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CHAPTER

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The Beginning

INTRODUCTION

This chapter introduces AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011, its organization, and its interface. Civil 3D presents a civil design environment addressing traditional design issues. Civil 3D's focus is creating and documenting a design, the same as other civil engineering applications. Civil 3D's tools and design processes are similar to those found in other civil programs, particularly, AutoCAD Land Desktop. Civil 3D's difference is its interactive environment and assumed dependencies between civil design elements (points, surfaces, alignments, profiles, etc.). Civil 3D's design object dependencies are unique.

OBJECTIVES

This chapter focuses on the following topics: · Civil 3D Objects · Prospector Overview · Prospector's Preview · Settings · Data Compatibility and Transfer with Land Desktop

OVERVIEW AutoCAD Civil 3D addresses the same civil engineering design issues as Civil 3D AutoCAD Land Desktop (LDT), Inroads, or any other civil engineering application. Civil 3D has tools creating, evaluating, editing, and annotating familiar civil design elements (points, surfaces, alignments, profiles, etc.). Civil 3D's most radical difference is its dynamic environment. Civil 3D's design elements understand relationships and dependencies. When changing an element that has dependencies, Civil 3D updates all dependent elements. For example, changing a surface updates contours, profiles, corridors, and sections, reflecting their adjustment to the surface's change.

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© 2011 Delmar, Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be scanned, copied or duplicated, or posted to a publicly accessible website, in whole or in part.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

Civil 3D's development impetus was from AutoCAD Land Desktop's perceived and real shortcomings. The Autodesk civil applications group addressed these issues by developing Civil 3D. Civil 3D's design/drafting environment presents the user with an interactive drafting space, new road design tools, flexible labeling, and an implementation method for standards. Besides learning and becoming comfortable with this design application, other major hurdles include understanding how to document a design, creating Civil 3D implementation content, and learning Civil 3D's behaviors and terminology. Most company standards are layers, linetypes, pen weights, etc. Civil 3D's implementation focuses on these same standards, but its styles extend to crafting a unified company look without depending on a Technician's drafting skills. Flexible styles create unique review or submittal profiles, section, parcel, and other design solution elements. When implementing Civil 3D, some questions to ask are as follows: What does a profile or section look like? What types of annotation does an object have? In a sheet, where is the annotation located, what text styles does it use, what information is called out, etc.? This microscopic look at each page is necessary to understand how to implement Civil 3D. A style's power is in creating a consistent and correct document as the designer creates or changes the design solution. Unit 1 The first unit reviews the anatomy of Toolspace's Prospector and demonstrates its dynamic qualities, actions occurring in its object and preview areas, and extensive icon use (signal dependencies, out-of-date status, etc.). This unit also introduces the Civil 3D ribbon. Unit 2 The second unit covers Toolspace's Settings, its available styles (object, label, and table), and understanding and navigating its tree and branch structure. Unit 3 Objects and their behaviors are the topic of the third unit. Civil 3D implements objects with design relationships and dependencies. Objects are a design solution's fundamental building blocks. Objects are linked to styles that produce a look, implement standards, and define object property annotation formats. Civil 3D uses the object and style environment to dynamically manage civil design data and its annotation. Unit 4 The last unit reviews transferring data between Autodesk Land Desktop and Civil 3D. Civil 3D reads data directly from a LDT project or imports a LandXML data file (from LDT or other applications). Civil 3D AutoCAD Land Desktop 2009 has routines for extracting Civil 3D data and stores the extracted data in a LDT project.

UNIT 1: COMMAND RIBBON AND PROSPECTOR

Civil 3D 2011 has a command ribbon. A user can choose to replace the ribbon with traditional pull-down menus (the bottom of Figure 1.1). At the Ribbon's top are named tabs (collections of like tools). For example, the Home tab (top of Figure 1.1) displays icons that display or hide the toolspace, create Civil 3D objects (points, alignments, profiles, etc) or AutoCAD objects (lines, curves, etc.). The Modify tab tools (middle of Figure 1.1) edit Civil 3D and AutoCAD objects. Each tab and its panel's commands will be discussed when appropriate in this book. Generally, Civil

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3D commands are on the Ribbon's left and AutoCAD commands are on the Ribbon's right. You hide the Ribbon by typing in the command line, Ribbonclose. To display traditional menus, at Civil 3D's Quick Access Toolbar's left click the barred drop-list arrow and select show menu bar (see Figure 1.2).

FIGURE 1.1

FIGURE 1.2

Civil 3D's Toolspace has two tabs: Prospector and Settings (see Figure 1.3). These two tabs manage all objects, styles, references, and data values for a drawing and/or project. The Ribbon's Toolspace icon displays this Toolspace and its tabs. The Toolspace floats or docks and when it is not needed, has Auto-hide.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

The Ribbon's--Home tab, Palettes panel has icons that display or hide the Prospector, Settings, Survey, and Toolbox tabs. The Toolspace can display any combination of these tabs. The remaining two icons display the Properties and Tool palettes. In the Ribbon's--Home tab, Palettes panel, clicking the Palettes list arrow displays additional icons that toggle the display of the Content Browser, Sheet Set Manager, and other lesser used palettes and Managers.

