type F for Fence.

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8. Draw the line shown in Figure 4.15.

Figure 4.15 Fence Line

9. Press Enter to end the fence option and to delete the lines.

10. Press Enter a second time to end the Delete Line command.

11. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
expand EG, expand Definition, select Edits.

The edits that you made will appear at the bottom of prospector. Right-click, then
click Delete to remove any of the edits.

Figure 4.16 Surface Edit History

In this exercise, you cleaned up a surface by using edits to both swap edges and delete
lines.

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Surface Labels
There are three primary types of labels for surfaces in Civil 3D.

Spot Elevations

Slope

Contour

Surface labels are dynamically linked to the surface object. As the surface changes, the
labels update automatically. If the location of surface labels change, the information they
show will update as necessary, reflecting the data at their new location. The display of
the labels are dictated by their styles. Similar to point styles, a spot elevation label has
both a marker style for the point node and a label style for the text. The style may be
specified upon creation or through the properties palette.

When creating slope labels, either One-point or Two-point may be specified. When
using the one-point option, the slope arrow is drawn in the direction of the maximum
slope. When the two-point option is used, the direction of the two points selected
determines the direction of the arrow.

Contour labels are drawn on a contour line and can be placed on a single contour, across
multiple contours or across multiple contours at intervals. Whenever the contour label
line passes over a contour, the elevation of the contour appears on the surface.

Figure 4.17: Surface Labels

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Project Exercise - Label Slope and Spot Elevations


In this exercise you will label slopes, spot elevations and contour lines on a surface.

1. Open drawing Surfaces-6-Spot Slope Labels.dwg.

2. Select the surface. In the contextual ribbon, on the Labels & Tables panel, select
Add Labels and click on Add Surface Labels.

3. Click Add to accept the defaults.

4. Type T for Two-point.

5. Click two points to check the slope perpendicular to the stalls and parallel to the
parking stalls.

Figure 4.18: Slope Labels

You just created slope labels. Note in this drawing that a positive number indicates a
downhill slope in the direction of the arrow. This is not setup by default in Civil 3D but
is setup in this drawing. This was setup with an expression. For more information on
expressions, please see Chapter 12 - Labels. If you only need the style and are not
concerned with the details, please copy the style from this drawing. See the Chapter 1-
Introduction for more information on copying styles.

1. Select the surface. In the contextual ribbon, on the Labels & Tables panel, select
Add Labels and click on Add Surface Labels.

2. For the Label type, choose Spot Elevation.

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3. For the Marker style, choose <none>.

4. Click Add.

5. Zoom in close to the curb and snap to the end points of each curb, one at the top
of curb and another at the flow line of the curb.

6. Select the label and use the square grip to move the text away from the elevation
point.

Figure 4.19: Spot Elevation Labels

You just created spot labels. The elevations shown are based on the modeled surface and
will update with changes to the surface.

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Project Exercise - Label Contour Elevations


In this exercise, you will create contour elevations on a surface.

1. Open drawing Surfaces-7-Contour Labels.dwg.

2. Select the surface. In the contextual ribbon, on the Labels & Tables panel, select
Add Labels and click on Add Surface Labels.

3. Match the settings in Figure 4.20.

Figure 4.20: Proposed Contour Labels

4. Click Add.

5. Draw a line across the contours starting from one of the orange circles to the other
circle.

6. Press Enter to end the command.

In this exercise, you added contour labels by creating a line that labeled each contour that
it passed through. This only works if the surface style is currently displaying contours. If
this is not the case, the surface will not display the contour elevations.

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Surface Analysis
Surface analysis is used to display information that Civil 3D calculates on the surface or
in a table.

Elevation analysis will tell what area of the surface is between set elevation ranges. This
information can be displayed either as triangular faces, as banding in contours at different
elevations, or summarized in a table.

Slope analysis can do the same by dividing the surface up by grades on the faces instead
of by elevation. The information can be displayed either in shaded faces, by slope
arrows, or summarized in a table.

These are two of the most common types of surface analysis. The program will also
perform surface analysis given direction of the faces and watershed analysis.

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Project Exercise - Create a Slope Analysis


In this exercise you will use surface analysis to highlight slopes with a grade greater than
25% and insert a table showing surface area of the regions greater than 25%.

1. Open drawing Surfaces-8-Slope Analysis.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
and right-click EG. Click Surface Properties.

3. On the Analysis tab, for the Analysis type, choose Slopes.

4. For the number of ranges, type 2.

5. Click .

6. Match the settings in Figure 4.21. Double click the color under Scheme, to
change the color.

Figure 4.21: Slope Analysis Ranges

7. On the Information tab, for the surface style, choose Slope Banding (2D) under
Surface style.

8. Click OK.

The surface now shows all the regions that have a slope above 25% shaded red.

7. On the Surfaces menu, click Add Legend Table.

8. Type S for Slopes on the command line.

9. Press enter to create a Dynamic table.

10. Click a point in the drawing to insert the table.

You have now created a table that displays the total area in square feet of the surface
above and below a slope of 25%.

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How Do I?
How do I remove points from a surface definition above or below
a certain elevation?
Surfaces may have data that is obviously wrong with elevations out of range for the area
of work. To remove these points from the surface definition, do the following:

1. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
right-click the surface, and click Surface Properties.

2. On the Definition tab, expand Build.

3. Change the settings shown in Figure 4.22.

Figure 4.22: Exclude Points Elevation

NOTE:
It is generally best to identify the objects causing the incorrect elevations and correct the
problem associated with them, rather than simply exclude them.

How do I remove triangle lines from a surface definition that are


over a certain length?
Portions of surface models will be incorrect when excessively long triangles are created
due to incomplete data. To exclude these TIN lines from the surface model, do the
following.

1. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
right-click the surface, and click Surface Properties.

2. On the Definition tab, expand Build.

3. Change the settings shown in Figure 4.23 to appropriate values.

Figure 4.23: Exclude Points Triangles

NOTE:
Adding a boundary to the surface definition is typically a better practice.

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How do I add text as a suffix or prefix onto an individual label?


A label may need more information than is dictated in its label style, but the change
may not be significant enough to require a whole new style. In this case, editing the
individual label is appropriate.

1. In the drawing, select the label.

2. Right-click, then click Edit Label Text.

3. Add text before or after the surface elevation syntax, <[Surface Ele>.

Figure 4.24: Label Text Editor

How do I change the precision of the labels?


Please see Chapter 12 - Labels.

How do I minimize flat areas resulting from contour data?


Significant improvements have been made in the algorithm used to create surfaces from
contour data to increase accuracy. This algorithm is the Minimize flat areas edit. The
options below (Fig 4.25) are available when adding contours to a surface or by editing the
surface after the fact. Using the third and fourth options will make the surface larger
since they add points. For information on the method each option uses, see the Civil 3D
Help document, Minimizing Flat Areas.

Figure 4.25: Minimize Flat Areas

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How do I change the contour line interval?


By default, some Civil 3D drawing templates contain pre-built surface styles with
specified contour intervals. For additional intervals, new styles need to be created.

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surface,
expand Surface Styles. Right-click an existing contour style. Click Copy.

2. On the Information tab, give the style a new name based on the contour interval.

3. On the Contours tab, expand Contour Intervals.

4. Change the Minor Interval, and Major Interval to the desired numbers (Base
Elevation typically remains 0).

5. Modify the surface properties to utilize the newly created surface style.

NOTE:
Frequently used contour interval styles should be created and included in your drawing
template.

How do I smooth contours?


By default, Civil 3D does not have contour smoothing applied. The two methods for
contour smoothing are to either add vertices to the contours or to spline the contours.

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surface,
expand Surface Styles. Right-click an existing contour style. Click Copy.

2. On the Contours tab, expand Contour Smoothing.

3. Choose True for Smooth Contours; select Smoothing Type (and degree of
smoothing - for Add Vertices option only).

How do I grip edit my contours?


Civil 3D surface model contour objects do not have vertex grips for editing due to the
dynamic link the surface model has to the surface definition. Only changes to the data in
the definition, and/or use of the available surface edit routines will change the surface
model (and resultant contours).

However, if you create a surface using contours, you can grip edit the defining contours,
and effect changes to the surface model (and resultant contours).

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How do I hide the contour label line?


The contour label lines will plot and this is usually not desired. To hide the contour label
lines, use one of the following methods:

For existing contour lines that have been labeled, and have their label lines showing:

1. Select a contour label line, right-click and choose Select Similar.

2. In the Properties Palette, set Display Contour Label Line to False.

Figure 4.26: AutoCAD Properties Window

For future contour label lines:

1. Toolspace Settings tab for the Active Drawing Right-click Surface Click
Edit Feature Settings.

2. Expand Contour Labeling Defaults.

3. Change the Display Contour Label Line setting to False.

Figure 4.27: Surface Feature Settings - Contour Labeling Defaults

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How do I trace the path of water across a surface?


The Water Drop utility is useful for checking drainage design and watersheds.

1. On the Analyze tab, Ground Data panel, click on the Flow Paths drop-down,
select Water Drop.

2. Set the water drop settings and click the initial (starting) drop point.

A polyline representing the direction of flow from the start point will be drawn across the
surface until a low point, flat area, or surface boundary is reached.

How do I find drainage areas for my surface?


There are two main ways to find drainage areas for a surface. If the site is large, the
Watersheds analysis is best to extract drainage areas for the entire surface. For smaller
sites, the Catchment Area command likely works better, and will create polylines for the
drainage areas. Both will help you find the surface's hinge lines.

1. On the Analyze tab, Ground Data panel, click on the Catchments drop-down,
select Catchment Area.

2. Follow the prompts and click inside where you think the drainage area will be.

3. Civil 3D will draw a polyline around the catchment area.

How do I create AutoCAD objects from my surface without


exploding the surface object?
Select a surface. On the Surfaces tab, Surface Tools panel, click Extract Objects. This
will let you create AutoCAD objects of the surface that the style is currently displaying.

How do I erase a surface I cannot see (distinguish) in the


drawing?
In Toolspace on the Prospector tab, you can select any object and right-click and then
click Select. Even though you cannot see the object it will be selected and you can use
the AutoCAD erase command to get rid of it. There is also the Delete option via the
aforementioned right-click shortcut.

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How do I reduce the number of points in my surface to make the


file size smaller?
The performance of Civil 3D is dependent on the size of the surface that you are working
with. When a TIN surface exceeds 2 million points, Civil 3D will automatically create an
mms file to externally store the data (See Figure 4.28). This is a significant amount of
points, and if you can reduce the amount of data used without compromising your model,
it will be to your advantage.

Figure 4.28: Labeling Command Settings

There are a couple of ways to reduce the number of points used to build your surface.
Before using either, make sure that you have considered and used the weeding options
that are available to you when you first add the data to the surface. See page 80 for more
information on weeding breaklines and contours. Otherwise, the additional options are as
follows:

Weed Contours and Breaklines

If you need to weed taking 3D information into account, then use the Weed
command. The other advantage of using this command is that it will tell you the
number of points that will be weeded as you change weeding factors. Be careful
as this will change the drawing entities themselves.

On the Modify tab Edit Geometry panel click Weed.

Data Clip Boundary

Using a data clip boundary will prevent data outside of the boundary that you
specify from being added to the surface. If working on a long road or pipe run,
this can remove all the points outside of the boundary without the need to
manually exclude data. Remember that initially, the data clip boundary will only

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apply to data that is added after the data clip boundary is created. If necessary,
this can be corrected by modifying order of the surface operations.

1. Draw a polyline that represents the area to data clip outside of.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand


Surfaces, and expand your surface. Right-click Boundaries. Click Add
Boundaries.

3. For the Type, select Data Clip. Note: "Name" the boundary if possible.

4. Select the polyline that you drew in step 1.

If the data clip is not excluding the data, verify (and update as necessary) the
order of the surface operations:

5. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand


Surfaces. Right-click the surface. Click Surface Properties.

6. On the Definition tab, under Operation Type, move Add Boundary, Type:
Data Clip above the data set to be clipped using the (Move Up) Button.

7. Click OK.

8. Click Rebuild the surface.

Simplify Surface

The Simplify Surface command removes TIN points from the surface. It does not
delete or modify the drawing entities that are used to define the surface. You can
think of this command as an overall weed points command for the entire surface.

1. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand


Surfaces, expand your surface, and expand Definition. Right-click Edits.
Click Simplify Surface.

2. Select Edge Contraction or Point Removal; click Next.

3. Specify the region within which to apply the simplification; click Next.

4. Specify the percentage of points to be removed; click Finish.

Warning: clicking Apply, then Finish will run the Simplify Surface edit
command twice.

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CHAPTER 5 - COGO
The Coordinate Geometry (COGO) tools included in Civil 3D aid in precisely drawing
and locating objects in space. These tools are useful in taking field survey data and
translating it into an accurate map, laying out parcels from legal descriptions, or laying
out alignments from line and curve data. In this chapter, you will learn about the
following:

Creating Lines/Curves

Transparent Commands

Many of the commands available in the Lines/Curves pull-down menu are available from
the Transparent Commands toolbar, which also has tools for laying out profile geometry.

Figure 5.1: Transparent Commands Toolbar

The figure below shows a complete list of the tools available from the Lines/Curves
menu.

Figure 5.2: Lines/Curves

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Create Lines
Most of the routines in this section simply run the AutoCAD LINE command with a
transparent command component. A transparent command is a command executed in the
middle of another command, such as a middle button PAN while drawing a polyline. In
the process of the LINE command, these commands allow you to specify geometry based
on points, angles, coordinates, bearings and distances, etc.

Line Create lines with the AutoCAD LINE command

Line By Point # Range Create lines based on point numbers currently in the drawing

Line By Point Object - Create lines by selecting point objects in the drawings

Line By Point Name Create lines by typing in point names

Line by Northing/Easting Create lines by specifying northing and easting values

Line by Grid Northing/Grid Easting Create lines by using coordinates that are based
upon the drawing's specified Zone coordinate system (see Ch.1, Drawings Settings, page
11).

Line by Latitude/Longitude Create lines by specifying latitudes and longitudes. As in


the above, a Zone coordinate system must be specified.

Line by Bearing Draw lines by giving a direction (bearing) and distance

Line by Azimuth Draw lines by giving a direction (azimuth) and distance

Line by Angle Create lines based on a line of sight and a turn angle

Line by Deflection Create lines based on a line of sight and a deflection angle

Line by Station and Offset Create lines by specifying station and offset values from
an alignment. An existing alignment must be present in the drawing.

Line by Side Shot Create lines by specifying side shot parameters (angles and
distances) from a fixed point.

Line Extension Extend or shorten a line by giving it a length change or total length

Line from End of Object Draw lines tangent from arcs or co-linear to lines

Line Tangent from Point Draws a line tangent from a selected point on an existing arc
or line in the drawing

Line Perpendicular from Point Creates a line perpendicular from a selected point on
an arc or line in the drawing

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Create Curves
The Create Curves commands generate curves that maintain tangency to lines and other
arcs.

Curve Between Two Lines - Creates a curve between two tangents and trims off the
excess lines based on one of eight options. See figures below for more explanation.

Figure 5.3: Curve between Two Lines

Curve on Two Lines - Same as the create curve between two lines but it does not
automatically trim the lines afterwards.

Curve Through Point Creates a tangent arc that passes through a selected point
between two line objects and trims off the excess lines.

Multiple Curves - Creates multiple adjoined curves from one tangent to another. This
routine is very similar to creating spirals with different radii along a transition.

Curve from End of Object - Creates a curve tangent from the end of an existing arc or
line.

Reverse or Compound Curve - Draws a reverse or compound curve from the endpoint
of an existing curve. Reverse curves are S- shaped and the compound curve is another
curve in the same direction with a different radii.

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Create Best Fit Entities


Create Line Creates lines that best fit a series of specified coordinates. Coordinates
can be set by COGO points, AutoCAD points, drawing entities, and/or clicking on the
screen in the drawing. After coordinates have been specified, Figure 5.4 shows the
dialog display (a regression panorama window) that will appear. This allows you to
further adjust the best fit line by adding additional coordinates, excluding existing
coordinates, forcing the line to pass through certain points, and/or adjusting weighting
factors.

Figure 5.4: Best Fit Line

Create Arc Creates arcs that best fit a series of specified coordinates. This command
works similarly to the above Create Line command.

Create Parabola Creates parabolic curves that best fit a series of specified coordinates.
This command works similarly to the above commands. As an example, this command
can be applied to modeling/approximating an existing road vertical curve.

Curve Calculator
The curve calculator allows you to review various curve properties (see Fig. 5.3) of a
given arc, after establishing certain values. It can also be used as somewhat of a listing
routine for existing arc objects by using the Select ARC object in drawing button.

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Project Exercise - Create lines by bearing and distance


In this exercise, you will create COGO lines from given bearings and distances.

1. Open drawing COGO-1-Creation.dwg.

2. On the Home tab Draw panel click on Line drop-down Click on Create
Line by Bearing.

3. Click on the center circle to start from a Northing of 800 and an Easting of 400.

4. Type 1 for the North East quadrant

5. Type 60d1515 for a bearing of N 601515 E.

6. Enter a length of 457.00.

7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for the following bearings.

S 45.3027 E 501.10'
S 01.1426 E 358.00'
N 72.2712 W 489.11'
S 63.2900 W 402.69'
8. After entering the last distance of 402.69, hit Enter.

9. This returns you to the Line command. Type C to close.

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Supplemental Project Exercise - Use the other Line/Curve commands on the Home
tab, Draw panel to draw the figure below. Here are some hints to get started:

Use curve between two lines to create the bottom arc with L=450.00.

