Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Creating Profiles using Transparent Commands

I have been giving some customised Civil 3D training recently for site development works - mainly on creating access roads and grading for car parks on an extension to an existing factory.
The project data consisted of a topo survey from which we generated our existing ground surface. The  proposed access road layout drawing is in AutoCAD format with some proposed levels entered as plain AutoCAD text, see below:
The proposed access road centrelines were in polyline format which we could quickly turn in to C3D alignments using the 'Create Alignment from Object' command. We then created a profile along this alignment and sampled the existing ground.
We then needed to draw the proposed road profiles using the levels from plan. This is where the transparent commands came into play. Transparent commands are commands that you use while in another command to easily provide the first command with the information it needs. For example when we are drawing our profile we will be picking IP points on profile that will have chainage and elevation values. In our situation the level values are noted in plan alongside our alignment. We can use the 'Profile Station from Plan' transparent command to allow us to pick these points from plan and enter the elevation when we are drawing our profile. 

Start to draw the profile as normal using the profile creation tools. When prompted to pick your start point select the transparent command from the toolbar on the right of your screen as shown below:
The command prompts you to select a chainage from plan....
Then it allows the user to enter an elevation manually which we have in text format and is corrected here to provide a crossfall...
Continuing with this procedure along the entire road allows us to very quickly create our proposed profile.

There are many more useful transparent commands on this toolbar which I use regularly, definitely worth checking out.

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