FIGURE 1.3

Prospector organizes objects using a hierarchical structure, displaying their data and showing object relationships. Prospector headings identify each object type and branch to reveal specific object information and data. Prospector dynamically manages drawing objects, their listings, and makes their data available to other objects. Prospector updates information and responds to changes and additions to objects and their data. When viewing an object's information, the user interacts with an object's Prospector listing. Prospector's second area is preview. Whether docked or floating, preview is below or to Prospector's side. This area displays a list or an image of a selected Prospector entry (see Figure 1.4). In Prospector, when selecting a branch heading, a list appears in the preview area (for example, selecting the Prospector's Surfaces heading displays a list of surfaces). When selecting a surface from the named Surfaces' list, preview displays a surface image.

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FIGURE 1.4

OBJECTS In Prospector each object type has a heading and an icon (see Figure 1.4). The object types are Points, Point Groups, Point Clouds, Surfaces, Alignments, Sites, Pipe Networks, Corridors, Assemblies, Subassemblies, Intersections, Survey, and View Frame Groups. The Sites branch contains site alignments, grading groups, feature lines, and parcels. A Civil 3D site is the outermost boundary containing alignments and/or parcels. A site can range from a subdivision boundary, or a parcel, to a single alignment. Each Alignment branch includes entries for Profiles, Profile View, and Sample Line Groups. When expanding an object type's branch, the first entry is a named instance (occurrence) list for that object type in the drawing. In Figure 1.4, for example, Base and Existing are two surface instances. Adding or deleting surfaces causes Prospector to automatically update its object list. Depending on the object type, each instance has its own branch containing its data or other critical values. For example, the Sites object type contains a sites list (Site 1, Site 2, etc.). Each site instance has its own list of alignments, profiles, sections, and parcels. Prospector displays object data at some point down an instance's branch. However, there are times when data appears in preview instead of Prospector. For example, the surface Definition branch is a list of assigned surface data types. The data for each data type only displays in the preview area, not Prospector's definition branch. Some objects, such as alignments, profiles, assemblies, and subassemblies, use a Properties dialog box instead of Prospector or preview.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

Prospector calls commands using right mouse button shortcut menus. Each heading (object type, object instance, and so on) has a shortcut menu unique to its branch location (see Figure 1.5). A shortcut menu's choices vary with the object type and where the entry is in the branch. For example, Surfaces' shortcut menu commands create, import, export a LandXML file, or refresh the instance list (see the left side of Figure 1.5). A named surface's shortcut menu includes build options, snapshots, zooming, etc. (see the center of Figure 1.5). A specific surface component or data element's shortcut menu has commands for creating, editing, and deleting entries (see the right side of Figure 1.5).

FIGURE 1.5

Prospector Preview When selecting an object type heading, Prospector responds with an object instances list (see the left side of Figure 1.6). When selecting a named object instance, Prospector previews the selected instance (see the center of Figure 1.6). The selected heading determines what preview type displays (for example, selecting Sites displays a sites list, selecting Site 1 displays the site's geometry, selecting the Parcels heading displays a parcels list, and selecting a parcel from the list previews its geometry). See right side of Figure 1.6. · Any value in preview is editable unless it has a gray background.

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FIGURE 1.6

When selecting an item from preview's list, the user can directly edit the entry or right mouse click it, displaying a shortcut menu specific to the selected item. After completing the preview editing, the changes show in Prospector and the drawing. For example, if selecting Prospector's Surfaces heading, the preview area lists the surface names, descriptions, and their current styles. In the preview area, when clicking on a surface's name, description, or style cell, the user can directly edit the cell's value. After clicking a surface name cell and right mouse clicking, a shortcut menu displays that is the same as if the user had selected a surface name from Prospector's surface instance list. In the preview area, when clicking a style name, a Select Style dialog box appears, listing styles for that object type. The user changes the currently assigned style by selecting another style from the styles list (see Figure 1.7). Again, changes made to a preview entry update Prospector and the drawing.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.7

CIVIL 3D OBJECTS In AutoCAD Land Desktop (LDT), few, if any, objects interact with each other (the exception being a grading object and a surface). None of the roadway design line work reacts to changes made to any of its elements (a profile reacting to changes in a surface's elevations). It is left to the user to verify what changes need to be made and how to synchronize external data with the entities. In LDT, routines create on-screen line work snapshots and store them as data in external project folders. The drawing's data representation is valid only if nothing changes. If editing or redrawing line work, all related project data files need updating. In many cases a project's final design is the starting point, for fear of out-of-sync data after numerous changes and handoffs between technicians and engineers. Civil 3D's data schema gives objects knowledge about relationships and dependencies between them. This knowledge allows objects to respond to changes by any object in their relationship group. So, if a surface's elevations change and an alignment has an existing surface profile, the profile updates, showing the new surface elevations along the alignment's path. If changing an alignment's location, the profile changes its elevations and either lengthens or shortens, showing the new alignment path. These types of relationships and dependencies are programmed into Civil 3D objects. OBJECT DEPENDENCIES AND ICONS Prospector icons identify object types, their status, and their dependencies (see Figure 1.8). For surfaces, an icon to the left of a surface's name indicates the surface's type. In Figure 1.8, the icons to the left of Base and Existing identify them as Triangular Irregular Network (TIN) surfaces. The icons for the remaining two surfaces identify them as Grid and TIN volume surfaces. A triangle icon pointing diagonally to the left of a surface's name indicates that another drawing object references that surface's data. When an object is referenced,

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it cannot be deleted until the reference(s) is removed. Figure 1.8 shows an out-of-date icon (a shield with an exclamation mark), indicating that something changed with the Existing-Base-Grid-Vol surface. To remove out-of-date surface icons, the user must rebuild the surface. Rebuilding surfaces incorporates change(s) and removes the surface out-of-date icon.