Use curve between two lines to create the top arc with R=400.00.

From the bottom arc, create a perpendicular line from the midpoint using line
perpendicular from point.

Use curve between two lines with miN-dist to create an arc that is separated by a
line 100.00 from the top arc.

Finish by offsetting accordingly.


R=400.00'
25.00'

END
10
0.
00
'

MID
Layer EASEMENT
Layer PL
40.00' Radial

25.00'
MID

L=450.00'

25.00'

Figure 5.5: COGO Lines/Curves

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Project Exercise - Best Fit Line


In this exercise, you will create a best fit line and filter out erroneous data.

1. Open drawing COGO-2-Best Fit Line.dwg.

2. On the Home tab Draw panel click on the Best Fit icon click on Create
Best Fit Line.

3. Accept the default, From COGO points.

4. Select all the points, and press Enter.

5. On the Regression Data tab in Panorama, click on Point 14.

The large variation in its offset distance from the entity means that it may be erroneous
data and should be removed from this selection set.

Figure 5.6: Regression Data

6. Click the to remove the erroneous point from the selection set.

7. Click to dismiss the Panorama and draw the line.

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Project Exercise - Best Fit Arc


In this exercise, you will create a best fit curve and filter out erroneous data.

1. Open drawing COGO-3-Best Fit Curve.dwg.

2. On the Home tab Draw panel click on the Best Fit icon click on Create
Best Fit Arc.

3. Accept the default, From COGO points.

4. Select all the points, press Enter.

5. On the Regression Data tab in Panorama, shift-select points 3 and 4.

The offset distance means that these points may be erroneous data and should be
removed from the selection set.

Figure 5.7: Regression Data

6. Click to remove the erroneous points from the selection set.

Note that the arc has a radius of 1199.831. This likely indicates that the points are
accurate.

7. Click .

NOTE:
A Pass Through point force lines or arcs to cross through that point. Putting a check in
the Pass Through column of a given point will achieve this.

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How Do I?

How do I use Degree Minutes Seconds for angular units?


When you try to use the inquiry commands, the angular data for curves are displayed in
decimal degrees. Change the following setting if you want to see angular data in decimal
degrees-minutes-seconds.

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, right-click the Drawing
Name. Click Edit Drawing Settings.

2. On the Ambient Settings tab, expand Angle.

3. Change the Format from decimal to DDMMSS.SS.

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CHAPTER 6 - Parcels
Parcels are bounded finite areas used to define a continuous tract of land inside the
drawing. They are used for various purposes in surveying and civil engineering, such as:

Subdivision Lots

Easements

Right of Ways

Map Checks

Figure 6.1: Parcels

In this chapter, you will learn about the following:

Creating and Editing Parcels

Sites

Parcel Styles and Parcel Label Styles

Parcel Tables

Parcel Line & Curve Tables

Parcel Reporting

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Creating and Editing Parcels


There are two main methods to create parcels from the Parcels menu:

1. Create Parcels from Objects. This command creates parcels from existing lines,
arcs, or closed polylines. The COGO Lines/Curves commands work well before
using this command.

2. Create Parcels by Layout. This command is used to draw and edit parcels on the
fly. These tools are best utilized by first creating a large parcel from objects, then
sub-dividing the larger parcel using certain criteria. For example, the create by slide-
line tool can be used to subdivide one long parcel into 7,000 square foot lots and
redistribute the remainder through them all.

Figure 6.2: Parcel Layout Tools

Sites
Sites provide a method for organizing parcels. All parcel segments within a site will
interact together. Whenever parcel segments form a closed boundary, a parcel object is
created.

Alignments in a site will behave as parcel lines. They will create new parcels if they
bisect a parcel area. This is not always desirable. If you do not want an alignment to
interact with parcels, set the Site: property of the alignment definition to <None>, or
assign it to a different site than that of the parcels.

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Project Exercise - Create Parcels from Objects


In this exercise, you will create parcels from lines and polylines.

1. Open drawing Parcels-1-Creation.dwg.

2. On the Home tab Create Design panel click on the Parcel drop-down
click on Create Parcel from Objects.

3. Select all the objects in the drawing, and press Enter to finish selecting.

4. In the Create Parcels dialog box, select Single-Family for the Parcel style.

5. For the Area label style, select Name Square Foot & Acres.

6. Click OK.

NOTE:
There are many variations of object combinations that can be used to define parcels. The
only requirement is that the geometry forms a closed area. All of the parcels that you
created will behave differently when they are edited. It is important to think about the
entities used to create parcels before creating Civil 3D parcels. This is why the exercise
did not have you select Erase existing entities. It is likely that you will want to return to
and edit the original lines that the parcels were created from.

Region A is created from lines and arcs.


Region B is created from lines bordered by a polyline. There are no vertices added to the
polyline surrounding the lot lines at the intersections of the lines (extra
vertices).
Region C is created from 2 polylines and lines in the middle. Extra vertices have been
added to the polylines.
Region D is created from 2 polylines.
You will see the importance of the type of objects used to generate the parcels when
editing them.

Figure 6.3: Regions

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Project Exercise - Edit Parcels


In this exercise, you will edit existing parcels to change the overall geometry of the
parcels.

1. Open drawing Parcels-2-Edit.dwg.

2. In Region A, select the parcel segments entering the circle Edit 1.

3. Select the grip in Figure 6.4 and move it to OSNAP to the lot line above.

Figure 6.4: Parcel Edit 1

4. In the circle labeled Edit 2 in Figure 6.5, fix the overhanging parcel segment (side
lot line), by grip editing the parcel segment to the INTersection at the rear
property corners. Alternatively, select the parcel and click on Edit Geometry on
the modify panel of the Parcel contextual ribbon. Under the Edit Geometry panel
choose the Trim icon.

Figure 6.5: Parcel Edit 2

NOTE:
Overhanging parcel segments can cause problems in Civil 3D. Try to avoid them if
possible.

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5. In the circle labeled Edit 3 in Figure 6.6, move the vertex in 10 feet.

Figure 6.6: Parcel Edit 3

6. Try the same edit in the circle labeled Edit 4 in Figure 6.7.

Figure 6.7: Parcel Edit 4

NOTE:
The parcel labels automatically update as you change the parcel geometry. Be aware that
as you edit parcel geometry, the disappearance of a parcel label likely indicates the parcel
is no longer defined.

On Edit 4, the outer lot line does not move because the polyline used to generate the
parcel segment does not have a vertex at the property corner as in Edit 3. This does not
mean that vertices should be applied at all intersections of parcel segments because a
single line label cannot label the total length of multiple co-linear segments. See page
117 for more information on spanning labels.

Project Exercise - Create Parcels by Layout


In this exercise, you will edit and create parcels by drawing new lot lines.

1. Open drawing Parcels-3-Layout.dwg.

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2. On the Home tab Create Design panel click on the Parcel drop-down
click on Parcel Creation Tools.

3. Click Draw Tangent-Tangent with no Curves, on the toolbar.

4. Click OK to accept the defaults in the Create Parcels Layout window.

5. CENter point object snap to the circle marked 1st, followed by the circle marked
2nd.

6. Press Enter to end the segment, and Enter again to start a new lot line.

7. Repeat step 5 snapping to the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th points.

8. Press ESC twice to end the command.

NOTES:
If you use the command Add Fixed Line - Two Points, , in step 6, you will have to
specify the starting and ending point for each line segment - you will not be able to easily
draw a series of sequential lines (as in the AutoCAD LINE command).

The styles for these parcels are inconsistent with the others since the exercise had you use
the default styles for the parcels. See the Parcel Styles section on page 117 for more
information on setting up the parcel styles.

Figure 6.8: Parcel Creation by Layout

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Project Exercise - Create Parcels by Layout (Subdivide)


In this exercise, you will subdivide a parcel into parcels of an even area. You are
creating parcels within a parcel that already exists.

1. Open drawing Parcels-4-Slide.dwg.

2. On the Home tab Create Design panel click on the Parcel drop-down
click on Parcel Creation Tools.

3. Click to expand the toolbar.

4. Match the following settings:

Figure 6.9: Parcel Creation Settings

5. Click Slide Line Create, .

6. For the Parcel style, select Single-Family.

7. For the Area label style, select Name Square Foot & Acres.

8. Click OK.

9. In Region D, click inside parcel number 6.

10. For the start point on frontage, ENDpoint snap to inside the center of the circle
labeled 1st.

11. A tracking line will appear showing what will be used as the frontage of the
parcels. Trace the parcel segments along the road and ENDpoint snap inside the
circle labeled 2nd.

12. Press Enter to accept a default angle of 90 at the frontage.

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13. Press Enter to accept the results.

14. Press Esc twice to finish the command.

Figure 6.10: Parcel Subdivision

You have now subdivided one parcel into multiple parcels of equal area. Experiment
with some other values since they are very important in getting this routine to run
correctly.

Parcel Styles and Parcel Label Styles


Parcel Styles control the layer and linetype of parcel lines and curve segments, as well as
the parcel fill style for applying hatch patterns to parcels. Parcel Label Styles control the
parcel area label, segment labels, tag labels, and labels spanned across parcels.
Parcel Area Labels These represents the parcel object, and can be used to display
the parcel number, area, perimeter, address, or APN number. Parcel area labels
cannot be deleted.
Parcel Segment Labels These are the line and curve labels for parcels, such as
the bearing and distance of a line segment, or the radius, delta, and length of arc
segments.
Tag Labels Tag labels are used to abbreviate line and curve labels by assigning
a number to each segment (L1, L2, C1, C2, etc.). The line and curve data is then
presented in line and curve tables. They are useful for reducing clutter in a
drawing.
Span Labels Span labels list the total length of a line or arc segment that
continues across more than one parcel. For example, if a line continues at the
same bearing along the frontage of 3 parcels, a single span label can be used to
display its bearing and cumulative distance instead of 3 individual line labels for
each parcel displaying the same bearing and the various distances of each parcel
frontage. See Project Exercise - Parcel Segment Labels for more information.

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Project Exercise - Parcel Styles and Area Label Styles


In this exercise, you will apply the correct styles to different types of parcels and modify
parcel draw order to control the style displayed. You will also create a new parcel style
for easements to apply to an easement parcel in the drawing.

1. Open drawing Parcels-5-Styles.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, expand Sites, expand Site 1, expand


Parcels. Right-click Property : 32. Click Zoom to.

3. In Toolspace on the Prospector tab, Right-click Property : 32 and click


Properties.

4. On the Information tab, set Object style to Single Family. Click OK.

5. In the drawing, select the Area Label, 32. Right-click. Click Edit Area Select
Label Style.

6. Set Parcel Area Label Style to Name Square Foot & Acres. Click OK.

7. In Toolspace on the Prospector tab, Right-click Single Family : 8 and click


Properties.

8. On the Information tab, set Object style to Road. Click OK.

9. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Parcel, expand
Parcel Styles. Right-click Basic. Click Copy.

10. On the Information tab, rename Basic [Copy] to Easement.

11. On the Display tab. Click on 0 under the Layer column for Parcel Segments.

12. In the Layer Selection box click the New button.

13. Name the layer C-PROP-ESMT.

14. For the color, select Blue (Index color 5).

15. Click OK three times to return to the drawing.

16. Repeat steps 3 through 7 for parcel, Property : 33, but change the parcel style to
Easement (Step 4) and the label style to Name Square Foot & Acres (Step 6 &
7).

You have now changed all the parcel styles and label styles. Next you will set the
display order to control which lines appear on top.

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17. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, expand Sites, Expand Site 1. Right-click
Parcels. Click Properties.

18. On the Composition tab. Change the Parcel style display order so that Road is
above Easement.

The road line now shows instead of the easement at the edge of the easement, Parcel
33.

Figure 6.11: Parcel Display Order

Figure 6.12: Parcel Styles

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Project Exercise - Parcel Segment Labels


In this exercise, you will apply new parcel segment labels using the single and multiple
options. You will also work with spanning label styles to create labels across multiple
sections.

1. Open drawing Parcels-6-Labels.dwg.

2. On the Annotate tab, under the Labels & Tables panel, click on the Add Labels
drop-down, hover over Parcel and select Add Parcel Labels.

3. For the Label type, select Single Segment.

4. For the Line label style, select Bearing over Distance.

5. For the Curve label style, select Radius over Delta and Length

6. Click Add.

7. In region A, click on the lines and arcs in the circles marked A.

8. Change the Label type to Multiple Segment in the Add Labels dialog, and click
Add.

9. Use the same styles as in steps 4 and 5, and click Add.

10. In region B, click on the area label in the circle marked B and press Enter.

Notice the extra label on the northwest parcel line. This is generated because the
program divides the parcel segment up using adjacent parcel lines.

Figure 6.13: Parcel Labels

11. Select the two line labels on the northwest line segment and ERASE them.

12. In the Add Labels box (Step 2), set the Label type to Single Segment.

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13. Set the Line label style to (Span) Bearing over Distance. Click Add.

14. Click anywhere on the northwest line segment; press Enter.

15. Select the southeast arc label in parcel 7, right-click, and choose Flip Label.

16. Repeat steps 11-14 for the Southeast line segment for Parcel 24.

Figure 6.14: Spanning Labels

NOTE:
Depending on where you clicked for the label and whether you flipped the label, you may
get any one of the results in Figure 6.14. These are labeling the length of the parcel lot
line. The other labels have been erased for clarity.

To get spanning labels to display the full length of a line or arc, there are several items to
check:

In the label style properties, the component that spans must have Span outside
segments set to true.
The component that is spanning will display the lengths between parcel segments.
The parcel line segments must be single line or arc segments.
Polylines cannot have extra added vertices, meaning that the lines and arcs that
compose the polylines must be a single entity.

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Gathering Information from Parcels


A variety of data can be extracted from parcels in a drawing, and presented in a table or
report. Area tables, line/curve tables, map check reports or parcel volume reports are
often required by local plan checkers. This section will cover the process of creating
these tables and reports.

Figure 6.15: Parcel Report

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Project Exercise - Parcel Area Tables and Reports


In this exercise, you will create a parcel area table and reports to concisely display a
summary of a group of parcels.

1. Open drawing Parcels-7-Reports.dwg.

2. On the Annotate tab, Labels & Tables panel, click on the Add Tables drop-
down, hover over Parcel and select Add Area.

3. In the Table Creation dialog, click to select parcels.

4. Select all the parcels in the drawing, and press Enter.

5. Click OK.

6. Click in the circle to the right of the letter "D" to place the table.

You have now created a table displaying certain parcel information.

1. If the Toolbox tab is not shown on Toolspace, on the General menu, click
Toolbox.

2. On the Toolbox tab of Toolspace, expand Reports Manager, expand Parcel.


Right-click Area_Report. Click Execute.

3. In the Export to LandXML dialog, click OK.

4. Specify a location to create the file to, and click Save to return to Civil 3D. The
generated report will show in a viewer.

5. On the Toolbox tab, under Reports Manager, under Parcel, right-click Parcel
Map Check Report. Click Execute.

6. In the Create Reports dialog, click Create Report.

You have now created one table and a couple parcel reports. Almost all of the Civil 3D
reports function in the same way. For many Civil 3D objects you can create tables in the
drawing to display the information, for others the Reports Manager will create them.

NOTE:
If you do not want to show information for the road parcel (Parcel 8) in the table, after
selecting the parcels to include (Step 4), Shift-select the area label for the road parcel.
This will deselect the parcel and the table will not include its information. Parcel 8 data
can also be deleted from the table, after its creation via Ctrl-select of the table entry, then
Erase.

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Project Exercise - Parcel Line Tables


In this exercise, you will create tag labels and a line table

1. Open drawing Parcels-8-Tag Labels.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Parcel, expand
Label Styles, expand Line. Right-click Bearing over Distance. Click Copy.

3. On the Information tab, rename Bearing over Distance [Copy] to Line Tag.

4. On the General tab, change the Display Mode to Tag. Click OK.

5. On the Annotate tab, under the Labels & Tables panel, click on the Add Labels
drop-down, hover over Parcel and select Add Parcel Labels.

6. In the Add Labels dialog, set Label type to Multiple Segment, and set Line label
style to Line Tag, then click Add.

7. Select a parcel area label in the drawing.

8. On the Annotate tab, under the Labels & Tables panel, click on the Add Tables
drop-down, hover over Parcel and select Add Line.

9. In the Table Creation dialog, check the box under the Apply column for Line Tag
as shown in Figure 6.16.

Figure 6.16: Parcel Table Selection

10. Click OK.

11. Click inside the pink circle on the far right to place the table.

Try to repeat the above steps with curves to create a Curve Tag style and table that
displays the curve information.

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How Do I?
How do I renumber parcels?
On the Parcels menu, point to Edit Parcel, click Renumber/Rename Parcels.

Multiple parcels can be renumbered with a polyline drawn through them. The parcels are
numbered in the order that the polyline passes through the parcels.

How do I erase a parcel?


Even though selecting the parcel label selects a parcel, deleting it does not remove the
parcel from the drawing. A parcel can only be erased by deleting the parcel segments.

How do I change a parcel to belong to a different Site?


1. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab, expand Sites, expand the site that the subject
parcel currently belongs to, and expand Parcels.

2. Right-click on the parcel that you want to change, and click Move to Site, then
select or create a new site to move the parcel to.

How do I create a span label?


Span labels give the total length of a lot line instead of displaying the length inside the
parcel. For more information on spanning labels, see page 120, Project Exercise - Parcel
Segment Labels.

How do I renumber parcel line or curve tags?


On the Survey tab, Labels & Tables panel, click on the Renumber Tags icon. The tags
get renumbered by clicking on the tags that you want to change.

How do I sort a tag table?


