Friday, 6 January 2012

Customising Cross Sections

A query that has come up regularly (on overlay jobs) is how to display proposed levels on cross sections at specified offsets from the baseline... (and then get them out to csv file)

For this example I am using the UKIE country kit:

First add a new band to your cross section in the section view properties < bands tab - Select the 'Surface Levels at Major Interval (Section 1)' band style from the list as shown and click 'Add'.

Untick 'Match major/minor increments to vertical grid intervals'. Set the 'major interval' for your band to the desired offset. The display of the minor interval labels is turned off by default for this band.

Set the band to read the desired surface and your sections should display levels at offsets from baseline.

While it is one thing to have these levels displayed on cross sections; how do we get them out to csv file for setting out? This takes a bit more working around. There may be an easier way to achieve the following so please post it if you know how...

Create your final corridor with finished ground surface. Create a new assembly. On the 'Generic' tab of the toolpalettes select the 'LinkOffsetonSurface' subassembly and set the following properties:

Offset from Baseline: 2.5m
Point Codes: 2.5m right

Leave other options at default. Build a new (dummy) corridor using this assembly, the road centreline alignment and associated profile. In the corridor properties < parameters tab < set all targets and set the target surface to the surface you want to sample.

Now we can extract the points using reports. In your Toolspace under:  Toolbox tab < Reports Manager < Corridor < use the 'Section Points Report'

In the report dialog box select your dummy corridor (the linkoffsetonsurface one) and you should see your point code listed under the list of features. Set the station interval and click create report. You can then copy from here into excel and edit as necessary.

There are other reports in the toolbox that will produce something similar but i have found this one easiest to edit in excel afterwards. Also as an alternative you could create cogo points from your dummy corridor, place them in a point group and export them directly to csv file. Using the report above produces a better result as it will give points across your corridor at each chainage. Exporting from point group only gives easting northing and not chainage.

Also why not add the linkoffsetonsurface subassembly to your design corridor assembly rather than creating a new assembly for it?

If you add the linkoffsetonsurface subassembly to your design corridor assembly you cannot reference the corridor finished ground surface in the targets. This is because a circular reference will be created – both the corridor and the assembly would be trying to reference objetcs from eachother. The solution is to create a separate assembly as above.

I had originally posted this on the UK & Ireland Civil 3D user forum at

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