FIGURE 1.8

PROSPECTOR: DATA SHORTCUTS AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT Civil 3D implements project- and data-sharing capabilities through Prospector, Data Shortcuts, and Autodesk Vault. Data Shortcuts are visible in Prospector's Active Drawing and Master View. Project Management (Vault) is accessible only in Prospector's Master view. Master View is set by selecting it from the view list above the drawing's name (see Figure 1.9).

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.9

Prospector's Projects branch uses Vault to assist in managing a project's data and drawings. Civil 3D Vault manages project data as a check-in or check-out process. This process allows users to have data editing control. Users can create data references (consume only) and, if others edit the referenced data, Prospector notifies them that their data is out-of-sync relative to the project's entries. If Vault data changes, the user is notified of the data change and can synchronize the drawing to the changed data. Again, Prospector uses icons to indicate data's changed status in the current drawing and in the project. A second data sharing method is data shortcuts. A data shortcut allows a user to share an object with other drawings. If the data shortcuts' object changes, the shortcut notifies the user that the object has changed and after updating the reference, the object present in the drawing matches the current object definition. Civil 3D's Data Shortcuts are discussed in detail in Chapter 12. CIVIL 3D TEMPLATES Civil 3D ships with two content templates (Imperial and Metric). When Prospector is in Master View, it displays a Drawing Templates branch. The branch lists template files that you can use to start a new drawing. Rather than selecting the Quick Access toolbar's New icon, the user can select a template from Prospector's Drawing Templates, AutoCAD list, press the right mouse button, and select Create New Drawing (see Figure 1.10).

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FIGURE 1.10

This textbook uses the Autodesk Civil 3D (Imperial) NCS template file. This content template assigns needed layer names and styles. Several exercises will modify, create new styles, and define new layers in addition to those in this template file. THE PANORAMA Civil 3D displays object value editors (grid based) as vistas within a panorama (see Figure 1.11). A panorama can have more than one vista, but only one vista is active at a time. A vista displays as a tab on the opposite side of the panorama mast. To close a vista, at the Panorama's top right click the green checkmark. To close the panorama, at the top of its mast, click the X. If the panorama is closed by clicking its X, it can be redisplayed by selecting the Toggle the display of the Panorama tool icon to the left of Prospector's Help icon. If the panorama is closed by clicking a vista's green checkmark and it is the only vista in the panorama, you cannot redisplay the panorama because the Toggle the display of the Panorama tool icon becomes inactive. If this happens, the only way to redisplay the panorama is by executing a command to create a new vista.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.11

SUMMARY

· Prospector is Civil 3D's command center and data and object manager. · Civil 3D objects are dynamic and update their display when edited. · Prospector adds and removes objects from its lists as a user creates and deletes

Civil 3D objects. · Prospector displays and manages each object's status (out of date, reference, locked, etc.).

· Prospector displays dependencies and references. · Civil 3D does not allow objects with dependencies to be deleted. · Selecting a Prospector heading displays a list or image in the preview area.

UNIT 2: SETTINGS

The Settings hierarchical tree manages a drawing's settings and styles. At the highest level, the drawing name, are the settings that affect all settings and style values lower in the hierarchy. Settings' hierarchical tree displays and manages each object type's settings and styles. Each object type heading branches to display control points for the object type's settings and styles. When selecting an object type and pressing the right mouse button, Civil 3D displays a shortcut menu listing editors for feature (object) values, label style defaults, and so on (see Figure 1.12).

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FIGURE 1.12

EDIT DRAWING SETTINGS Edit Drawing Settings is at the hierarchy's top. This dialog box values affect drawing scale, coordinate systems, label abbreviations, layer assignments, and prompting and listing values. In Figure 1.13, Edit Drawing Settings' Object Layers panel sets each object type's base layer name, if using a modifier, and the modifier's value. If there is more than one object type instance, the user should define a base layer modifier. A modifier can be a base layer name prefix or suffix with the modifier value being the instance's name (for example, Existing and Base are two TIN surface names that can be appended to the base layer name). An asterisk (*) assigns the object's name to the modifier value. There should be a spacing character between the base layer name and the modifier such as a dash (-) or an underscore (_). If a surface's name is Existing and the user sets the modifier to Suffix and sets its value to -* (a dash and an asterisk), the resulting surface layer name is C-TOPO-Existing. If setting an object label layer, a label style, if its layer is set to 0 (zero) will use the concatenated layer name for its labels. If using the same modifier and value as the TIN Surface Labeling, the resulting label layer would be C-TOPO-TEXT-Existing. · The purpose of a layer in the object layers list is not to differentiate Existing and

Proposed objects, but to create a link between the object and the drawing. · To differentiate Existing and Proposed objects, Civil 3D uses object styles and their layers.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.13

Edit Drawing Settings' Ambient Settings panel sets the working environment for units, rounding, precision, format, etc. For example, to prompt for, list values as, or report cubic feet as the volume unit, in Ambient Settings' Volume section, change the Unit value to cubic feet (see Figure 1.14). The Grade/Slope Section sets slope listing to either percent, rise:run, run:rise, etc., and controls its precision and its rounding. To create a mixed value environment, when using the Imperial template you set the Ambient Settings Distance type to Meter. When entering a distance, the program prompts for a meter distance value and draws the foot equivalent in the drawing. The documentation environment, labels and tables, is set in each object type's branch. The values for labels and tables are separate settings from the ambient settings and can have different precisions and formats. Think of Ambient settings as values representing your work environment.