By default, sorting is not applied when tag tables are created. To apply sorting, certain
settings of the given table style must be applied.

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Parcel, expand
Table Styles, and continue to the desired table style. Right-click the style used,
and click Edit.

2. On the Data Properties tab, check Sort data, specify the column of data to be
sorted (typically column 1, which is typically the tag #), and specify whether
sorting will be in the order of Ascending or Descending.

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How do I reverse the value of a bearing label?


The following steps will reverse the bearing of a label, whether the label is on the parcel
segment or in a table. This does not change the actual direction of the parcel segment.

1. Select the desired label, right-click, and select Reverse Label.

Note: In previous versions of Civil 3D, it may be necessary to hold down CTRL while
selecting labels.

How do I flip a label


The following steps will flip parcel labels, moving label text from one side of the parcel
segment to the other. This does not change the actual direction of the parcel segment.

1. Select the desired label, right-click, and select Flip Label.

Note: In previous versions of Civil 3D, it may be necessary to hold down CTRL while
selecting labels.

How do I check whether a label has been reversed or flipped?


1. Select the desired label, right-click, and select Label Properties.

Figure 6.17: Label Properties

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CHAPTER 7 - Alignments
Alignments are defined lines and curves that provide geometric control and reference for
the following types of objects:

Roads

Pipes

Levees

Creeks

Ditches

Paths
Figure 7.1: Alignments
Right of Ways

In this chapter, you will learn about the following:

Creating Alignments

Alignment Styles

Alignment Labels

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Creating an Alignment
Alignments can be created using the Alignment Layout Tools, or be defined from
drawing objects such as polylines and/or interconnected series of lines and arcs.

On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click the Alignments drop-down button, and
select Create Alignment from Objects to create an alignment from polylines, lines, and
arcs within the drawing or an external reference.

On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click the Alignments drop-down button, and
select Alignments Creation Tools to draw and edit an alignment on the fly. These tools
are mainly used for creating alignments using constraint-based design. Constraint based
design allows you to explore different design alternatives while maintaining parameters
such as a fixed starting or end point. Tangency is maintained when using the alignment
editing tools, while it may not be when editing unconstrained alignments. This book does
not discuss constraint-based design in depth. Constraint-based design is covered further
in the advanced class.

Figure 7.2: Alignment Layout Tools

NOTE:
It is not necessary to type the '+' character when specifying a station value. For example
station 10+00.00 is typed 1000.

Sites
The relationship between sites and alignments is much like that between sites and parcels,
except that an alignment is not required to belong to a site. If an alignment belongs to a
site, the alignment will dynamically interact with other elements of that site (e.g. if an
alignment traverses a parcel, the existing parcel definition will be revised, and a new
parcel definition created on the other side of the alignment (similar in concept to a
'remainder' parcel).

If you are unsure about whether to define an alignment to a site, you may choose to not
make the alignment part of a site by specifying <None> in the Site definition field. This
option best fits most applications and uses of alignment objects.

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Project Exercise - Create an Alignment from a Polyline


In this exercise, you will create an alignment from a polyline in an xref.

1. Open drawing Alignments-1-Polyline.dwg.

2. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click the Alignments drop-down button,
and select Create Alignment from Objects.

3. Type X for XREF.

4. Select the centerline shown below to specify the xref to use, then proceed with
selecting the same (polyline) object again for creating the alignment itself. Press
Enter after completing selection.

Figure 7.3: Alignment From Polyline

5. Press Enter to accept the alignment direction.

6. Match the settings shown in Figure 7.34 below.

Figure 7.4: Alignment From Polyline


7. Click OK

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Project Exercise - Create an Alignment by Layout


In this exercise, you will use the alignment layout tools to create an alignment using
constraint-based design. The drawing in this exercise has four problems. This example
will guide you through one of them.

1. Open drawing Alignments-2-Layout.dwg.

2. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click the Alignments drop-down button,
and select Alignments Creation Tools.

3. Match the settings in Figure 7.5.

Figure 7.5: Alignment By Layout

4. Click OK.

5. Click (Draw Fixed Line Two Points), and use the ENDpoint osnap to draw
a line between points 1 and 2, then 3 and 4 in Problem 1, as shown in Figure 7.6.

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Figure 7.6: End Point Click Order

6. Press Enter to end the command.

NOTE
The Draw Fixed Line Two Points command does not require an Enter after drawing
the first segment. This is very different than the AutoCAD Line command. The Draw
Tangent-Tangent without Curves, , command works more like the AutoCAD Line
command with the multiple option.

7. Click , the drop-down arrow next to Fixed Curve (Three Point), and click
Floating Curve (From entity end, radius, length).

8. Click on the right side of the alignment segment shown in Figure 7.7.

Figure 7.7: Floating Curve

NOTE
Selecting the alignment entities can be difficult with multiple objects on top of one
another. Draworder, Regen, or Shift+Space Bar+click can be useful in making the
correct selection. You can also erase the red lines on the C-ROAD-CNTR layer.

9. Press Enter to accept the curve direction default of Clockwise.

10. Specify a radius of 200, and length of 150 (feet).

11. Click , the drop-down arrow next to Fixed Curve (Floating Curve (From
entity end, radius, length), click Free Curve Fillet (Between two entities,
radius).

12. Click on the entities as shown in Figure 7.8. Window select if having problems.

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Figure 7.8: Free Curve Fillet

13. Press Enter to accept a curve solution of Lessthan180.

14. Type R for Reverse.

15. Type 200 for the radius.

16. Press Enter to end the command.

If you would like to try the other problems, the alignment segments have already been
created for you. To bring up the Alignment Layout Tools for any of these alignments,
select the alignment, click Geometry Editor in the alignment contextual ribbon on the
Modify panel.

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Editing Alignment Geometry


Once an alignment has been created, it can be edited multiple ways. Curve radii can be
changed; Points of Intersection (PIs), tangents, and curves can be added or removed.
Editing can be done on screen by using grips, by using the object based commands under
Alignment Layout Tools, or by edits through the Alignment Grid View interface.

Editing alignments with grips can be difficult due to the constraints acting on the
alignment. It is also more difficult to be accurate with direction, length, and curve radii
without having pre-existing linework to snap to.

The Alignment Layout Tools are useful for removing segments and drawing new
geometry. The previous class exercise is an example of filling in missing geometry
between two tangents.

Editing with the Alignment Grid View is often the preferred method for making minor
adjustments to alignment curve geometry. The grid view allows changes to curve radii
and lengths by typing values in. This is where constraint-based design is encountered
since you can only edit the geometry parameters that are not constrained.

Project Exercise - Edit Alignment Geometry


In this exercise, you will edit the alignment that you created in the previous exercise.
Instead of having curves with radii of 200, you will modify the radii to 150.

1. Open drawing Alignments-3-Edit.dwg.

2. Select the alignment and click on the Geometry Editor button on the Alignment
contextual ribbon on the Modify panel.

3. Select the Problem 1 alignment.

4. Click (Alignment Grid View) on the Alignment Layout Tools toolbar.

5. In the Panorama window, under radius, double click the first cell with a value of
200 to edit and set the radius to 150.

6. Repeat step 5 for segment No. 3.

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Alignment Styles
As with all Civil 3D objects, the alignment style controls how the alignment geometry
looks and plots. The style controls the layer, as well as the display of lines, curves,
direction arrows, and line and curve extensions. The alignment style can also set markers
at specified alignment geometry points.

Figure 7.9: Display Tab for Alignment Styles

NOTE:
In Project Exercise - Create an Alignment from a Polyline, you used an alignment
style called Layout. This alignment style is interesting because it uses different layers
with different colors for the various types of geometric objects an alignment might have
(i.e. tangents, curves, and spirals). This style is primarily useful for visually identifying
the various components of an alignment's geometry, and it is likely that a different
alignment style with uniform layers and colors would be used for plotting.

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Project Exercise - Set Alignment Styles


In this exercise, you will change layout alignment styles to prepare for plotting by
showing one alignment as existing and another as proposed. You will also change the
display properties of the existing alignment so that it displays gray.

1. Open drawing Alignments-4-Styles.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Alignments,
expand Centerline Alignments, right-click (E) Main Street CL. Click
Properties.

3. On the Information tab, change the Object style to Existing.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with (N) Main Street CL, but use the style
Proposed.

5. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Alignment,
expand Alignment Styles, right-click Existing. Click Edit.

6. On the Display tab, note the layer name for the three component types (Line,
Curve, Spiral). Remember the layer these components are on.

Figure 7.10: Alignment Style Layer

7. Click OK.

8. In the Layers Property Manager (click or type Layer at the command line),
change the layer for the components to dark gray (color 8).

NOTE:
This drawing has Main Street split into two alignments.

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Alignment Labels
All Civil 3D alignment objects have Alignment Label settings. Alignment labels
essentially provide design data pertinent to a given alignment, and are generally in the
form of station, offset, and/or coordinate geometry data. There are an unlimited number
of ways to label an alignment. Here are some questions to consider. How do you want to
label major stations? How do you want to label minor stations? How do you want to
label the beginning and end of curves? How often do you want to label major stations?

Label Sets
Label Sets provide the ability to apply multiple types of alignment label styles to an
alignment object, at once. For example, station values at major stations, and tick marks
at minor stations. A label set primarily contains and organizes multiple label styles for
major stations, minor stations, and geometry points. Once a label set is loaded it can be
individually changed for each alignment.

The concept of label sets applies to alignments, profiles, and sections in Civil 3D.

NOTE:
When you first created an alignment in Project Exercise - Create an Alignment from a
Polyline, you selected the All Labels label set. The only labels placed in the drawing
were for major stations, minor stations, and geometry points. None of the other labels for
station equations, design speeds, or profile geometry points were applied to your
alignment when it was created.

Station/Offset and Segment Labels


Additional labels referencing the alignment may be added individually. These are
created with commands found under the Alignments menu, under Add Alignment
Labels. The common label types are station/offset labels and segment labels. Segment
labels are typically used to indicate the bearing and length of lines, and radius, delta angle
and length of curves. Line and curve tags can also be applied as segment labels, with
data presented in a table. See the Parcels chapter for more information on segment
labels.

Station/Offset labels can be added using two different methods:

Station Offset - Fixed Point - The specified point dictates the location that the label
references.

Station Offset - Two points are specified; the first point selected dictates the station along
the alignment, and the second point dictates the offset.

Fixed Point is used more often. The second method is used primarily when the station
and offset are already known and can be typed in.

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Project Exercise - Alignment Labels


In this exercise, you will label an alignment with station labels every 50 feet and ticks
every 25 feet. You will add geometry points and station equation labels to your label set.
Finally you will add a station equation and see that it automatically labels it.

1. Open drawing Alignments-5-label Sets.dwg.

2. In the drawing, select any part of the Main Street CL alignment (This is the
centerline that runs through the roadway). Right-click. Click Edit Alignment
Labels.

3. For Major Stations and Minor Stations, change the increments to 50 and 25
respectively.

Figure 7.11: Alignment Label Set

4. On the top of the dialog box, for the Type, select Geometry Points.

5. For the Geometry Point Label Style, choose Perpendicular with Tick and
Line.

6. Click , and select OK to accept the defaults in the following window


of Geometry Points to be labeled.

7. This time, for the Type, select Station Equations.

8. For the Station Equation Label Style, choose Station Ahead & Back.

9. Click .

10. Click Save label set.

11. On the Information tab, type Major and Minor 50. Click OK twice.

12. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Alignments,
expand Centerline Alignments, right-click Main Street CL. Click
Properties.

13. On the Station Control tab, click (Add station equation)

14. Type 2116.54.

15. In the column under Station Ahead, double click and type 3000.

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16. Click Ok.

17. CTRL-Click the PI label at 21+16.54 (aka 30+00.00) and erase it.

18. CTRL-Click the station label at 30+00 and erase it.

In this exercise, you changed the frequency of the labels and added components to an
alignments label set. You then saved a label set to quickly apply the same settings on
any other alignments in the drawing. You also created a station equation and saw that
it was automatically labeled. Finally, you erased individual labels by CTRL-selecting
individual labels.

Figure 7.12: Alignment Labels from a Label Set

Project Exercise - Alignment Labels


In this exercise, you will label the station and offset for curb returns along the center line
of the road. You will also label all the line and curve segments with bearing/distance and
delta/radius/length.

1. Open drawing Alignments-6-labels.dwg.

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2. On the Annotate tab, Labels & Tables panel, click on the Add Labels drop-
down button, hover over Alignment and click on Add Alignment Labels.

3. In the Add Labels dialog, set Label type: to Station Offset Fixed Point.

4. Set Station offset label style: to Station and Offset.

5. Set Marker style: to <none>.

6. Click Add.

7. Select the Main Street CL Alignment.

8. ENDpoint snap to the locations shown in Figure 7.13.

Figure 7.13: Station Offset Label Location

9. Select the label

10. Use the square grip shown in Figure 7.14 to drag the label away and create a
leader.

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Figure 7.14: Drag Station Offset Label

11. Back in the Add Labels dialog, set Label type: to Multiple Segment.

12. Click Add.

13. Click on any alignment segment in the drawing and press [Enter].

NOTE:
The square grip in the station offset label in Figure 7.14 is used to drag the label text.
The diamond grip is used to change the location of the label point.

In this exercise you used the fixed point method to label station offsets and dragged them
away so that a leader was pointing to the location that the label was referencing. This is
why no marker was required.

You also added many segment labels to the alignment without having to click on each
segment individually. Similar to parcels, Single Segment labels one entity, while
Multiple Segment will label the entire object with the labels centered.

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Gathering Information from Alignments


A variety of data can be extracted from alignments in a drawing and presented in a table
or report. Line/curve reports, general legal descriptions or station reports are often
required by local plan checkers. This section will cover the process of creating these
tables and reports.

Project Exercise Alignment Area Tables and Reports


In this exercise, you will create a report to display a summary of the lines and curves in
an alignment.

1. Open drawing Alignments-7-Reports.dwg.

2. If the Toolbox tab is not shown on Toolspace, then on the Home tab, Palettes
panel, click Toolbox.

3. On the Toolbox tab, expand Reports Manager, expand Alignment. Right-click


Station_and_Curve. Click Execute.

4. Click OK.

You have now created an alignment report. Almost all of the Civil 3D reports function in
the same way. For many Civil 3D objects you can create tables to display the
information, for others the Reports Manager will create them.

Project Exercise - Alignment Curve Tables


In this exercise, you will create curve tag labels and a corresponding curve table.

1. Open drawing Alignments-8-Tag Labels.dwg.

2. Toolspace Settings tab for the Active Drawing Alignment Label Styles
Curve Right-click Delta over Length & Radius Copy.

3. On the Information tab, rename Delta over Length & Radius [Copy] to Curve
Tag.

4. On the General tab, change the Display Mode from Label to Tag.

5. Click OK.

6. Select one line label and one curve label in the drawing, right-click, then click
Select Similar. Delete these entities.

7. On the Annotate tab, Labels & Tables panel, click on the Add Labels drop-
down button, hover over Alignment and click on Add Alignment Labels.

8. For the Label type, choose Multiple Segment.

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9. For the Curve label style, select Curve Tag.

10. Click Add.

11. Select the alignment in the drawing.

12. On the Annotate tab, Labels & Tables panel, click on the Add Tables drop-
down button, hover over Alignment and click on Add Curve.

13. As shown in Figure 7.15 below, check the box for the Curve Tag style to include
all curves labeled by this style into the table.

Figure 7.15: Alignment Table Selection

14. Click OK.

15. Click inside the drawing to place the table.

You have now created a curve table in the drawing. If the curve table overlaps any
linework in the drawing, simply move the table.

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How Do I?
How do I reverse an alignment?
The direction an alignment has can be reversed by using the Reverse Alignment
Direction command, found in the contextual ribbon of the alignment. Select the
alignment and click on Geometry Editor on the Modify panel. On the Alignment
Layout Tools toolbar, click on the Reverse Sub-entity Direction button .

Using this command will remove any existing station equations, design speeds,
superelevation data, dynamic offsets, and curb return alignments. This could also affect
design profiles and profile views already created from the alignment. If the direction
needs to be reversed, it is best done immediately after the alignment is first created.

Note: Previously, defining an alignment from a polyline would automatically set the
direction of the alignment based upon how the polyline was drawn. This is no longer the
case, as the command now provides an option to reverse the direction, if necessary.

How do I change an alignment's reference point location and/or


corresponding station value?
Just like reversing an alignment, changing the reference point location and/or station
value will remove all existing design speeds, and superelevation data. This can also
affect design profiles and profile views created from the alignment. Thus, implementing
such changes is best done immediately after the alignment is first created.

1. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Alignments,
expand your alignment type, right-click your alignment. Click
Properties.

2. On the Station Control tab, as necessary, reset the reference point location (by
X,Y coordinate input or by graphical pick with crosshairs) and/or reset the
reference point station value by typing in the value.

Figure 7.16: Change Starting Station

3. Click OK.

If existing design data is important, a station equation might be a better choice. See the
exercise on page 137.

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How do I delete an alignment segment?


There are two methods to delete an individual alignment segment. One is to CTRL-click
the segment and then use the AutoCAD Erase command.

The other method is to do the following:

1. Select the alignment and click on the Geometry Editor button on the Alignment
contextual ribbon on the Modify panel.

2. The Alignment Layout Tools toolbar should appear.

3. Click (Delete Sub-entity).


4. Click on the segment(s) to delete, and press <Enter> to complete the action.
It is not always possible to delete every segment using these methods when constraints
exist on the alignment. For example, a tangent might have a free curve attached to it.
You will not be able to delete the tangent until the (dependent) curve is deleted.