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FIGURE 1.14

Feature Settings changed in an object type's branch affect only those settings and styles below where the change is made. For example, if you are setting the drawing's ambient settings value to slope (run:rise) and want to change how surface objects report slope values, you change the surface branch ambient settings (Edit Feature Settings) to rise:run and override the drawing's preferred value (see Figure 1.15). When overriding a value set at a higher level, an override toggle is set in the dialog box. A down arrow at the higher level indicates the value is changed at a lower level in the hierarchy. All labels and tables in an object type branch can have precisions and units different than the working environment. For example, you have a drawing based on Imperial units, but all labels and tables contain metric equivalents.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.15

EDIT LABEL STYLE DEFAULTS This dialog box's values affect basic label behavior (see Figure 1.16). In the figure, some settings are overridden by "lower" styles (down arrows in the Child Override column). Style overrides occur because a label type behaves, labels, or reports values differently from the current settings. To negate overrides, click the Child Override column's down arrow. When clicked, the icon changes to a down arrow with an X. The X indicates the overrides reset to the values in the Edit Label Style Defaults dialog box. A second method for controlling overrides is locking their value. When locked at this level, no lower style can change the value. Often, the label's layer differentiates the label as being existing or proposed. An alternative to using a label style-specified layer is to use the Edit Drawing Settings text layer for the object type. This is done by setting the label style's layer to 0. When you label an object with a style specifying layer 0, the label uses the Object Layer list's text layer as the label's layer.

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FIGURE 1.16

EDIT LANDXML SETTINGS LandXML Settings affects data importing and exporting to and from a drawing and LandXML files (see Figure 1.17). LandXML files transfer design elements (surfaces, alignments, points, etc.) between applications without a loss of fidelity. The LandXML civil data schema allows AutoCAD Land Desktop, Civil 3D, and other applications to transfer data without losing information quality. Civil 3D also uses LandXML files as report data. When exporting an XML file, the Imperial Units type should be set to match your drawing's value, either International or US Foot. This is set in the Export panel, Data Settings section. When importing an XML file, you can translate coordinates and elevations. This is done in Import's Translation section. If the drawing's Imperial units are different from the file's units, International (drawing) and US Foot (file), the coordinates for the objects will be transformed.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.17

EDIT FEATURE SETTINGS In Settings, when selecting an object type heading and pressing the right mouse button, a shortcut menu displays with a call to Edit Feature Settings.... Edit Feature Settings combines Edit Drawing Settings' Ambient Settings values with selected object type-specific settings (see Figure 1.18). In the figure, there are three sections affecting points: Default Styles, Default Name Format, and Update Points. The number of sections in an Edit Feature Settings dialog box depends on an object's complexity. If the working environment for an object type is different from other object types, this is where a user makes the changes. For example, parcel object distances should have a precision of 4, instead of 2 (all remaining object types). Changing distance for Parcel in Edit Feature Settings overrides the Edit Drawing Settings (drawing's) value, but for only the Parcel's branch. · Again, the precision and unit values for all labels in each object type branch can

be different from the drawing values.

The Edit Feature Settings dialog box sets the default object and label styles for the selected object type.

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FIGURE 1.18

LABEL AND TABLE STYLE GROUPS In Settings, when expanding an object type's branch, an object has two style types (Label and Table). Label Groups and Their Styles Expanding a Label Styles branch displays label type groups. For example, surface label types are Contour, Slope, Spot Elevation, and Watersheds. The object's complexity determines the label type number. Each heading's shortcut menu contains commands appropriate to the selected heading (see Figure 1.19). For example, Description Key Sets displays a shortcut menu with commands used for creating a new Description Key Set, viewing a set's properties, or refreshing its list. Selecting a named Description Key Set displays a shortcut menu with commands used for viewing the key set's properties, copying it, deleting it, editing its values, or refreshing its list.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.19

When expanding a Label Styles group, a label styles list displays. The styles create labels, documenting object type properties. For example, a parcel has the label types of area, line, and curve. The area label type styles include Name Area & Perimeter, Name Square Foot & Acres, and Parcel Number. When annotating a parcel's line and curve segments, you use the Line and Curve label type styles. When selecting a listed style name and pressing the right mouse button, a shortcut menu displays with edit, delete, or copy... commands (see Figure 1.20).

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FIGURE 1.20

Transferring Styles Between Drawings To transfer styles to an existing template or drawing, drag and drop them between open files. When you drag and drop a style definition into a file where the style already exists, Civil 3D issues a warning, prompting you to rename, overwrite, or ignore the dropped style. In the Settings lists, you select a style and drag it from one open drawing to another. To drag multiple styles, select a heading and select the desired styles from the previewed list. After selecting the styles from the preview list, drag the styles to the desired drawing. EDIT COMMAND SETTINGS Each object type has commands that use default styles and settings from Edit Drawing Settings or the object's Edit Feature Settings (see Figure 1.21). You can change a command's default styles and settings without affecting other commands or feature settings.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.21

SUMMARY

· The Settings panel manages all styles and command values. · Settings promote standards and eases implementation with its hierarchical

structure.

· In the Settings hierarchy, the higher a setting is, the more styles and values it

affects.

· Settings manages, creates, and modifies object and label styles.

UNIT 3: SETTING CIVIL 3D'S ENVIRONMENT

New terms in AutoCAD Civil 3D describe the drafting environment and its objects and their behaviors (e.g., Prospector, vistas, baselines, assemblies, styles, etc.). Civil 3D sites, baselines, feature lines, and assembly objects are familiar civil concepts and design elements, but these elements are known by more traditional names in other civil design packages (parcels, alignments, grading objects, templates, etc.). The new terms indicate that these familiar design elements have new or expanded capabilities. Civil 3D uses styles and settings to graphically display a design, set design limits (criteria), produce reports, and create design documentation (labels and tables). Civil 3D ships with a basic style definition content template. However, the template styles may not be right for a user's specific tasks, or they may not meet a user's CAD drafting standards. The biggest initial cost in implementing Civil 3D will be the time spent setting up and modifying styles. As with any Autodesk product, there are several content creation methods, and each strategy has consequences. Harnessing the

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interplay of the dynamic design environment and the role styles play in creating and finishing a design are the greatest challenges facing Civil 3D implementers and users. If satisfied with a template's content (styles and layers) as shipped, the user can immediately begin producing a design document. If the content does not reflect specific standards, the user must create new styles, modify existing styles, and define and substitute new layers. When using this new template file, all modified content is present in the drawing. The interface controlling, displaying, or editing object type information is the same for each object. All object and label styles use similar dialog boxes that have a set structure. By knowing the anatomy and behavior of one object or label style dialog box, a user knows the basics for most of the remaining object type and label styles. What changes is the information available about the object or for the label. IMPLEMENTATION A single Civil 3D template file is an implementation. This file defines all object, label, and miscellaneous styles producing a design document. This single file contains the office standards that in LDT took several folders and files. When starting a new Civil 3D drawing with this template, all objects, styles, and settings are there, ready for use. The only remaining settings are the model space plotting scale and a coordinate zone. A Civil 3D implementation uses a combination of layers and styles. Layers can be used with traditional AutoCAD methods for displaying and hiding drawing elements. Layers are also necessary when implementing AutoCAD Xrefs or sharing data with those without Civil 3D. Styles also control data visibility. A Civil 3D implementation is a combination of styles and layers. Adding style definitions to a template file means opening the template file and defining the new styles. To add styles from an existing drawing to a template or another drawing, open both files and drag and drop the new styles to the template or other drawing. The biggest issue with an implementation is layers. If a drawing defines a modifier for an object type, for example the suffix -* for surfaces, Civil 3D creates layers for each surface from the base layer name (C-TOPO-EXISTING and C-TOPO-DESIGN). If assigning both surfaces the same object style, the surfaces use the same layer list. For example, assigning the Border & Contour style to two surfaces causes them to use the same layers to display their borders and contours. You cannot turn off the major contours layer for only one surface because it is the same layer for both surfaces. In Settings, the four top settings dialog boxes influence all settings and styles below them. These dialog boxes are Edit Drawing Settings, Edit Label Style Defaults, Edit LandXML Settings, and Table Tag Numbering. These dialog boxes' values affect the entire drawing. Any lower style or setting can override these values. If locked at the drawing name level, a lower style cannot change the setting's value. · Creating a Civil 3D template involves a thorough review and adjustment of

values in the four primary dialog boxes; Edit Drawing Settings, Edit Label Style Defaults, Edit LandXML Settings, and Table Tag Numbering.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

OBJECT LAYERS The Edit Drawing Settings' Object Layers panel defines object type base layer names with an optional modifier (prefix or suffix). Modifiers are necessary when there is more than one instance of an object type (see Figure 1.13). · The purpose of a layer in the object layers list is not to differentiate Existing and

Proposed objects, but to create a link between the object and the drawing.

· To differentiate Existing and Proposed objects, Civil 3D uses object styles and

their layers.

An asterisk (*) modifier value appends the instance name to the beginning or end of the base layer name. This is the preferred method of modifying a layer's name. One additional option is spacing the object's name from the base layer's name. A dash (-) or underscore (_) is the usual spacing character. For example, setting a surface's name modifier to suffix and setting its value to dash asterisk (-*) creates the layer C-TOPO-EG, the base layer plus the surface name separated by a dash. A second method is entering an explicit value as the modifier (e.g., C-TOPO-SURFACE). In this case, -SURFACE is the modifier value. For a drawing with two or more object instances, using an object layer modifier is a necessity. Using surfaces as an example, if a drawing has two surfaces, EG and DESIGN, and no layer modifier, both surfaces use the same layer. When objects occupy the same layer, the user cannot independently control their visibility by layers (user must use a style to control the object's display). If the user adds a modifier to the object layer name, Civil 3D creates a new layer for each object from the modifier values. A drawing having two surfaces, EG and DESIGN, would have the layers C-TOPO-EG and C-TOPO-DESIGN (see Figure 1.22). The new layer has the same layer properties as the base layer (C-TOPO).