How do I delete a single label that is part of a label set?


CTRL-click the label object and then use the AutoCAD Erase command.

How do I reset the labels after deleting a single label (re-station


the alignment)?
1. In the drawing, select any part of an alignment. Right-click, click Edit
Alignment Labels.
2. Click Reset.
Note that all labels, including those that may have been moved, will be reset.

How do I move a label to avoid a conflict?


Selecting a single label and grip editing will drag the label away and create a leader. If
this is not desired, then a different label style needs to be set up.

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, right-click the label
style. Click Edit or Copy.
2. On the Dragged State tab, expand Leader.
3. For the Visibility, choose false.
4. Expand Dragged State Components.
5. For the Display, choose Stacked Text.
6. If Copy was chosen in step one above, the existing label(s) in question will
need to be modified to the new style.

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How do I select the PI point of a curve's tangents?


The figure below shows the more common practice of laying out an alignment with lines
and curves by first laying out tangents (PI to PI), then introducing curves (much like
fillet). In such cases, by default, a PI Grip will be available which can be easily grip-
edited and relocated, thereby providing a very convenient and quick method for editing
alignment geometry. However, the curve commands can still be used on tangents that do
not physically intersect. In such cases, by default, there will not be a PI Grip available
for editing. This can be 'corrected' as follows:

Figure 7.17: PI Grip

1. While not editable, a gray PI grip should be visible at the inferred PI. Select the
grip and execute the Solve PI option.
2. This will fully build the curve's tangent extensions to the PI point, and the PI Grip
is now editable.

How do I change PC and PT labels to read BC and EC?


1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, right-click the
DrawingName. Click Edit Drawing Settings.

2. On the Abbreviations tab, expand Alignment Geometry Point Text, change the
value for Tangent-Curve Intersect to BC.

3. Change the value Curve-Tangent Intersect to EC.

If this is your company standard, change the settings in your company template.

How do I get perpendicular station labels to read with the + sign


centered?
This requires a fairly complicated style. If you open up Alignments-5-
labels.dwg, there is a label style in that drawing with this already setup. Please copy
Perpendicular with Tick (+ Sign Location) over to your drawing using
the steps in Chapter 1- Introduction, and/or add it to your company template.

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How do I create a best fit line or curve that maintains tangency?


When (re)creating an alignment from survey data, using a best fit line might be the best
choice. Like all alignment components, best fit alignment segments can be created as
fixed, floating or free entities. If creating a floating or free entity, then the line or curve
will maintain tangency to the selected objects. A fixed object does not have this
constraint.

1. Select the alignment and click on the Geometry Editor button on the Alignment
contextual ribbon on the Modify panel.

2. Click , the drop-down arrow next to Fixed Curve (Three Point), or ,


the drop-down arrow next to Fixed Line (Two Points) and click one of the Best
Fit commands.

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CHAPTER 8 - Profiles
While an alignment specifies the horizontal direction and geometry for features such as
roads, levees, creeks, ditches, and trails, a profile specifies the vertical geometry. A
profile gives you the Z component for an alignments X and Y. They are used to display
the elevations of a surface along an aligment, specify finished ground layout profiles,
superimpose a profile onto another for comparison, or show vertical components of a
corridor, such as the edge of pavement, or a ditch profile.

In this chapter, you will learn about the following:

Create a Profile from a Surface.

Create Profile Views

Create a Design Profile by Layout

Profile Styles

Profile View Styles

Data Bands

Profile Labels

Figure 8.1: Profiles

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Profile Components
It is very easy to forget where to change a desired setting when working with profiles in
Civil 3D because there are two main objects, the Profile and the Profile View. Figure 8.2
shows where some commonly changed settings for a profile are and the hierarchy of the
profiles. As you go through this chapter, you will be introduced to the various
components.

Figure 8.2: Profile Components

Profiles
The two main types of profile objects are surface profiles and layout profiles.

A surface profile is extracted from a defined/built Civil 3D surface model. As the surface
is modified, the profile updates accordingly. Similarly, if the alignment geometry
changes, so does the surface profile. These updates are automatic as long as the profile is
dynamic. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click on the Profile drop-down button
and select Create Surface Profile.

A layout profile is typically used to establish discreet grades and/or elevations such as
those of a proposed road centerline or top of curb. Like alignments, layout profiles can
also use constraint-based design. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click on the
Profile drop-down button and select Profile Creation Tools. This command displays the
Profile Layout Tools toolbar shown in Figure 8.3.

Figure 8.3: Profile Layout Tools

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The profile linework itself is the profile data. If the profile linework is erased, then the
data will also be erased.

Profile Views
Profile View objects are the necessary means by which surface and/or layout profiles are
displayed. Profile View Properties control settings such as the Profile View Style, the
station and elevation ranges to be shown, the profiles to be displayed, and profile band
data. Profile View Styles control the appearance of the Profile View object including
profile exaggeration, profile grid and grid text, and grid padding. See Figure 8.4, below.

Profile bands can be used to show information such as elevations, cut/fill data, or pipe
data.

Since the Profile View and Profile objects are linked to the horizontal Alignment object, if
the alignment geometry is edited, the profile view will update accordingly to the changes
made.

Figure 8.4: Profile View Components

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Project Exercise - Create a Profile from a Surface


In this exercise you will use a defined surface model and alignment to create an existing
ground profile, including sample offsets.

1. Open drawing Profiles-1-Surface.dwg.

2. On the Home tab > Create Design panel > Profiles dropdown, click Create
Surface Profile.

3. Select the Main Street CL alignment.

4. Select the EG surface.

5. Click Add>>.

6. Click Draw in profile view.

7. In the General box, change the profile view name from <[Parent
Alignment(CP)]><[Next Counter(CP)]> to <[Parent
Alignment(CP)]>.

8. For the Profile View Style, select Land Desktop Profile View, and click Next.

9. For the Station range, select Automatic, and click Next.

10. For the Profile view height, select User specified, and set 170 for the minimum,
and 200 for the maximum.

11. Click Create Profile View, and use the CENter osnap on the circle in the drawing
shown in Figure 8.5.

Figure 8.5: Profile Origin

1. On the Home tab > Create Design > Profiles dropdown, click Create Surface
Profile.

2. Select the check box for Sample offsets

3. Set an offset value of 50.

4. Click Add>>.

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5. Set an offset value of -50.

6. Click Add>>. The dialog box should match Figure 8.6 below.

Figure 8.6: Create Surface Profile

7. Click OK.

8. Click to dismiss the event viewer.

9. Check the profile view and verify that three (surface) profiles are now showing.

In this exercise you created three separate profiles, one along the centerline of the
alignment and two at 50 offsets on both sides of the alignment. When sampling a profile
and specifying an offset, a positive value samples an offset to the right of the alignment
looking up-station, while a negative value samples an offset to the left of the alignment
looking up-station.

In this exercise you accepted the default station range, thereby sampling the full length of
the alignment. Surface profile sampling may be limited to a specific station range if you
do not wish to sample the entire alignment.

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Profile Styles
A profile style is much like an alignment style. It controls the display properties of the
profile object, such as the layer(s) of creation for its various components. The profile
style also controls the display of markers such as the triangle typically seen at PVIs
(Points of Vertical Intersection) as well as markers for other important geometry points
on the profile (see Figure 8.7, below). Since one profile view can show multiple profiles,
profile styles let you visually differentiate between the different profiles.

Note that surface profiles and layout profiles, draw from the same collection of profile
styles.

Figure 8.7: Profile Style

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Project Exercise Set and Change Profile Styles


In this exercise you will apply varying profile styles to the existing centerline and offset
profiles that were created in the previous exercise.

1. Open drawing Profiles-2-Styles.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Alignments,
expand Centerline Alignments, expand Main Street CL, expand Profiles,
and finally right-click EG - -50.000. Click Properties.

3. On the Information tab, for the Name type, Main-EG-L-50.

4. For the Object style, choose Left Sample Profile.

5. Click OK.

6. Repeat steps 2 through 5 to rename EG 50.000 to Main-EG-R-50, and


set the object style to Right Sample Profile.

7. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 5 to rename EG Surface (1) to Main-EG.

NOTE:
In steps 2 through 7 you renamed the profiles. This is to make it easier to distinguish the
profiles in the Prospector tab of Toolspace. This also keeps each profile name unique. A
naming system similar to this can be set up in the default command settings for the
CreateProfileFromSurface command, found in the Settings tab of Toolspace, under
Profile.

Next you will remove markers for the existing profile styles and change the colors and
linetypes of the profiles.

8. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Profile, expand
Profile Styles, right-click Right Sample Profile. Click Edit.

9. On the Markers tab, for the Point of Vertical Intersection marker style, double-
click PI Point and change the style to <None> (see Figure 8.8).

Figure 8.8: Profile Markers

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10. From the Display tab, write down the layer for the Line and Circular Curve
components of the style (see Figure 8.9).

Figure 8.9: Profile Style Display

11. Repeat steps 8 through 10 for the Left Sample Profile and write down the
corresponding layer name below.

12. In the AutoCAD Layers Property Manager (click ), change the layer color of
the layer you wrote down in step 10 to color 2 (Yellow) and the linetype to
Dashed2.

13. Change the color of layer you wrote down in step 11 to Color 3 (Green) and the
linetype to Dashed2.

You have now manipulated Profile Styles to differentiate and customize the three
different profiles.

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Project Exercise - Draw a Finished Grade Profile


In this exercise you will draw a Layout Profile (using tangents only), which will represent
the finished grade profile for the Main Street centerline alignment.

1. Open drawing Profiles-3-FG.dwg.

2. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click on the Profile drop-down button
and select Profile Creation Tools

3. Click on the Main Street CL Profile View in the drawing, and match the
settings in Figure 8.10.

Figure 8.10: Create Finished Grade Profile

4. Click OK.

5. The Profile Layout Tools toolbar (Figure 8.3) will appear. Click the Draw
Tangents without Curves toolbutton ( ).

6. Per Figure 8.11, ENDpoint OSNAP to the beginning of the Main-EG profile
(red colored linework in the cad file).

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Figure 8.11: FG Match EG

7. Click the Profile Grade Station toolbutton on the Transparent Commands


toolbar (see Figure 8.12).

Note: If this toolbar is not available you will have to exit out of the current
command. To enable the command, execute the -TOOLBAR command at the
command line, enter TRANSPARENT_COMMANDS for the toolbar name,
enter SHOW, and return to step 5.

Figure 8.12: Profile Grade Station

8. Click on the Main Street CL Profile View in the drawing.

9. Enter -1.5 when prompted to Specify Grade.

10. Enter 250 when prompted to Specify Station.

11. Add 8 additional tangents by repeating steps 9 and 10, using the values in

12. Figure 8.13.

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No.
Station Grade In
(PVI, see below)
3 4+20 3.00%
4 8+00 1.90%
5 11+40 1.70%
6 14+80 -1.90%
7 15+40 -1.50%
8 18+10 -0.70%
9 25+80 0.20%
10 30+30 0.10%

Figure 8.13: Profile Grades and Stations

13. Press the Esc key. This will terminate the transparent Profile Grade Station
command, and return to the default method of creating the layout profile by
simple AutoCAD selections.

14. ENDpoint OSNAP to the end of the Main-EG profile.

15. Press Enter to exit the profile creation routine.

The primary command used throughout this exercise was the Draw Tangents without
Curves command. This was used in conjunction with the transparent command Profile
Grade Station.

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Profile Transparent Commands

Figure 8.14: Transparent Commands for Profiles

Profile Station from Plan obtains the station from the profile views parent
alignment, and then expects an elevation.

Profile Station and Elevation from Plan obtains the station from the profile views
parent alignment and the elevation from a surface that you select.

Profile Station and Elevation from COGO Point obtains the station and elevation
from the profile views parent alignment and a COGO point that you select.

Profile Station Elevation obtains a station and elevation from your entries.

Profile Grade Station can only be run after at least one vertex is placed in the
profile view. It sets a tangent from the preceding point based upon the specified grade,
projected to the specified station.

Profile Grade Elevation can only be run after at least one vertex is placed in the
profile view. It sets a tangent from the preceding point based upon the specified grade,
projected to the specified elevation.

Profile Grade Length can only be run after at least one vertex is placed in the
profile view. It sets a tangent from the preceding point based upon the specified grade,
projected over the specified horizontal distance.

Editing Profile Geometry


The process of editing profiles is very similar to that of editing an alignment.

Once the profile has been created, it can be edited in multiple ways. The primary ways of
editing a profile are by using its grips, by using the Profile Layout Tools, and by editing
within the Profile Grid View.

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Editing profiles with grips is easier than editing alignments with grips. The main
advantage to using grips is that there are grips to hold grade and lengthen the tangents.
See Figure 8.15 for more information on what the various grips do.

Figure 8.15: Grip Editing Profiles

Editing profiles with the Profile Layout Tools is useful for removing segments, drawing
new geometry, and adding vertical curves.

Editing with the Profile Grid View is useful for revising existing profile geometry. Note
that the Profile Grid View editor has two modes, toggled via the toolbutton shown below:

1. PVI based is useful for changing PVI stations and elevations, tangent grades, and
vertical curves based on curve length and K-value.

2. Entity based is useful for changing tangent grades, and vertical curves by length
and K-value. The entity based mode is generally more constrained than the PVI
based mode, given the available parameters each mode provides access to.

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Project Exercise - Draw Vertical Curves


In this exercise you will create vertical curves for the FG Main Street profile.

1. Open drawing Profiles-4-Curves.dwg.

2. Select the Main-FG-CL profile (cyan colored).

3. Click on the Geometry Editor on the Profile contextual ribbon.

4. Click , the drop-down arrow next to Draw Fixed Parabola (3Points),


point to More Free Vertical Curves, click Free Vertical Parabola (PVI based).

5. Click near the PVI at station 2+50.

6. Type 200 for the length.

7. Click near the PVI at station 11+40.

8. Type 400 for the length.

9. Press Enter to end the command.

The profile labels will update with the vertical curve data. You can use the diamond grip
at the center of the text to move the text labels if you do not like where they are
positioned by default. The square grip stretches all labels off and creates a leader.

Figure 8.16: Vertical Curve Label

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Project Exercise - Edit Vertical Curve Data


In this exercise you will edit the vertical curve lengths and K values by using the Profile
Grid View in entity based mode.

1. Open drawing Profiles-5-Edits.dwg.

2. Select the Main-FG-CL profile (cyan colored).

3. In the Profile contextual ribbon, under the Modify Profile panel, select the
Geometry Editor button.

4. Click the Profile Grid View toolbutton ( ).

5. In the row noted as No. 5, double-click the cell under the Profile Curve Length
column (currently shown as 400'), and revise the value to 450'.

6. In the row noted as No. 2, double-click the cell under the K Value column
(currently shown as 44.456), and revise the value to 100.

7. Note that a Could Not Solve error is returned, indicating that the resultant curve
could not be created within the limits of the incoming and/or outgoing tangents.
Click OK to dismiss the error.

8. Repeat Step 6, but attempt a K Value of 50 instead.

9. Note the revised curve length based upon the revision made in step 8. Change
this value (rounding up) to 230. The end product should mirror what is shown in
Figure 8.17 below.

Figure 8.17: Profile Grid Editor-PVI Based

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Profile View Style


The profile view style determines the appearance of the grid system, the profile view title,
and the labeling of the axes. The style also controls the vertical exaggeration of the
profile, and the vertical scale. The equation below demonstrates their relationship, hence
revising the vertical scale will affect the vertical exaggeration, and vice versa.

As an example, if the drawing scale is set at 1 = 40 and the desired vertical scale is 1 =
4, the vertical exaggeration will be 10. If you wish to display different profiles with
different vertical exaggerations in the same drawing, then you need to create a profile
view style for each.

Project Exercise - Edit a Profile View Style


In this exercise, you will change the profiles vertical exaggeration to 1 and edit the
display settings to show vertical grid lines at the horizontal geometry points. For
example, the grid will appear at the beginning and end of vertical curves.

1. Open drawing Profiles-6-View Style.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Profile View,
expand Profile View Styles, right-click Land Desktop Profile View. Click
Edit.

3. On the Graph tab, set the Vertical exaggeration value to 1.

4. On the Display tab, set Grid at Horizontal Geometry Point to be visible.

5. Set Bottom Axis Annotation Horizontal Geometry Point to be visible.

6. Change the Bottom Axis Annotation Horizontal Geometry Point layer to the
C-ROAD-PROF-GRID-GEOM layer.

7. Click OK.

Displaying grid lines at geometry points can be useful for conforming to existing grade at
key locations along the profile. The C-ROAD-PROF-GRID-GEOM layer can be set to
no plot, turned off in the style, or frozen when you do not want it to display.

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Profile View Bands


Profile bands display additional profile information pertaining to the alignment,
summarized in a band below or above the profile. A typical use of a profile band is to
show the existing ground elevations relative to the finished ground elevations at regular
station intervals.

Figure 8.18: Profile View Band, Elevations and Stations

Bands can also be used to show cut and fill data, left and right offset profile data,
superelevation data, horizontal or vertical geometry data, section data, and pipe network
data. Data bands can be managed through the Profile View Properties of a particular
profile view object by selecting the profile view, right-clicking, and choosing Profile
View Properties. On the Bands tab, you may either apply a band set, or create
individual bands by selecting a Band type: and a corresponding option under Select
band style:.

Profile Band Styles


The Profile Band Style controls the data shown in a band, and the formatting of said data
as it will be shown in the drawing. A good Civil 3D template should include a variety of
predefined profile band styles.

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Project Exercise - Add Profile View Data Bands


In this exercise, you will add data bands to show information for the left and right sample
offset profiles in a drawing.