FIGURE 1.22

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SETTING THE DRAWING ENVIRONMENT In Settings, when selecting the drawing's name and pressing the right mouse button, a shortcut menu displays with four settings dialog boxes: Edit Drawing Settings, Edit Label Style Defaults, Edit LandXML Settings, and Table Tag Settings. Because of Settings' hierarchical structure, these editors' values and settings affect the entire drawing environment, i.e., their settings define the working environment. When starting a new drawing, the first step should be reviewing each dialog boxes' values. Edit Drawing Settings Selecting Edit Drawing Settings... displays a dialog box with five tabs (see Figure 1.23). These tabs affect several areas of the working environment.

FIGURE 1.23

Units and Zone Units and Zone's top left values set linear and angular base units. There are three angular measurement values: degrees, grads, and radians. The panel's center sets the Imperial units for metric conversion. An Imperial drawing can use International or US Survey feet. You must set this value correctly if you want to move Imperial data to Metric.

US Survey Foot applies to the ratio of feet to meters. In 1866 the ratio was defined as 1200/3937 or 39.37 inches to a meter. In 1959 the ratio was refined when the US changed the definition of a yard to match other country definitions. The yard was redefined to be 0.9144, and the foot was redefined as 0.3048 of a meter. An International Foot is 0.99998 of a US Survey Foot. At the same time, it was decided that data used in Geodetic surveys would use the original foot definition (39.37 ¼ 1 Meter),

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

US Survey Foot. In local coordinates the difference is small. However, when working in coordinates over 1,000,000, the difference is about 2 feet per million coordinates. This value also affects inserted Survey objects (points, network, and figures). The Scale objects inserted from other drawings scale the inserted drawing to match the current drawing's units. The dialog box's top right sets the model space plotting scale. A "standard" scale can be selected here, or a user can enter a custom scale factor below the scale drop-list entry. The panel's remainder sets and reports coordinate zone settings if set for the drawing. When selecting the Categories' drop-list arrow, a supported coordinate systems list displays. This setting is important for working with state plane or latitude and longitude data.

Transformation Transformation values tie local coordinates to a coordinate system. A local coordinate-based drawing must have one known point (planar coordinates) and a state plane rotation angle, or two points with known state plane coordinates to relate its local coordinates to state plane coordinates (see Figure 1.24). To correctly determine sea level horizontal distances, you must set an elevation (mean elevation of the site), the spheroid radius at sea level (from the coordinate system set in Units and Zone), and Grid scale factor (unity, reference point, Prismodial, and user defined).

FIGURE 1.24

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Object Layers Object Layers sets base layer names for each object type (see Figure 1.25). The panel's left side lists the object type, and the three columns to the object type's right set layer names if the layer has a modifier, if the modifier is a prefix or suffix, and sets the modifier value. A modifier value can be anything. If the modifier value is an * (asterisk), Civil 3D uses the object's name as the layer modifier. For example, a surface named EG modifies the C-TOPO base layer to C-TOPO-EG when the modifier is a suffix and its value is a dash asterisk (-*). The last column locks the layer name so it cannot be changed. If an object's label styles have their layer set to 0 (zero), the labels will appear on the labeling layer defined in this panel.

Again, these layers tie Civil 3D objects to the drawing. To differentiate an object as existing or proposed, you should use object styles.

FIGURE 1.25

Abbreviations The Abbreviations panel affects alignment, superelevation, and profile listing and report values (see Figure 1.26). Many object type labels have regional values and these initial values may need to change.

The Alignment Geometry Point Entity Data values are a set of abbreviations with a complex format string. The format string defines how geometry point's values display. When clicking in a format string cell, at the right of the entry an ellipsis (three dots) appears. Clicking the ellipsis calls the Text Component Editor, and within this editor users edit the abbreviation and its format string.

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FIGURE 1.26

Ambient Settings Ambient Settings affects a multitude of drawing values. Each section's values affect units, precision, and rounding; set entry and reporting value formats; and show how to denote a negative value, coordinates and distances, and so on (see Figure 1.27). You should think of ambient settings as your working environment values.

The Value column contains the actual setting. A value can be an entered value, a toggle, or a selection from a list of choices. The Child Override column indicates if any lower settings change the current entry's value. A down arrow indicates a changed value. By clicking on the arrow (adding a red X to the arrow) and clicking Apply, you reset all of Settings' values to the current cell's value. The Lock column indicates if other values are allowed. If locked, no other values are allowed. The Angle, Direction, and Lat Long sections can drop the leading 0 (zero) and, if the value is a whole number, becomes an integer.

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FIGURE 1.27

STYLES By default every object type has a Basic or Standard style (object, label, etc.). When starting a new drawing without a content template, Civil 3D creates Basic or Standard styles for all Settings tree objects. A Basic or Standard style is a starting point, and Civil 3D expects users to copy and modify them, implementing new styles. If using a Civil 3D content template, additional styles are available to edit or copy to address user needs. Styles stylize how objects, and what components or characteristics display. A style displays all object components or characteristics, or it can display components or characteristics groupings. A surface object, for example, has triangles, points, and a border. These components are essential to correctly view and edit a surface under development. Surface slopes and elevations are essential to developing a site's design solution. A style changes an object's information focus by displaying different components and characteristics combinations. An object style differentiates object types, for example, an existing or proposed surface or an easement or open space parcel. The style uses layers with different properties (color and linetype) to visually make the difference. Style Layers A layer's intent is controlling visibility from within Layer Properties Manager. Turning on and off layers determines what is visible in the drawing. This is a typical AutoCAD information display strategy. In Civil 3D, a style controls the component and characteristic visibility. Changing styles changes what components and characteristics display.

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An object style's Display panel assigns each object component or characteristic a layer name and properties. The object style's Display panel's left side lists the object's components and characteristics. The number of entries varies by object type; a more complex object has more entries than a simple object (see Figure 1.28 and Figure 1.29).

FIGURE 1.28

FIGURE 1.29

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There are three methods for assigning a style layers. The first method uses layers in the current drawing. In the object style's Display panel, clicking a layer name displays the Layer Selection dialog box, and the user selects a layer from the current drawing's list (see Figure 1.30). When returning to the style's Display panel, the component lists the selected layer. The second method is creating a new layer. When clicking a Display panel's layer name, the Layer Selection dialog box displays. At the dialog box's top right is a New... button that displays the Create Layer dialog box (see Figure 1.31). In this dialog box, users define the new layer. After returning to the Layer Selection box, users select the new layer and return to the Display panel, assigning it to the component or characteristic. The third method selects layers from another open drawing (see Figure 1.30). Users add to the current drawing's layer list by selecting the drop-list arrow at the Layer Selection dialog box's top left and selecting another open drawing. Layer Selection's list changes, listing the newly selected drawing's layers. Users then select a layer from the list and, when returning to the Display panel, assign the layer to the component or characteristic.

FIGURE 1.30

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.31

Civil 3D views data from four directions: Plan, Model, Profile, and Section. Plan is a view from directly overhead, and a Model view is from any other angle. Profile and Section apply only to object types displaying in profile and sections views. For example, a surface displays as a line in a profile or section view. Each view group defines a set of component layers and visibility states. Though the Display panel lists all available object type components and characteristics, a style may display only one or only a few components and/or characteristics. A style's purpose is to manipulate an object's components and/or characteristics display. For example, a surface analysis style focuses on surface elevations. A surface editing/ review style shows a surface's border, triangles, and points (see Figure 1.28). To each component's and characteristic's right is a layer name and properties. The style's layer properties should contain the keyword ByLayer, allowing Layer Properties Manager control of the layer's properties. STYLE TYPES Object styles have special purposes or functions (such as analysis, grouping, or submission documentation). Continuing with the surface objects example, a certain designer has an interest in surface slopes and elevations before starting the design process. To better understand surface slopes, some slope analysis and ranging are necessary. Creating a slope style by ranging slopes and creating down slope arrows lets the style display a more meaningful image of the slopes' spatial distribution. An elevation analysis style results in a better understanding of surface relief. Surface styles have color schemes, colorizing their results. Figure 1.32 shows examples of different types of analysis styles output.

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FIGURE 1.32

OBJECT STYLES Object styles directly control an object's display. Every drawing has a Basic (or Standard) object style. This style has minimal settings and displays a minimal set of object components. Civil 3D ships with two template files containing object styles. These object styles serve as a style type demonstration a user can define for a Civil 3D implementation. Each chapter in this textbook expands, modifies, and creates new styles as needed to document a design solution. The number of styles and their complexity vary depending on the object type. For example, the surface object is complex and has numerous potential styles, whereas parcels have less complexity and fewer styles. All object types use the same dialog box structure. Fundamental settings, values locations, and components and characteristics use the same basic design. To be familiar with one object's style dialog box means knowing how to navigate the next object's style dialog box. Assigning Object Styles When a new object is created, it is assigned the default object style set in the object type's Edit Feature Settings or the Command Settings dialog boxes. If you want to change an object's style, the change occurs in the object's Properties dialog box, Information panel. Assign a new style by selecting a style from the available styles list. When exiting the dialog box, the new style changes how an object appears in the drawing (see Figure 1.33).

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

FIGURE 1.33

LABEL STYLES A label style controls object annotation and its display. Every drawing has a Basic or Standard label style. These styles have minimal settings and annotate a minimal number of object components. Civil 3D ships with several template files containing label styles. These label styles serve as a demonstration of annotation types a user can define for a Civil 3D implementation. Each chapter in this textbook expands, modifies, and creates new styles needed to document a design solution. The number of styles and their complexity vary depending on the object. When starting a new drawing and using the content template, all styles in the template become part of the new drawing. A named label style displaying a triangle icon to the style's name upper-left means an object in the drawing uses (references) that style. Label styles are single-purpose, meaning they annotate a specific object facet (see Figure 1.34). The label style types for a parcel are Area, Line, and Curve (see the left side of Figure 1.34). The label style types for an alignment include Station, Station Offset, Line, Curve, Spiral, and Tangent Intersection (see the right side of Figure 1.34). Each object has label style groups. Each object has specific properties that can be part of a style. All labels have the same general behavior and use the Text Component Editor interface to create new and modify existing label styles. Once familiar with the label editor and its behavior, the user knows how to edit and create labels for all object types.

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FIGURE 1.34

Label styles use the same dialog boxes. The fundamental settings, location of values, and the component and characteristic lists are in the same place for each label type. Every label has an anchoring point. In Figure 1.35, the parcel's label anchoring point is the parcel's centroid. The label's middle center anchors to the parcel's centroid.