1. Open drawing Profiles-7-Bands.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Alignments,
expand Centerline Alignments, expand Main Street CL, expand Profile Views,
right-click Main Street CL. Click Properties.

3. On the Bands tab, under Select band style:, select Land Desktop Left
Sampling, and click Add>>.

4. In the dialog that appears, under Profile 1:, select Main-EG-L-50, and click
OK.

5. Repeat steps 3 to 4 selecting the style Land Desktop Right Sampling for step 3,
and selecting Main-EG-R-50' for step 4.

6. Match the settings in Figure 8.19.

Figure 8.19: Profile View Bands

7. Click OK.

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Label Sets
Like alignments, various profile label types can be automatically placed along a profile to
display its geometric information. For example, tangent grade labels, PVI grade breaks,
and vertical curve labels can be included in a profile label set, such that all the profile
features will be labeled at once. Once a label set is applied to a profile, the various
components can be individually added or removed from the profile independent of other
profiles or profile views.

Label sets are found for alignment, profile, and section objects in Civil 3D.

NOTE:
When you first created your finished grade profile, you selected a label set called
Complete Label Set, which includes labels for grade, grade break points and vertical
curve labels.

Figure 8.20: Complete Label Set

Station Elevation, and Depth Labels


Additional labels can be added as needed to call out station and elevation or depth in
areas of interest.

For example, depth labels can be used to callout the finished ground cover over a pipe.
Styles that fall under "Depth" can also be used to label slopes and grades. Note that these
label styles fall under the Profile View object.

On the Profiles menu, point to Add Profile View Labels, and click Add Profile View
Labels. Select the necessary label type and label style, then click Add. A good Civil
3D template will at least include label styles for station and elevation, depth, grade and
slope.

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How Do I?
How do I change the vertical scale of a profile view style?
The Profile View style controls the vertical exaggeration of the profile. See page 162,
Project Exercise - Edit a Profile View Style.

How do I display the title of my profile views?


The Profile View style determines whether or not the title of the profile view will be
shown.

In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Profile View, expand
Profile View Styles, right-click your profile view style. Click Edit.

For the title of the profile to show, on the Display tab, the Graph Title needs to be
turned on.

On the Title Annotation tab, Title content: field sets the title text to be shown.

Note that by default, the Land Desktop Profile View style uses the title for the datum
block.

How do I copy an existing profile to use as a design profile?


Use the following steps to copy an existing ground profile.

1. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click on the Profile dropdown and select
Profile Creation Tools.

2. Set up the new profile.

3. Click OK.

4. Select the existing ground profile you want to copy.

5. On the Profile contextual ribbon, on the Modify Profile panel, click on the
Geometry Editor button.

6. Click (Copy Profile).

7. Select a station range.

8. Select Overwrite existing profile.

9. Select the profile you created in steps 1 through 3.

10. Click OK.

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The profile is now created. Steps 1 through 3 are important so that the profile can be
used as a design profile in the drawing.

How do I draw two profile lines on top of each other?


A profile is much like a mathematical function. There can only be one elevation for a
given station. This means that if you need two separate profile lines, then you will need
two separate profile objects or profile views.

Watch for the name of the profile on the Profile Layout Tools, to help you figure out
which profile you are drawing.

How do I delete a profile segment?


There are two methods to delete an individual profile segment. One is to hold the CTRL
key and select the segment, then use the AutoCAD Erase command.

The other is as follows below.

1. Select the profile.

2. On the Profile contextual ribbon, on the Modify Profile panel, click on the
Geometry Editor button.

3. Select the Delete Entity tool button ( ) from the Profile Layout Tools toolbar.

4. Click on the segment to delete.

It is not always possible to delete every segment using these methods when constraints
exist on the profile. For example, a tangent might have a vertical curve attached to it.
This means that you will not be able to delete the tangent until the vertical curve is
deleted.

How do I delete a single label that is part of a label set?


Hold the CTRL key and select the label(s) individually that you want to delete, then use
the AutoCAD Erase command.

How do I reset profile labels after deleting a single label?


1. In the drawing, select any part of the profile. Right-click, and select Edit
Labels.

2. Choose the style from which labels were removed, and select Reset.

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How do I move a label to avoid a conflict?


Selecting a single label and grip editing will drag the label away and create a leader. If
this is not desired, then the style needs to be modified or a different label style needs to
be set up. To disable the leader for a particular style:

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand Profile, expand
Label Styles, expand the label type to access the styles, right-click the style, and
click Edit.

2. On the Dragged State tab, expand Leader.

3. For the Visibility, choose false.

4. Expand Dragged State Components.

5. For the Display, choose Stacked Text.

How do I change the length for a vertical curve segment?


See Page 1611, Project Exercise - Edit Vertical Curve Data.

How do I run reports?


1.If the Toolbox tab is not shown on Toolspace, then on the General menu, click
Toolbox.

2.On the Toolbox tab, expand Reports Manager, expand Profile. Right-click the
report that you want to run. Click Execute.

3.Click OK.

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CHAPTER 9 Corridors
In this chapter, you will learn how to do the following:

Create and Edit Assemblies from Subassemblies

Create and Edit a Corridor

Create a Corridor Surface and Surface Boundary

View Corridor Sections

Extract Objects from a Corridor

Corridors are used to model improvements that follow an alignment in a generally


consistent pattern, such as for the following examples:

Roads

Levees

Trails

Berms

Channels

Figure 9.1: Corridor

With a corridor model, items such as earthwork and material quantities can be calculated,
and design sections, surface models, and view designs, can be generated in a dynamically
interactive and heavily automated process.

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Corridor Prerequisites
Before starting a corridor model, the basic design elements must be in place. These
include an alignment to define the horizontal path of the corridor, a design profile to
control vertical elevations, and an existing ground surface.

Assemblies
An assembly is a cross-sectional design feature that is built from a collection of parts
referred to as subassemblies. For example, a roadway assembly might have a top layer of
asphalt, an aggregate rock base, a concrete curb and gutter, and daylight cut/fill slope to
catch the existing ground.

Civil 3D includes pre-defined assemblies and subassemblies available from the Tool
Palettes. Subassemblies have a variety of geometric parameters (e.g. depths, widths,
slopes, etc.) that can be set to match typical design constraints. In addition,
subassemblies can have parameters allowing them to behave dynamically (e.g. horizontal
and vertical transitions, and superelevations). It is important to choose the proper
subassemblies to meet your design needs.

To better understand the various properties and parameters of the default subassemblies
found in Civil 3D, a help reference specific to this program feature has been provided,
and is accessible via the following:

1. Open the Tool Palette (CTRL+3).

2. Right -click on the subassembly, and click Help.

Figure 9.2: Subassembly Help

If the pre-defined subassemblies do not meet your design criteria, additional


subassemblies may be defined with the Create Subassembly from Polyline command
on the Corridors menu, or programmed in VBA or .NET.

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Project Exercise: Creating an Assembly


In the following exercise, you will build a symmetrical road assembly using
subassemblies. Note that since the assembly is symmetrical, this exercise will initially
focus on building up the right side of the assembly only.

1. Open drawing Corridors-1-Assembly.dwg.

2. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click on the Assembly drop-down and
click the Create Assembly button, and match Figure 9.3 below for the settings
in the ensuing dialog box.

Figure 9.3: Assembly Creation

3. Click OK.

4. When prompted to Specify assembly baseline location, pick a point inside the
circle in the drawing, as in Figure 9.4. This will create a marker, which is
essentially the assembly. The location of this marker, relative to the
subassemblies which comprise the full assembly, is the attachment point by which
the assembly will be connected to the main horizontal alignment. In this case, it
is the centerline of the road.

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Figure 9.4: Assembly Base Point

5. On the Home tab, Palettes panel, click the Tool Palettes button to toggle on or
use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + 3. Right click on the sidebar of the palette and
make sure the correct subassemblies menu is selected.

6. On the Lanes tab of Tool Palettes, click the LaneInsideSuperMultiLayer


subassembly. The Properties dialog appears, displaying the parameters for the
subassembly, allowing you to specify the side, width, slope, and other aspects of
the subassembly geometry.

7. Match the settings in Figure 9.5.

NOTE:
Civil 3D now allows values of 0 for various subassembly dimensions.

Figure 9.5: Sub Assembly Parameters

8. Select the marker point in the middle of the assembly to attach the subassembly
(see Figure 9.6).

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Figure 9.6: Marker Point

9. On the Curbs tab of Tool Palettes, click on the subassembly


UrbanCurbGutterGeneral.

10. In the Properties dialog, set the Subbase Extension to 0, Dimension B to 35,
and Dimension E to 7.

11. To attach the curb to the pavement section, select the circular marker at the top-
right corner of the pavement subassembly (representative of the edge of
pavement).

Figure 9.7: Lane Maker Point

12. On the Curbs tab of Tool Palettes, click the UrbanSidewalk subassembly. Set
the width to 5.5, then select the top back of curb marker on the curb/gutter
subassembly.

Note: The subsequent attachment of subassemblies in steps 11 and 12 above


demonstrates that in general, a subassembly is attached to another by matching up its
top surface feature to the next adjacent subassembly's top surface feature (i.e. finish
grade point to finish grade point).

13. On the Daylight tab of Tool Palettes, click the DaylightMaxWidth


subassembly. Change the cut slope to 2:1, and select the top back-of-walk
marker on the sidewalk subassembly. The right half of the street assembly is now
complete.

14. To complete the full, symmetrical assembly, select all the subassemblies on the
right (do not select the assembly marker). Right-click, and select Mirror.

15. Select the assembly baseline marker as the mirror plane. The result should look
like the following:

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Figure 9.8: Finished Assembly

NOTES:

In the previous exercise, the geometric properties of the subassemblies were specified in
the properties dialog immediately after being selected from Tool Palettes, and prior to
attaching the subassemblies to the growing assembly. Alternatively, the geometric
properties can still be established and/or modified after attachment, simply by
editing/modifying a particular subassembly via the AutoCAD Properties dialog.

The geometry values for a subassembly such as width or depth may be entered in either
feet or inches. If the default units are in feet, entering a value of 6 means 6 feet, while
entering a value of 6 (with the inch mark ["]) will automatically be converted to 0.5'.

When specifying a desired slope value (e.g. 2:1), it is not necessary to type the value in
the run:rise format. Typing a single value implies it is the run value to a rise of 1 (e.g.
typing 4 is understood by the program to mean 4:1).

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Editing Assemblies and Subassemblies


There are three methods to edit subassemblies that have already been added to an
assembly:

1. The AutoCAD Properties dialog allows editing of each of the subassemblies'


components to change geometry such as slope, depth, and width. The side
property of a subassembly cannot be changed here.

2. The Subassembly Properties dialog allows at least the same degree of editing as
the AutoCAD Properties dialog, but with the inclusion of the side property.

3. The Civil 3D Assembly Properties dialog allows at least the same degree of
editing as the Subassembly Properties dialog, but with the ability to view and edit
the properties of all the individual subassemblies that make up the full assembly.

The latter two allow you to change the name of the subassemblies. It is helpful to give
subassemblies specific and intuitive names, especially in a complex corridor, in order to
have a clear view of the various elements you are working with including transitions and
targets.

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Project Exercise: Name the Subassemblies


In this exercise, you will edit an assembly to assign unique, descriptive names for its
subassemblies.

1. Open drawing Corridors-2-Name.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Assemblies,
right-click Main Street Symmetrical, and click Properties.

3. On the Construction tab, right-click LaneInsideSuper (5), click


Rename and match the name shown in Figure 9.9

4. Repeat step 3 for all of the subassemblies.

Figure 9.9: Rename Assemblies

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Project Exercise: Create a Corridor


In this exercise, you will build a corridor model of a roadway using the Main Street
Symmetrical assembly, applied to horizontal and vertical alignments.

1. Open the drawing called Corridors-3-Create.dwg.

2. On the Home tab > Create Design > Select Corridor.

The Create Corridor command is very similar, but allows you to set corridor
frequency, specify regions with different assemblies, and/or add multiple baseline
alignments. These same options are available by editing a simple corridor after it is
created.

3. Name the corridor Master Corridor and click OK.

4. Select an alignment from the list and choose the Main Street CL alignment.

5. Select the profile from the list and choose the Main-FG-CL profile.

6. Select the assembly from the list and choose the Main Street
Symmetrical assembly, and click OK.

The Baseline and Region Parameters dialog appears, allowing you to edit the newly
created corridor.

7. Set the target daylight surface, as well as target alignments and profiles for
transitioning subassemblies, as seen in Figure 9..

Figure 9.10: Baseline and Region Parameters

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8. Click <Click here to set all> next to surfaces as shown in Figure 9.11.

Figure 9.11: Corridor Targets

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9. Choose the EG surface, and click OK.

You have just built a corridor. Youll notice lines running perpendicular to the Main
Street alignment at regular intervals (links), as well as lines parallel to the alignment
representing the corridor feature lines such as the edge of pavement, top of curb, and
daylight line.

The object viewer is useful to check for errors in the corridor. Click on one of the
links to select the corridor, right-click, and choose Object Viewer. Orbit, zoom and
pan to see what the corridor model looks like in 3D. Notice that the object viewer
does not refresh quickly for a corridor object. Looking at a surface object inside of
the object viewer does not require as much computing power.

NOTE:
In step 3 you named the corridor Master Corridor. This is because most Civil 3D
users prefer to put all of their roads into one corridor drawing, particularly if they connect
at intersections. They then turn the calculation of baselines and regions off in the
Corridor Properties.

At the end of this exercise you will find that there is an error in the event viewer,
1+00.00': Intersection with target could not be computed. This is because there is not
enough information sampled for EG at the right side of the noted station.

Figure 9.12: Corridor Object

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Editing Corridors
Once the initial corridor is built, it is often necessary to go back and modify some of the
design parameters, particularly to fine-tune the model.

In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Corridors, right-
click your corridor, and select Properties.

Information Tab
The information tab displays the name of the corridor, the description and style.

Parameters Tab
Specifies the baseline alignments, profiles and assemblies used in the corridor.

Baselines
A baseline is composed of a main alignment and a profile that the corridor follows. To
add a baseline, click .

Regions
Regions are used to specify the range of an alignment to be used as a corridor model,
along with the assembly that will be applied to that particular range.

There are several methods to set regions. One is to right-click on a baseline and select
Add Region. Another method is to right-click on a region and use either the Insert
Region - Before/After, or Split Region commands.

After using any of the above commands, the noted station ranges should be verified for
correctness.

Frequency
Frequency controls how often the corridor is sampled along the alignment, which
corresponds to how often links are created. The Set all Frequencies button specifies the
sampling interval for the entire corridor (frequency is actually a misnomer). Note that
the frequency settings also include provision for adding critical geometry points.

Increasing the frequency of sampling improves the accuracy of the model, but also
increases the time it will take the computer to process the corridor. Sampling too many
sections may cause the program to stop responding.

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Targets

Targets can be thought of as items that subassemblies attach to or seek out. Note that
there are three main types of targets - Surfaces, Width or Offset Targets, and Slope or
Elevation Targets. Surface targets most commonly pertain to daylight subassemblies.
Width or Offset Targets serve to facilitate horizontal (lateral) transitions that are not
parallel to the main alignment. Slope or Elevation Targets serve to facilitate vertical
transitions that are not parallel to the main profile. The Set all Targets button is used to
specify targets for the entire corridor. Otherwise, targets can also be set on a per baseline
or per region basis by clicking the corresponding button under the Target column. You
can also set corridor targets through XREFs; if the entity in the XREF changes, the
corridor will update.

Overrides
The Overrides column displays stations for which the default assembly has been modified
through View/Edit Corridor Sections.

Codes Tab
The codes tab displays the link, point, and shape codes of the subassemblies that make up
the corridor, as well as the styles and materials associated with each code. Here you can
choose a different Code Set Style to control the corridor display.

Feature Lines Tab


The Feature Lines tab displays each of the feature lines included in the subassemblies that
make up the corridor. Here you can exclude specific feature lines from the model,
specify feature line styles, and control branching.

Surfaces and Boundaries Tabs


See the exercise on generating corridor surfaces, p. 181.

Slope Patterns Tab


Slope patterns can be added to indicate the direction of grade in the plan. For example, a
slope pattern can be used to show whether the daylight slope is towards or away from the
corridor.

Figure 9.13: Slope Pattern

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Editing Corridors with the Ribbon


Corridor Ribbon
An alternative way to modify and work with corridors is to use the corridor ribbon panels
(see Figure 9.14). To access this ribbon, simply select a corridor object in the drawing,
which will enable the context sensitive ribbon. Here you will find several panels with
corridor oriented commands including some useful in editing and modifying the selected
corridor.

The Corridor Ribbon includes the following panels: General Tools, Modify Corridor,
Modify Region, Modify Corridor Sections, Analyze, and Launch Pad.

Figure 9.14: Corridor Ribbon Panel

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Project Exercise: Create a Corridor Surface and Boundary


In this exercise, you will generate both a surface and surface boundary from a corridor
model.

1. Open drawing Corridors-4-Surface.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Corridors,
right-click Master Corridor. Click Properties.

3. On the Surfaces tab, click the Create a corridor surface button , and set the
corridor surface name to TOP as shown in Figure Figure 9.15 below.

4. For Data type:, choose Links.

5. For Specify code:, choose Top.

6. Click .

7. Match the settings in Figure 9.15, and click OK.

Figure 9.15: Corridor Properties

A surface is created based on the top links of the corridor model (note the new entry
in the collection under Surfaces in Prospector). Notice the contours extend beyond
the roadway's daylight line. A boundary will help clean this up.

8. Repeat step 2.

9. On the Boundaries tab, right-click on the TOP surface, point to Add


Automatically, and click Daylight.

10.Click OK.

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A 3d view of the resulting surface should look similar to Figure 9.16.

Figure 9.16: 3D Corridor

NOTE:
In step 5, only a link was used to create the surface. In certain cases, it is necessary to
use both links and features lines to generate a corridor surface. If a corridor surface built
only from links does appear to be modeling correctly, particularly in curved areas, try
including features lines from the corridor model.

Multiple surfaces can be created from one corridor. For example, a code such as datum
may be used to generate a surface representing rough grade. Usually only one code is
used to generate a particular corridor surface.

The extent of the corridor surface is now limited to the daylight lines on either side of the
roadway. Boundaries may also be added interactively by guiding the mouse along the
boundary feature line, or using a closed polyline. These options are useful for corridors
with multiple baselines, or to limit the surface to a specific area. The add automatically
option is not available for corridor surfaces with multiple baselines. In such cases, use
the Add Interactively or Add From Polygon routines.

Lastly, note that the corridor surface is dynamically linked to the corridor model. As the
corridor model changes, the surface model will change accordingly. Additional surface
edits can also be made by adding data to the surface definition.

If necessary, a 'detached' (i.e. non-dynamically linked) corridor surface can also be


extracted from a corridor model via:

Home tab > Create Ground Data panel > Surface drop-down > Create Surface from
Corridor

Command: CORRIDOREXTRACTSURFACES

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Viewing and Editing Corridor Sections


The ability to view corridor sections is an important tool in the process of verifying that
the corridor is modeled accurately, and to identify regions where an alternate assembly is
necessary. On a station-by-station basis you can also override the default corridor
settings to add/remove subassemblies, and/or edit the subassembly geometry.

Access the command via: Select the corridor. In the contextual ribbon, on the Modify
Corridor Sections panel, click the Section Editor button.

The ribbon interface shown in Figure 9.17.

Figure 9.17: View/Edit Corridor Section

NOTE:
Overriding the assembly for an individual station is fine if you only need to change a
section here and there. If you need to do it for a range of sections, it is best to implement
such a change by modifying the Corridor Properties, and adding a region in the
Parameters tab.

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Project Exercise: View Corridor Sections


In this exercise, you will view corridor sections and remove the labels.

1. Open drawing Corridors-5-Sections.dwg.

2. Type VPORTS in the command line. Press Enter.

3. Click Two: Vertical.

4. Click OK.

5. Select the Master Corridor. In the contextual ribbon, on the Modify


Corridor Sections panel, click the Section Editor button.

6. Click Edit/View Options.

7. For the Code Set Style, choose Basic, Click OK.

8. Change the station range to 10+00.00 using pull-down in Figure 9.18. Note
the appearance of a section line in the plan view, corresponding to the location of
the current section view.

Figure 9.18: Station Selection

9. Click Close.

You have looked at the different cross sections for stations on the corridor and exited the
command.

NOTES:
In steps 2 through 4 you implemented multiple model space viewports, allowing you to
simultaneously view the corridor plan and corridor sections.

After exiting the View/Edit Corridor Sections command, sometimes the view does not
return to plan view. To return to plan view, follow the instructions below:

1. Type UCS.
2. Type W for World.
3. Type Plan.
4. Type W.

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Corridor Utilities
Data can be extracted from a corridor object for use elsewhere, such as grading. Such
utilities are accessed via:

Create Polyline from Corridor


Home tab > Create Design Panel drop-down > Create Polyline from Corridor

Creates a 3D polyline from a selected corridor feature line.

Create Grading Feature Line from Corridor


Home tab > Create Design Panel > Feature Line drop-down > Create Feature Line from
Corridor

Similar to the above utility, this command creates a feature line that can then be used as
a baseline or target in a grading group. The option exists to have the feature line maintain
a dynamic link to the corridor.

Create Alignment from Corridor


Home tab > Create Design Panel > Alignment drop-down > Create Alignment from Corridor

Creates a non-dynamically linked horizontal alignment from a corridor feature line. Note
that the resultant alignment geometry is based on the corridor's main alignment, as long
as no alignment widening or corridor transition is affecting the feature. Note also the
option to sample/create the profile data of the selected feature.

Create Profile from Corridor


Home tab > Create Design Panel > Profile drop-down > Create Profile from Corridor

Creates a profile that is associated to the main alignment and its profile view. The
extracted corridor profile will update as the corridor changes.

Create COGO Points from Corridor


Home tab > Create Ground Data Panel > Points drop-down > Create COGO Points from
Corridor

Creates point objects at each of the specified point codes of a corridor. Points can be
limited to a specific range of stations, or created for the entire length of the corridor.

Create Detached Surfaces from Corridor


Home tab > Create Ground Data Panel > Surfaces drop-down > Create Surface from
Corridor

Creates a non-dynamically linked surface model, extracted from a pre-existing corridor


surface.

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How Do I?
How do I mirror a subassembly?
You can mirror subassemblies with the following steps:

1. In the drawing, select the subassemblies that you wish to mirror.

2. Right-click, then click Mirror.

3. Click the marker point the mirrored subassemblies should attach to.

How do I reposition a subassembly if it has been placed


incorrectly (e.g. the wrong marker was selected in the process of
attaching it to the assembly)?
A subassembly can be relocated with the following steps:

1. In the drawing, select the subassembly to be moved.

2. Right-click, then click Move to.

3. Click the marker point the subassemblies should attach to.

The process above can be applied to a selection of multiple subassemblies.

How do I copy subassemblies to another assembly?


Subassemblies can be copied to another assembly by using the Copy to command, found
in the right mouse button context sensitive menu. The procedure is similar in concept to
moving subassemblies.

How do I copy an assembly between drawings?


One of the easiest ways to copy an assembly to another drawing via Tool Palettes.
Simply select the desired assembly by its baseline marker, and drag-and-drop the
assembly baseline into a tool palette. From that tool palette, the assembly can be brought
into any other drawing.

How do I stretch/transition a corridor with targets?


Corridor transitioning is a more advanced topic that is generally not covered in the
introduction course or book.

How do I automatically add a corridor surface boundary?


See p.183, Project Exercise: Create a Corridor Surface and Boundary.

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CHAPTER 10 Sections
A cross-section is a two-dimensional representation of a three-dimensional model at a
given location, typically created by a cutting plane that is perpendicular to the path of an
alignment. In Civil 3D, with respect to corridors, a section will show the internal
structure of a corridor at a particular station. They are useful for demonstrating the
proposed design changes relative to the existing terrain, and for determining quantity
takeoffs. Sections are generally sampled at specified intervals and at critical points where
geometric transitions occur, but can also be sampled at any location the user desires.

In this chapter, you will learn how to do the following:

Create Sample Lines

Edit Sample Lines

Edit Sample Line Groups

Create Section Views

Edit Section Views

Generate Volume Tables and Reports for Quantity Takeoffs

Figure 10.1: Section Line and Section View

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Sample Lines
Sample lines are 2-D plan representations of the locations along a corridor that cross
sections will be produced for.

The swath width is the horizontal distance sampled to the left and right of the alignment,
and determines the total width of your sections. In general, choose a width that includes
the widest portion of your corridor model, but does not extend beyond the edge of your
existing ground surface.

Note that swath widths can be modified to vary from section to section. In addition,
sample lines can be skewed to be non-perpendicular to the path of the alignment.

Sample Line Groups


A sample line group is generally a collection of sample lines that spanning a range of
stations. The sample line group - by its properties - facilitates ease of control over
various settings that will dictate the content and appearance of the sections it holds.
These settings include the object models and annotation that will be shown on the
sections, and their styles. Sample line group settings also control the properties of the
sample lines themselves. Sample line groups are central to the management and use of
sections. Much of the control that is exercised over sections is accomplished through
sample line groups.

The end product of sample lines and sample line groups is the production of sections.
Sections are essentially like profiles in that they convey vertical information. Whereas a
Civil 3D profile object conveys vertical information along a horizontal alignment, Civil
3D sections convey vertical information along a sample line that typically lies transverse
to the horizontal alignment or corridor model.

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Project Exercise: Creating a Sample Line Group


In the next exercise, you will learn how to generate and edit sample lines.

1. Open the drawing called Sections-1-Sample Lines.dwg. Note that the


drawing contains an existing ground surface, alignment, profile, assembly, and
corridor model.

2. On the Home tab > Profile & Section Views > click Sample Lines.

3. Press Enter to select an alignment from a list, select the Main Street CL
alignment and click OK.

4. Match the settings in Figure 10.2.

Figure 10.2: Create Sample Line Group


5. Click OK.
6. In the Sample Line Tools toolbar, click , and choose By range of stations.

7. For the Station Range, leave From alignment start and To alignment end at
true, so the entire alignment is sampled. Set the Left Swath Width and Right
Swath Width to 60 feet. Set the Sampling Increment to 100 feet for Tangents
and Curves, and click OK.

8. Press Enter to finish specifying stations.

The Sample Line Tools toolbar will close automatically and there should now be a
collection of sample lines in the drawing, belonging to the sample line group that was
created.

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Editing Sample Lines


Zoom in to one of the sample lines and select it, thereby enabling its object grips. As
with other objects, these grips perform certain functions:

1. The arrow grips on either end of a sample line increase or decrease the swath
width.

2. The squares grips on either end move the individual sample line end points
(thereby allowing skewed sections). Note that section views of skewed sample
lines will not display corridor objects.

3. The diamond grip located at the intersection of a sample line and the base
alignment changes the station location of the sample line along the alignment.

To view and change other properties of a sample line, select it, right-click, and choose
Sample Line Properties. Below is a brief outline of the tabs under the Sample
Line Properties dialog, and their functions:

Information
Name: is simply a text field, which by default typically contains the station value of
where the sample line was initially set. Note that if the sample line location is
modified to a new station location, the sample line Name will not update. Object
style controls the appearance of the sample line objects.

Sample Line Data


Displays the Group Name and Alignment to which the sample line belongs. The
Sample line number: and Station: at which the sample line is located is also indicated.

Sections
Displays the data sources that have been sampled. The update mode, layer, section
style, station value, left and right offset limits, and elevation ranges of the data
source(s) are also given.

Section Views
Provides a list of corresponding section view objects that have been created in the
drawing, and provides control on what layer the section exists, along with section
view style, band set, and volume table settings.

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Editing Sample Line Groups


To edit the properties of a Sample Line Group, select an existing sample line, right-click,
and choose Sample Line Group Properties. Below is a brief outline of the tabs under the
Sample Line Group Properties dialog, and their functions:

Information
Displays the sample line group name and description.

Sample Lines
Shows the number, name, and location of the sample lines belonging to the group. The
layer that sample lines exist on, their style, and swath width settings can be edited
individually or in groups/multiples via this dialog. Sample line Group Labels can also be
edited.

Sections
Shows the surface(s) and corridor(s) that are sampled by the group, and allows you to
change the style, update mode, and layer of all the sampled objects. You can include
additional surfaces or corridors with the Sample more sources button.

Section Views
Lists the individual section views that have been generated in the drawing. Here you can
change the section style, band set, section display, and add a marker for the grade point of
an offset profile you wish to show in the section view. For example, you could use a
marker to represent an electrical conduit running along the street in your sections based
on an alignment and profile for the conduit.

Materials List
Shows any quantity takeoff criteria included in the group for generating volumes. See
the section at the end of this chapter on section volumes.

Once the sampling is complete, you are ready to generate section views.

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Creating Section Views


There are several methods of creating Section Views. Section views can be created
individually (one specified station at a time), or in multiples. When creating multiple
section views (by a range of stations), options exist to either produce a simple array of
section views, or to have them laid out in a pre-determined configuration based upon a
known plot area (i.e. semi-automated sheet setup).

The following steps will produce individual sections:

1. On the Home tab, Profile & Section Views panel, click on the Section Views
drop-down, and click on the Create Section View button.

2. Specify the alignment, sample line group, and the location of the desired section
either by sample line name or station value.

3. As necessary, specify a section view name, description, layer, and section view
style.

4. In the subsequent dialogs (via the Next > button), specify the section's offset and
elevation ranges, sampled data, data bands, and volume tables to display.

5. Lastly, click the Create Section View button, and choose an insertion point for
the Section View object.

The section view style controls settings such as vertical exaggeration, grid lines,
annotation, and the components displayed in the section. The style can be edited here, or
by selecting an existing section view (the grid lines, border, or text), right-clicking, and
selecting Edit Section View Style.

Multiple sections are created via the following:

On the Home tab, Profile & Section Views panel, click on the Section Views drop-
down, and click on the Create Multiple Views button.

The options in the subsequent dialogs are very similar to those for creating a single view,
but instead of choosing a single station, a range of stations is specified. A Group Plot
Style must also be specified, which determines how the sections views will be laid out in
the drawing. Group Plot Styles can further be paired with a production drawing template
in order to have the sections laid out such that they will fit onto the standardized sheet.

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Editing Section Views


To edit an individual section view, select either the grid lines, border, or grid label text,
right-click, and choose Section View Properties. Below is a brief outline of the tabs
under the Section View Properties dialog, and their functions:

Information
Displays the name, description, and section view object style.

Offsets
Indicates the section view's main alignment, sample line group, sample line name and
station location. The section's plotted left and right limits are set here. Automatic sets
the section view width based upon the swath width and the section view styles grid
padding. Manual sets the width to the user specified value (ignoring grad padding
values).

Elevations
Sets the vertical range of the section. Automatic sets the section view height based upon
the minimum and maximum profile elevations encountered, and applies the grid padding
specified by the section view style. Manual sets the section view's vertical limits to the
user specified values.

Sections
Controls which of the sampled surfaces, corridors, and/or material sections are drawn in
the section, and which surface controls the grid clipping. You can also set the update
mode, layer, style, and label set (if applicable) for the individual section.

Bands
Displays the band sets included in the section, and allows you to add or remove bands.

Volume Tables
Controls the creation of tabulated volume information. The information can contain
incremental or cumulative volumes relative to the current station. Note that section
volumes will need to be processed in order to use this feature.

Profile Grade Lines


Adds a marker to the section based upon the relative location of an offset alignment and
profile.

Figure 10.3: Section View

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Project Exercise: Creating Section Views


In the next exercise, you will learn how to generate section views.

1. Open the drawing called Sections-2-Section Views.dwg.

2. On the Home tab, Profile & Section Views panel, click on the Section Views
drop-down, and click on the Create Multiple Views button.

3. For the Section view name, delete (<Next Counter(CP)>)


4. For the Section view style, select Land Desktop Sections.
5. Click Next >.
6. Set Placement Options to Draft, and Group Plot Style: to Plot All.
7. Click Next >.
8. Set the Offset range set to Automatic.
9. Click Next >.
10. For the Elevation Range, select User specified.
11. For the Height, type 60.
12. Click Next >.
13. Under the Change Labels column, set everything to _No Labels.
14. Deselect the section for the EX-ROAD surface.
15. For the Master Corridor Style, select All Codes with Hatching.
16. For the Master Corridor Top Surface style, select Finished Ground.
17. Click Next >.
18. For the Band Set, leave the band set to Offsets Only.
19. Click Create Section Views.
20. Click in the orange circle in the drawing.
In this exercise you created section views that do not have any labels attached to them. It
is likely that if you had the program automatically create labels for you, there would be
more information than you need. If necessary, individual labels can be added to sections
views via commands found in Annotate tab > Labels & Tables panel > Add Labels
drop-down > Section View > Add Section View Labels.

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Project Exercise: Generating Volume Reports


In this exercise you will extract a datum surface from a corridor which will be used to
calculate earthwork volumes (steps 1-18). You will also calculate the total amount of
construction material (based upon the composition of the assembly) required to build the
road (steps 19-41).

1. Open the drawing entitled Sections-3-volumes.dwg.

2. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Corridors,
right-click Master Corridor. Click Properties.

3. On the Surfaces tab, click Create a corridor surface.

4. For Data type:, choose Links. For Specify code:, choose Datum, and click

5. For the newly added datum surface, rename the surface to Master Corridor
Datum, set the surface style to _No Display, and mark the checkbox under Add
as Breakline.

6. On the Boundaries tab, right-click on the Master Corridor Datum


surface, point to Add Automatically, click Daylight.
7. Click OK.
8. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Alignments,
expand Centerline Alignments, expand Main Street CL, expand Sample
Line Groups, expand SL Collection Main Street, right-click Sections, click
Sample more sources.

9. Select Master Corridor Datum under Available sources:, and click Add,
then OK.
10. Go to the Analyze tab, Volumes and Materials panel, and click on the Compute
Materials button.

11. Choose the Main Street CL alignment, the SL Collection Main


Street sample line group, and click OK.

12. For the Quantity takeoff criteria:, select Earthworks.

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NOTE:
Three pre-defined Quantity Takeoff Criteria exist in this drawing; one for Cut/Fill
volumes, one for Earthworks, and one for a Material List. The Edit button will
show you how the quantity takeoff criteria are defined, and allow you to change cut and
fill factors to account for expansion and compaction.

13. Match the settings in Figure 10.4.

Figure 10.4: Volume Surface Selection

14. Select the check box under the column Curve correction tolerance.
15. Click OK.
16. Go to the Analyze tab, Volumes and Materials panel, and click on the Total
Volume button.
17. Accept the defaults for the table properties, and click OK.
18. Click a blank area of the drawing to place the table, and examine the results.

Figure 10.5: Volume Table

NOTE:
The cumulative cut volume is much greater than the fill volume in this example.
Experiment with moving the finished ground profile up and down to balance the
quantities. Make sure you update the corridor after modifying the profile by right-
clicking on the corridor in the Prospector tab of the Toolspace and clicking Rebuild, or
by turning on Rebuild Automatic.