FIGURE 1.35

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

To view a label's content definition, click in the Contents' value cell and click the ellipsis displayed in the cell. This displays the Text Component Editor and the label's content (see Figure 1.36). All styles use both Label Style Composer and Text Component Editor. Label Style Composer's Layout tab defines a label's text component(s), and the Text Component Editor defines and formats each label component's text. The Format tab changes the text's justification, font, color, underline, or adds symbols.

FIGURE 1.36

TABLE STYLES Some Civil 3D objects use tables to display or document their information. The object types using tables are points, surfaces, parcels, and alignments. Each object type has a Basic or Standard table style. In this and other chapters, exercises access these dialog boxes, evaluate their settings, and, if appropriate, change some values. THE PANORAMA The panorama is important. The palette's structure is similar to a spreadsheet (cell based) and contains vistas (editor, Event Viewer, etc.) (see Figure 1.37). In the figure, the panorama displays a Point Editor vista. Each object type uses the panorama to display its data, and many chapter exercises interact with, edit, and review data within a vista.

FIGURE 1.37

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Chapter 1 · The Beginning

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Event Viewer Vista The Event Viewer vista lists errors, warnings, and information during command execution. Type icons at the left of the text message indicate the message's severity. A circular red X indicates a failure, a yellow triangle indicates a warning that is not fatal but should be reviewed and fixed, and an exclamation mark denotes an information message (see Figure 1.38).

FIGURE 1.38

SUMMARY

· Layer-based drawings have layers for each object type as well as layers for object

components and characteristics.

· The Edit Drawing Settings, Edit Label Style Defaults, Edit LandXML Settings, and

Tag Table Numbering dialog boxes influence all of the styles and settings in a drawing.

· You can lock values in the Edit Drawing Settings, Edit Label Style Defaults, and

Edit LandXML Settings dialog boxes.

· The Edit Drawing Settings, Edit Label Style Defaults, Edit LandXML Settings, and

Tag Table Numbering dialog boxes have arrows, indicating that a lower style has changed the value.

· Object styles emphasize a subset of an object's components or characteristics. · Label styles label a subset of an object's properties.

UNIT 4: CIVIL 3D AND LAND DESKTOP

Civil 3D works in tandem with Land Desktop. Autodesk gives each application the ability to exchange data, complementing its strengths and making up for its weaknesses. The LandXML file, direct data reading, and data extraction commands transfer points, point groups, description keys, surfaces, alignments, pipe networks, and profile sampling data between the two programs.

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Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

LANDXML SETTINGS Civil 3D exports and imports LandXML data files from LDT and other civil applications. Setting the proper units for importing and exporting data is critical to successfully using LandXML. You set these values in the Edit LandXML Settings dialog box. The Export panel's Data Settings section is important (see Figure 1.39). If set to US Foot, the units in the file are tagged to US Foot. When set to International Foot, the units are tagged as International. If you are importing a LandXML file with units tagged as International Foot to a US Foot drawing, the units will be converted upon import.

FIGURE 1.39

LandXML Import and Export The Ribbon's Insert tab, Import panel, LandXML icon starts a LandXML file's import. The command prompts you to select a file and displays a dialog box listing the file's data types (see Figure 1.40). At this time all the data or a subset of data from the file can be selected. After importing a LandXML file, most information appears in Prospector and in the drawing, except for profile data. When profile data is imported, its entries are placed in the Prospector's Sites branch or in Prospector's Alignments' branch. You have to create a profile view using the profile data to view it in the drawing. You have to create or recreate the remaining roadway design elements (assembly, corridor, section sample group, and section views) to complete a roadway design.

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Chapter 1 · The Beginning

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FIGURE 1.40

The Ribbon's Output tab, Export panel contains the Export to LandXML icon. When exporting, a user selects data by toggling on the various data types in the Export to LandXML dialog box (see Figure 1.41).

FIGURE 1.41

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40

Harnessing AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011

Importing from LDT Projects A second method of transferring data from LDT to Civil 3D is directly reading a LDT project data structure. The Ribbon's Insert tab, Import panel contains the Land Desktop icon which displays a dialog box listing a project's data. To use the dialog box, first identify the LDT project folder and then the project name. After selecting the project, the dialog box populates with the project's data (see Figure 1.42). After selecting the data, click OK and the data is read and converted. You can read project data back to LDT Release 2. If attempting to read earlier versions, users may encounter incompatible file formats. This method currently does not import points. The best method of importing LDT points is by importing either from an ASCII file or directly from the project point database.

FIGURE 1.42

If the LDT project contains pipes, the routine issues a warning about having the proper parts list definition (see Figure 1.43).

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Chapter 1 · The Beginning

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FIGURE 1.43

After importing from a LDT project, most transferred information appears in Prospector and in the drawing, except for profile data. When importing profile data, it creates only Prospector entries. You have to create a profile view using the profile data to view it on the screen. You have to create or recreate the remaining roadway design elements (assembly, corridor, section sample group, and section views) to complete a roadway design. Each of the following chapters explores in greater detail an object type and its styles.

SUMMARY

· LandXML files provide an effective method of transferring data between Civil 3D,

Autodesk Land Desktop, and other civil engineering applications. · Civil 3D reads Land Desktop project data and imports the data directly into a drawing.

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