You have just processed section volumes and created a volume table for earthwork
cuts and fills. Now you will process section volumes to calculate construction
material quantities.

19. Go to the Analyze tab, Volumes and Materials panel, and click on the Compute
Materials button.

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20. Choose the Main Street CL alignment, the SL Collection Main


Street sample line group, and click OK.

21. The dialog is now called Edit Material List


22. Click the Import another criteria button.
23. Select Material List.
24. Click OK.
25. Match the settings in Figure 10.6.

Figure 10.6: Materials

26. Click OK.


27. Select the check box under the column Curve Tolerance for the new material list
(same setting as step 14 above).

28. Rename the earthworks material list, Cut Fill Material.

29. Rename the material list Corridor Materials.

30. Click OK.


31. Go to the Analyze tab, Volumes and Materials panel, and click on the Material
Volume Table button.

32. For Select material list:, select Corridor Materials.

33. For Select a material:, select Pavement.

34. Click OK.


35. Click a blank portion of the drawing to place the table, and examine the results.

The previous table shows only the volumes for the Pavement material. The next
steps will create a report that displays the quantities for multiple components of the
corridor.

36. Go to the Analyze tab, Volumes and Materials panel, and click on the Volume
Report button.

37. For the material list, select Corridor Materials.

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38. Click .

39. Open Select Material.xsl.

40. Click OK.


41. If Internet Explorer asks if you want to run scripts, click Yes.
In this exercise you created a datum surface. Then you created a cut fill table in the
drawing. You also created a table in the drawing for the volume of the pavement
material, and an xml report with material volumes of multiple roadway components.

Figure 10.7: Cumulative Volumes

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How Do I?
How do I erase all my section views?
If you intend to erase all of the section views belonging to a Section View Group, DO
NOT use the AutoCAD ERASE command. Doing so will uselessly leave an entry of the
section view group in Prospector. The proper steps are as follows:

Toolspace Prospector tab for the Active Drawing Alignments Centerline


Alignments Your Alignment Sample Line Groups expand Your
Sample Line Group Section View Groups right-click Your Section
View Group, click Delete.

How do I add an additional surface to my section views?


When you add a surface to a drawing, it is not automatically sampled for sections in the
drawing. This is similar to a profile because you would have to create a new profile from
a surface if it is going to appear in the profile view.

To sample a surface for an existing sample line group, follow the steps below:

1. Toolspace Prospector tab for the Active Drawing Alignments


Centerline Alignments expand Your Alignment Sample Line
Groups right-click Your Sample Line Group, click Properties.

2. On the Sections tab, click Sample more sources.

3. Under Available sources:, select the surface that you want to sample, and click
Add.

How do I change all the labels for my section views?


When you first create your section views, you select all the labels for the sections. To
change these for all of the sections, follow the steps below.
1. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Alignments,
, expand Centerline Alignments, expand Your Alignment, expand Sample
Line Groups, right-click Your Sample Line Group. Click Properties.

2. On the Section Views tab, click for your Section View


Group.

3. For the desired surface section, under the Change Labels column, click
<Edit>.

4. Select a label set to apply.

5. Click Apply/OK as necessary and repeat for other surfaces.

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How do I place my sections on an appropriate sized sheet?


To place your sections on an appropriate sized sheet, you must have a drawing or
drawing template file with a layout of the page size that you plan on using to plot. In
conjunction, you must specify a group plot style, which will control how the sections are
'arrayed'. Both of the above will need to be specified when creating multiple section
views.

How do I make my sample line orthogonal to the alignment


direction?
Grip editing the end of a sample line allows for skewed (non-orthogonal) cross sections.
Skewed sample lines (and their sections) can be reset to be orthogonal to the alignment
by the following:

1. In the drawing, select the skewed sample line.

2. Right-click select Make Orthogonal.

How do I change the swath width on sample lines that are


already created?
If you grip edit your sample lines, then it is hard to geometrically reset the swath width to
an even number.

1. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Alignments,
expand Centerline Alignments, expand Your Alignment, expand Sample
Line Groups, right-click Your Sample Line Group. Click Properties.

2. On the Sample Lines tab, edit the left and right offsets.

The left and right offsets here are the swath widths.

How do I control how sections of projected AutoCAD solids are


displayed?
You can use the projection style to edit the display. This will cause a projected AutoCAD
solid to be drawn so that it uses the actual position of where the sample line crosses the
solid.

1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab for the Active Drawing, expand General,
expand Multipurpose Styles, expand Projection Styles. Right-click on a
projection style and click Edit.

2. On the Section tab, select AutoCAD Solids. Select the As Drawn option.

3. Select the Section check box, save the projection style and apply it to the
AutoCAD solids projected to sections.

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CHAPTER 11 - Grading
The grading tools in Civil 3D are typically used to create what are essentially surface
features in order to build surface models of things such as parking lots, ponds, and
subdivisions. Whereas corridors generate a finished ground surface that follows an
alignment in a regular pattern, grading can be used for modeling surfaces where the
designs do not follow a typical cross section.

Typically, the end goal of grading is to design a surface model in order to calculate
volumes, extract finished grade points/labels, produce contours, and/or conduct site
analysis.

In this chapter, you will learn about the following:

Creating and Managing Grading Groups

Creating and Editing Feature Lines

Grading Best Practices

Creating and Managing Grading Groups

Grading to an Existing Surface

Adding Proposed Feature Lines to a Surface

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Creating and Managing Sites


Sites are used to maintain a collection of Civil 3D objects that include alignments, feature
lines, grading groups, and parcels.

The following should be noted about Sites and the objects belonging to them:

1. All objects in a particular site share information with each other, and therefore
react to one another.
2. An object that belongs to one site, can not belong to another site.
3. In order to prevent grading objects and/or features lines from interacting with one
another, they need to be belong to separate sites.

Figure 11.1: Prospector Site Interface

Creating and Editing Feature Lines


Civil 3D grading is based on feature lines. Feature lines are special Civil 3D objects
(much like AutoCAD 3D polylines) containing 3-dimensional properties to help with
surface generation. Adding feature lines to a surface uses the same procedure as adding
breaklines to a surface. In essence, feature lines are basically smart breaklines. As the
user, you need to decide which object is easiest to work with. Take for example a flat
building pad that needs to be added to a surface model. It is quite easy to model such a
feature with a polyline. Since the building pad is simply a polyline at an elevation, it is
unnecessary to model it as or convert it into a feature line simply to add it to the surface.

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Figure 11.2: Feature Line to Polyline Relationships

Figure 11.2 describes the relationship between the different objects shown therein.

Drawing or Converting Objects to Feature Lines


Civil 3D gives you 3 choices with feature lines:

Home tab > Create Design panel > Feature Line drop-down

> Create Feature Line

> Create Feature Lines from Objects

> Create Feature Lines from Alignments

The Create Feature Line command is very powerful and can be used to create
breaklines for a surface. The command will create feature lines using slope, grade, a
difference in elevation, or an absolute elevation. The transition option will allow you to
delay specifying an elevation and interpolate elevations between a given starting and
ending elevation. Unlike 3d polylines, feature lines can have arcs.

The Create Feature Lines from Objects command is very similar to creating an
alignment from a polyline. Once an object is converted to a feature line, you can use the
feature line editing functions to edit elevations, flatten grades, etc.

Even if the feature line does not come out perfect when using these commands, it is
possible to change everything about a feature line using the edit feature line commands.

The Create Feature Lines from Alignments creates linked feature lines, which are not
discussed in this book.

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Editing Feature Lines


After selecting the feature line, the feature line editing commands are available under the
various sections of the Feature Line Contextual Ribbon, and our tabulated in Figure
11.3 with respect to their usage on various AutoCAD/Civil 3D objects. This should aid
the user in determining what object type fits best for the desired modeling.
Feature Parcel Survey 3D 2D Polylines
Lines Lines Figures Polylines
Elevation Editor X X X
Quick Elevation Edit X X
Edit Elevations X X X X
Set Grade/Slope Between Points X X X X
Set Elevation By Reference X X X X
Insert Elevation Point X X X X
Delete Elevation Point X X X
Insert High/Low Elevation Point X X X X
Raise/Lower X X X X
Set Elevation by Reference X X X X X
Raise/Lower by Reference X X X X X
Adjacent Elevations by Reference X X X X
Grade Extension by Reference X X X X
Elevations From Surface X X X X
Insert PI X X X X X
Delete PI X X X X X
Break X X X
Trim X X X
Join X X X X
Reverse X X X X X
Edit Curve X X X
Fillet X X X
Fit Curve X X X X X
Smooth X X
Weed X X X
Stepped Offset X X X X
Apply Feature Line Names X
Apply Feature Line Styles X
Remove Dynamic Link X
Add Feature Line to Surface as Breakline X
Convert 2D to 3D Polyline X
Convert 3D to 2D Polyline X
Edit Polyline Elevations X
Quick Profile X X X X X

Figure 11.3: Edit Feature Line/Polyline Commands

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Elevation Editor
The elevation editor is a useful tabular interface for modifying feature lines.

To invoke the dialog, select a feature line, right-click and click Elevation Editor.

The tools therein include routines to raise/lower a feature line, flatten grades/elevations,
add/remove elevation points, set elevations by a surface, and reverse the direction of a
feature line.

Figure 11.4: Edit Feature Line/Polyline Commands

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Feature Line Behavior


1. Feature lines that belong to the same site interact with one another. For example,
if two feature lines cross each other, they will agree on one elevation at that
crossing.

2. Feature lines allow for three dimensional curves. However, breakline definitions
to a surface model do not allow for curves. Therefore, when adding a feature line
with curves to a surface as a breakline, be sure to add vertices along curves as
needed (see Figure 11.5). The mid-ordinate distance controls tessellation along
the curve, and should be set as necessary to accurately model curves. Note that
the smaller the value, the more vertices are interpolated along a curve and the
greater the accuracy of the curve model. However, the greater the number of
vertices in the surface model, the longer it will take to process. Therefore, a
balance must be struck between the desired accuracy and the corresponding size
of the surface model, particularly for surfaces encompassing a large area.

Figure 11.5: Add Breakline to Surface

3. The direction in which a feature line is created is important when editing the
feature line. This is because edits to individual elevation points propagate
changes towards the end of a feature line. For example, trying to modify an
elevation transition going against the direction of a feature line. Therefore, it may
be necessary to reverse the feature line direction to accomplish some edits.

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Project Exercise - Create a Feature Line from an object


and set the elevation
In this exercise you will create a feature line from a polyline that is inside of an external
reference.

1. Open drawing Grading-1-Object.dwg.

2. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click the Feature Line drop-down and
click on the Create Feature Lines from Objects button.

3. Type X for XREF.

4. Select the polyline inside of the circle.

5. Press Enter.

6. Click OK.

7. Select the feature line, right click and select Elevation Editor.

8. Click the Raise/Lower button, .

9. Type 188 for the elevation, then <Enter>.

10. Click to dismiss the vista.

In this exercise, you copied a line from an external reference and turned it into a feature
line. You then raised the feature line to an elevation using the elevation editor. The
feature line that you just created is going to serve as the line that you grade from in the
future exercises.

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Grading Best Practices


One of the typical methods for conducting grading in Civil 3D is to first create the objects
that will facilitate the daylighting of the design. After these are created, they can be used
to create a grading group, which is the means by which the daylight modeling is
executed.

While the above address the periphery of a design, the interior areas of a site are typically
modeled by feature lines, and even additional grading groups.

Since a grading group can automatically create a surface, interior feature lines belonging
to the same model can then simply be added to this surface as breaklines (in the same
manner 2D and 3D polylines are added).

Note that certain grading commands may cause the program to stop responding. Be wary
that complicated geometry such as concave curves, features lines with many vertices
closely spaced or sharp corners can be problematic.

If the grading becomes complicated and causes the program to stop responding, try to
simplify the feature line that you are grading from as much as possible. In areas where
the automated grading routines are not producing the desired results, use manually
defined feature lines instead. Should "holes" develop in your grading model/surface, the
Create Infill command can be used to address these areas.

Figure 11.6: Grading Problem Areas

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Creating and Managing Grading Groups


Grading groups organize, and are a collection of grading objects. As shown in Figure
11.7 below, grading groups can automatically create surfaces based upon the data they
contain. Such surfaces can be used to calculate volumes.

To create a grading group, on the Prospector tab of Toolspace, expand Sites, expand the
appropriate site, right-click on Grading Groups, and choose New.

Figure 11.7: Creating a Grading Group

Tessellation spacing and angle refer to the distance between generated breaklines for
straight segments and the angle between breaklines for curved segments.

Figure 11.8: Tessellation Settings

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To manage your grading groups you must understand the functionality of various Civil
3D objects with respect to one another.

Figure 11.9: Grading Relationships

In the figure above, note that grading objects are part of the grading group. If you do not
want to include a grading object in a particular surface, it should be added to a different
grading group.

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Grading Object
After creating a grading object, a diamond will appear near the center of the grading
object. This diamond represents the whole of the grading object itself. The size of the
diamond depends on your zoom scale, and will update after a zoom with a REGEN.
Selecting the diamond will select the entire grading object, and make it easier to see what
the other parts of the grading object are.

Figure 11.10: Grading Object

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Project Exercise - Create a Grading Group and Grade to a


Surface
In this exercise you will create a grading group and grade to a surface.

1. Open drawing Grading-2-Group.dwg.

2. On the Home tab > Create Design > click the Grading dropdown menu and
select the Create Grading Group.

3. Match the settings in Figure 11.11.

Figure 11.11: Grading Group

4. Click OK.

5. Click OK to create the TIN surface.

6. From the Grading drop-down, select Grading Creation Tools. For grading
criteria, select Grade to Surface.

Figure 11.12: Grading Creation Tools

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7. Click the Create Grading button [ ].

8. Click the green feature line.

9. Click a point outside of the feature line to specify the grading side.

10. Press enter to accept Yes to apply it to the entire length.

11. Press enter to accept Slope for the Cut Format.

12. Type 4 for a slope of 4:1.

13. . Press enter to accept Slope for the Fill Format.

14. Type 4 for a slope of 4:1.

15. After the grading is completed, press <Esc> to terminate further use of the
routine.

NOTE:
In this exercise you graded a 3D feature line to daylight to the existing ground surface.
The target surface was specified in step 4 when you created the grading group, and set
EG as the volume base surface (i.e. the surface model to compare the grading model
against). You can also set the target surface by clicking the Set Target Surface button
on the Grading Creation Tools toolbar.

To revise the slopes of the grading object, selec the grading and click the Grading
Editor button on the contextual ribbon, and then follow the command prompt. The
slopes can be changed in the subsequent dialog (see Figure 11.13) without having to
recreate the grading object.

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Figure 11.13: Grading Editor

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Project Exercise - Use feature lines to model a finished ground


surface
In this exercise you will offset feature lines and add them to a finished ground surface
model of a pond. The feature lines represent hinge points on the inboard side of the pond
slope, and will ultimately have a section geometry that is shown in Figure 11.14 below.

Figure 11.14: Edge Section

1. Open drawing Grading-3-Feature Lines.dwg.

2. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click on the Feature Line drop-down,
and click on the Create Feature Line from Stepped Offset.
3. For the offset distance, type 20.
4. Select the green innermost feature line.
5. Click a point inside the center of the feature line.
6. Type S for Slope.
7. Type -4.
8. Press Enter.
9. Repeat steps 2 through 8 for the two remaining feature lines shown in Figure
11.14, using the Difference and Grade options as necessary.
10. In Toolspace, on the Prospector tab for the Active Drawing, expand Surfaces,
expand POND-FG, expand Definition, right-click Breaklines, and click Add.

11. Select the check box for Supplementing distance.


12. Type 10.
13. Click OK.

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14. Select the 4 green feature lines.


15. Press Enter to finish the command.
You have now created most of the grading for the pond. You still need to add a low
point to the pond.
16. On the Home tab, Create Design panel, click on the Feature Line drop-down,
and click on the Create Feature Line button.
17. Center point object snap to circle number 1.
18. Press Enter to accept an elevation of 179.
19. Center point object snap to circle 2-LP.
20. Type -2 for a -2% grade.
21. Center point object snap to circle number 3.
22. Type E for Elevation.
23. Press Enter to accept an elevation of 179.
24. Press Enter to finish the command.
25. Repeat step 10, then step 13, select the feature line you just drew, and press
Enter.
In this exercise you created a finished grade surface using feature lines. View the surface
in the Object Viewer, or take a Quick Profile from a line drawn through the surface to
verify it is built correctly.

NOTES:
In step 25, you did not add any supplementing vertices. This is because all of the
triangles should slope towards the LP.

Your contours might not perfectly follow the feature lines. This is because of flat
triangles in the surface. Use the Minimize Flat Areas surface edit to fix this problem.

Grading objects can be used to do this entire exercise up until step 16. The reason that
grading objects are not used through this exercise is because of instability.

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How Do I?
How do I trim a feature line?
Most AutoCAD commands work on feature lines. However feature lines cannot be
trimmed with the normal AutoCAD TRIM command. Access the trim command
specifically for feature lines via:

On the Feature Line contextual tab, Modify panel, click the Edit Geometry button to
toggle it on. On the Edit Geometry panel, click on the Trim button.
Feature line specific commands also exist for FILLET, BREAK, and JOIN.

How do I edit grading?


Grading objects can be edited by using the Grading Editor, accessed via:

Select Grading to change > Grading Editor on contextual ribbon

Properties of the grading object - such as slopes and surface targets - can be changed here
without recreating the grading objects.

How do I combine existing and finish grade surfaces (i.e. merge


a finished surface into an existing surface)?
Use the Paste Surface surface edit for the 'existing' surface via:

Toolspace Prospector tab (for the Active Drawing) Surfaces expand the
surface to paste into (typically existing) Definition Edits Paste Surface
select the surface (typically proposed) to merge in.

How do I calculate cut/fill volumes?


The quickest way to calculate volumes is to use the composite method. This uses the
points and where the triangle lines cross for both surfaces to calculate the volumes by
taking the difference between the two surfaces. Use this method to calculate quantities
via:

1. On the Analyze tab, Volumes and Materials panel, click on the Volumes
Dashboard button.

2. Click , Create new volume entry.

3. For the Base Surface, select the 'existing' surface model.

4. For the Comparison Surface, select the 'finished' (grading) surface.

The results will appear under the Cut, Fill and Net column headers.

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CHAPTER 12 - Labels
Civil 3D labels are a much more robust and dynamic means of annotating drawings as
opposed to normal AutoCAD text. Civil 3D labels resize automatically based on the
drawing scale, and dynamically update based on changes in geometry. They can be used
to label lines, curves, parcels, alignments, profiles, sections, surfaces, pipe networks,
pressure networks, and intersections - deriving information from such objects - or used
simply for general annotation. Editing any of these label styles is almost identical.

Figure 12.1: Custom Point Label

In this chapter you will learn about the following.

Editing styles for label orientation

Editing text components

Editing styles for label precision

Editing styles for leaders and dragged labels

Pinning labels

Using the text component editor.

Using expressions (simple mathematical equations) to arrive at a value based


upon a given parameter.

Referencing multiple objects with one label.

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Labels
Labels are a unique type of Civil 3D objects. With the exception of general note labels,
these labels have the ability to reference certain properties of Civil 3D objects. In
addition, a dynamic link typically exists between a label and the object it references, such
that changes to the object will cause its label to update, if necessary. While the value(s)
noted by a label may be tied to a Civil 3D object, the label itself is a separate entity, and
can be deleted independently of the referenced object.

For example, a surface spot elevation label that references a surface object will extract
and display the elevation of the surface at the given point the label is placed. As
applicable at its given location, the label value will update if the surface elevation
changes. If the label is moved outside the limits of the surface, the label value will
display ???. If the surface is erased, the label will also be erased.

Civil 3D labels for the various types of Civil 3D objects can be created via:

Annotate tab > Labels & Tables panel > Add Labels drop-down

Label Styles
Label styles define the look and behavior of Civil 3D labels. The properties of a label
style can be changed at any time, and all labels using that particular style will update to
reflect the changes. The following is a list of the major features that a label style
contains.

1. General settings such as text style, orientation, and a default layer for the label
object.

2. Label components to include. For example, if you are labeling a point, the
components might be point number, elevation, and description.

3. Additional text settings for height, offset, rotation and plan readability.

4. Parameters for when a label is pulled away from its insertion point (i.e. "dragged
state"). For example, you can specify whether or not a leader should be
displayed, and whether the leader is straight or splined.

A label object is placed on a specified layer based upon the drawing settings, but all the
components of a label exist on the layer specified in the label's style. If the latter is set to
layer 0, the component(s) will inherit the properties of the label objects layer, much like
an AutoCAD block.

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Editing Label Styles


All label styles have the same five tabs in the Label Style Composer:

Information Tab
Sets the name and description of the label style
General Tab
Controls the text style, layer of component(s) and label orientation. For example, if the
Orientation Reference is set to View, it will be as if the label's text orientation angle
were set to 0, relative to the current view, regardless of DVIEW or UCS rotation even in
multiple viewports. If it is set to Object, the label will align itself with the object.
Layout Tab (see pages 22325 through 22327 for further information on components)
Controls the components displayed in the label, the contents of each component, text
height, rotation, background mask display, etc.
Dragged State Tab
Specifies whether or not a leader is created when the label is dragged, how the text
appears when dragged, and the properties of the leader. If the Display is set to Stacked
Text, the text components will appear in the order the components were created. If the
Display is set to As Composed, the label will have the same settings as the Layout tab
based on the anchoring.
Summary Tab
Summarizes all properties of the label style.

Dragged Labels
Most Civil 3D labels can be dragged to make plans more readable. When a label is
selected, grips will appear. One grip will move the label while the other will drag the
label text only. Depending on the label style settings, a leader may be created. A leader
will have additional grips to manipulate the leader. You can add jogs to the leader by
adding vertices. See Figure 12.2 for a description of the various grips.

Figure 12.2: Leader Grips

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Components
Components are the individual entities that make up the label. The major types of
components are Text, Line, and Block components Certain label styles contain additional
component types such as Reference Text to reference values from more complex Civil
3D objects such as alignments, profiles, sections, surfaces, and intersections.

Multiple lines of text can be added to the contents of a single text component. However,
multiple text components may be necessary to independently control color and other
properties of the text.

Component Attachment
The settings below determine how and where a component is placed (see also Figure
12.3).

Anchor Component

o The anchor component can be the object that the label is referencing (i.e.
<feature>), or another component in the label style.

Anchor Point

o The anchor point specifies the location on the anchor component that the
attachment point will reference. This may be Label Location when
Anchor Component is set to <Feature>, or the justification point of
another text component that is used as the Anchor Component.

Attachment

o The attachment point controls the justification of a component in relation


to the anchor point. For example, consider a survey point label having
components for point number, elevation, and description. The elevation is
anchored to the feature, with a Middle Right anchor point so it is attached
in the middle on the right side of the point marker. The attachment is set
to Middle Left so it is left justified (i.e. the middle right anchor point of
the anchor component coincides with the middle left justification of the
elevation text component). The description is then anchored to the
elevation component with a bottom left anchor point and top left
attachment.

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Figure 12.3: Component Attachment

Understanding the relationship between the anchor component, anchor point, and
attachment is important in building Civil 3D label styles.

Contents
For text components, the Contents field specifies the data that is to be extracted
from the Civil 3D object, as well as numeric value settings such as precision,
units, and rounding.

To access the Contents text component editor, click in the field to the right of
Contents first, and then click the icon as shown in Figure 12.4 below.

Figure 12.4: Text Contents

This will launch the Text Component Editor window for the Contents field. In
this window the content field to the right of the Format/Properties tabs displays
the current data and formatting for the label component. To revise it, highlight
the text string in the content field and erase it. Next, choose the desired property,
implementing the correct settings and formatting, then click to append it to
the content field. Note that simply changing the settings on the left will not
update existing entries in the content field; you have to erase the existing string

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first. The button can also be used to add new/additional data properties when
nothing is selected in the content field.

Figure 12.5: Text Component Editor

Project Exercise - Create a Custom Label Style


In this exercise, you will create a custom label style that displays the finished surface
elevation at the flow line of a curb and an arrow that points to the subject curb location.

Figure 12.6: Custom Label Style

1. Open drawing Labels-1-Surface Labels.dwg.

2. Toolspace Settings tab for the Active Drawing Surface Label Styles
Spot Elevation Right-click Elevation Only select Copy.

3. In the ensuing dialog box, on the Information tab, change the name to FL
Arrow.

4. On the General tab, change the Orientation Reference to View so that the text
orientation will always be horizontal.

5. On the Layout tab, click the drop-down arrow next to the Create Component
button and click Line.

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6. For the Name, type Line.

7. Match the settings in Figure 12.7 for this new line component.

Figure 12.7: Line Component Settings

8. Click the drop-down arrow next to the Create Component button and click
Block.

9. For the Name, type Arrowhead.

10. Match the settings in Figure 12.8.

Figure 12.8: Line Component Settings

11. From the drop-down list for Component name, select Surface Elevation.

12. Match the settings in Figure 12.9.

Figure 12.9: Text Component Settings

13. Click in the Contents field

14. Click .

15. Double-click <[Surface Elevation(Uft|P0|RN|AP|Sn|OF)]>.

16. For the Precision, Select 0.01.

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17. Click .

18. Click in the text editing box on the right.

19. On the keyboard, press Home to move the cursor to the beginning.

20. Type FL:.

21. Click OK.

22. Click OK.

23. On the Surfaces menu, point to Add Surface Labels, click Add Surface
Labels.

24. For the Label type, select Spot Elevation.

25. For the Spot elevation label style, select FL Arrow.

26. For the Marker style, select <none>

27. Click Add.

28. Click inside the Spot Elevation Label circle.

In this exercise you created a label style by copying an existing label style and
modifying it to include the necessary components. It is often difficult to get a label
style right the first time and requires trial and error to perfect.

The preview window on the right of the Layout tab helps you see the outcome of the
style. For more complicated styles, the preview window may not display correctly.
In these cases, it is necessary to use the actual drawing to test whether the changes
that you are making are working. If you click the apply button, the drawings label
will reflect your changes.

Figure 12.10: Label Preview

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Expressions
Expressions provide additional functionality to label styles and allow you to perform
mathematical operations on numeric properties extracted from Civil 3D objects.

Project Exercise - Create and Use Expressions


In this exercise, you will create a surface label style that calls out a top of curb (TC) and
flow line (FS) elevation. See Figure 12.11 for the desired product.

Figure 12.11: Style With an Expression

1. Open drawing Labels-2-Expressions.dwg.

2. Toolspace Settings tab for the Active Drawing Surface Label Styles
Spot Elevation Right-click Expressions Click New.

3. For the Name, Type TC.

4. For the Description, type Surface Elevation + 0.5.

5. Click the insert property button and select Surface Elevation, thereby
appending it to the Expression field.

6. Complete the Expression field as follows: {Surface Elevation}+0.5

7. Click OK.

8. Under the same section of Toolspace, right-click the label style FL Arrow
select Copy.

9. On the Information tab, change the name to TC-FL Arrow.

10. On the Layout tab, select the Surface Elevation component and set the Anchor
Point to Bottom Left and the Attachment to Top Center.

11. Click to add a new text component.

12. Set the Name to TC Elevation.

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13. Match the settings in Figure 12.12 with the exception of Contents.

Figure 12.12: TC Settings

14. Under Text Contents click Label Text click .

15. Highlight and delete Label Text on the right window.

16. For the Property, select TC.

17. For the precision, select 0.01.

18. Click .

19. Type TC in front of <[TC(P2|RN|AP|GC|UN|Sn|OF]>.

20. Click OK.

21. Click OK.

22. Select the FL: 185.21 label.

23. Open the Properties dialog box (CTRL+1).

24. For the Surface Spot Elevation Label Style, select TC-FL Arrow.

You have now created and used an expression in a style.

NOTE:
By simply changing the style of the surface label object in steps 22-24, you were able to
easily change the look of your label without having to recreate it.

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Project Exercise - Create a Dragged Label with No Leader


In this exercise, you will modify an alignment label so that when it is dragged it will not
rotate or display a leader. This is useful for minor text/line conflicts.

1. Open drawing Labels-3-Dragged State.dwg.

2. Toolspace Settings tab for the Active Drawing Alignment Label Styles
Station Major Station right-click Parallel with Tick Edit.

3. Dragged State tab Leader section Visibility property set to false.

4. Dragged State Components section Display property set to As Composed.

5. Click OK.

6. In the drawing, select the 8+00 label.

7. Use the cyan grip to drag the label so that there is no text/line conflict.

Figure 12.13: Drag Label

8. CTRL+left click the label right-click menu select Toggle Label Pin.

NOTE:
Step 8 is optional. If this step is preformed, the label will maintain the same exact
location regardless of how the alignment geometry may change. If the label is not
pinned, the label position will move and maintain its relative placement to the actual
station location.

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Reference Text
Reference text is used to pull information from other Civil 3D objects. The object
selected for the reference does not need to be the same type as the primary object that is
being labeled. For example, an alignment station/offset label can also reference a surface
elevation.

Project Exercise - Create a Label for Alignment Intersections


In this exercise, you will create a label that shows the station value where two alignments
intersect.

1. Open drawing Labels-4-Reference Text.dwg.

2. Toolspace Settings tab for the Active Drawing Alignment Label Styles
Station Offset right-click Station select Copy.

3. On the Information tab, for the name, type Alignment Intersection


Station.

4. On the Layout tab, change the name of the component from Station to
Alignment 1.

5. Click in the contents cell <[Alignment N..., and click .

6. Edit the contents to include = at the end.

Figure 12.14: Text Component Editor

7. Click OK.

8. Click the drop-down arrow next to the Create Component button , and
click Reference Text.

9. Select Alignment, and click OK.

10. For the name, type Alignment 2.

11. Click in the Contents cell that says Label Text, and click .

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12. Delete Label Text on the right.

13. From the properties tab, select Alignment Name.

14. Click .

15. Click in the text editor to the right of <[Alignment Name(CP)]> so the cursor is to
the right of the text.

16. Press the space key.

17. For the properties, select Station Value.

18. For the modifier Drop decimal for whole numbers, select yes.

19. Click .

20. Click OK.

21. Click OK.

22. On the Annotate tab, Labels & Tables panel, click on the Add Labels drop-
down. Hover over Alignment and choose Station/Offset Fixed.

23. For the Station offset label style, choose Alignment Intersection Station.

24. For the Marker style, choose <none>.

25. Click Add.

26. Select the green alignment line running West to East.

27. OSNAP to the INTersection of the alignments in the drawing.

28. Select the green alignment line running North to South.

29. Press ENTER.

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30. Drag the label off to create a leader using the square grip (see Figures 12.15 and
12.16).

Figure 12.15: Drag Grip

Figure 12.16: Drag Label with Leader

In this exercise you created a label that references multiple alignments. Note that in
this example the dragged state is set to use stacked text. If more customization of the
dragged state is needed, it is likely that you will have to use As Composed and make
more modifications in the Layout tab.

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Label Civil 3D Objects Through an Xref


Labels can be created that use Civil 3D object data through an external reference. This
means that data shortcuts are not always required. Note that any of the labeling routines
under General Add Labels can be applied through external references. Label sets
for alignments, profiles and sections cannot be applied through external references.

Note that when labeling through an external reference the program will prompt the user
to select the Civil 3D object to label. In some instances, the user selection of the Civil 3D
object in the external reference is not being recognized. In such cases, users should try to
select the Civil 3D object by its other parts (e.g. selecting a surface by its border, when
selecting it by its contours is not recognized).

Project Exercise
In this exercise, you will create an alignment type label through an external reference for
the intersection of two alignments. The label will display the respective station values of
the alignments at their intersection. This exercise is essentially identical to the previous
exercise, with the exception that the Civil 3D alignment objects are being referenced
through an externally referenced drawing..

1. Open drawing Labels-5-XREF Parent.dwg.


2. Type XA for Xref Attach. Press Enter.
3. Browse to Labels-5-XREF Child.dwg.
4. Select 0, 0, 0 for the insertion point, 1 for the scale, and 0 for the rotation.
5. Click OK.
6. On the Annotate tab, Labels & Tables panel, click on the Add Labels drop-
down. Hover over Alignment and choose Station/Offset Fixed.

7. For the Station offset label style, choose Alignment Intersection Station.
8. For the Marker style, choose <none>.
9. Click Add.
10. Select the green alignment line running West to East.
11. OSNAP to the INTersection of the alignments in the drawing.
12. Select the green alignment line running North to South.
13. Press ENTER.
14. Drag the label off to create a leader using the square grip.
In this exercise you created one label, referencing two alignments through an external
reference. Even though this exercise used reference text, it is not necessary to use
reference text to label Civil 3D entities through an external reference. Notice that the

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steps to do this are exactly the same as when the Civil 3D object being labeled is in the
current drawing.

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How Do I?
How do I change the text style of a Civil 3D label?
In the Label Style Composer (i.e. edit the label style) General tab Text Style

How do I change the layer property of a label?


The layer for a label can be changed in two ways, each producing its own effect, and one
having priority over the other:

1. In the Label Style Composer General tab Layer

2. By changing the layer property of the label object in the AutoCAD Properties
Palette.

The layer specified in the label style (method 1 above) takes priority. This is the layer
that you see the effects of, when set to any layer other than 0. The AutoCAD layer
(method 2 above) will only apply when the label styles layer is set to 0.

Figure 12.17: Drag Label with Leader

How do I change the text size?


In the Label Style Composer, on the Layout or Dragged state tab (depending on which
state the label is in). Note that each text component has an individual text height setting.
This text height is to be set to the desired plot height on paper. The text height in the
drawing itself will be automatically scaled/resized based on the scale of the viewport
(when viewing in paper space), or by the current drawing scale (when viewing in model
space).

On the Dragged State tab, if the Display is set to Stacked Text, the text height here will
be used when the text is dragged. Otherwise, if the Display is set to As Composed, then
the text height on the Layout tab will be used.

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How do I change the justification?


Changing the justification of labels depends on how the label style is setup. If you are
using multiple components, then use the attachment points shown on page 230. If you
are using a single text component, in the Text Component Editor, on the Format tab,
set the justification as needed.

Figure 12.18: Text Label Case

How do I change the precision of my labels?


See page 225, Project Exercise - Create a Custom Label Style.

How do I drag my labels so that there is no leader and the text


does not rotate?
See page 233, Project Exercise - Create a Dragged Label with No Leader.

How do I control the capitalization of my labels?


In the Text Component Editor, there is a setting for all text entities properties called
Capitalization. Use this property to control the case of the text.

Figure 12.19: Text Label Case

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How do I edit individual labels that belong to a label set?


Select or CTRL-select the label. Right-click and select Edit Label Text. This brings up
the Text Component Editor. Changes made here do not affect other labels like changing
the style would.

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