Join Eric Chappell for an in-depth discussion in this video Create points using the point creation commands, part of Cert Prep: AutoCAD Civil 3D Certified Professional.
- [Narrator] Points can be created by importing data or by direct interaction from you, the user. Let's take a look at the direct creation of points using the point creation tools. Now, as you're about to see or as you may already know, there are lots of commands in the point creation tool's toolbar. And to show you, I'll just go to points and click point creation tools. And for now I'll collapse this down. But you can see, as I click each dropdown menu, there are quite a few commands in each one.
You might even be wondering like what's the grouping here? What's similar about these commands and what's similar about these commands that they were placed in the same menu? Well, this makes more sense if you take a look at the points menu first. And you'll see miscellaneous intersections, alignment, surface, slope, and interpolate. And if you look at the point creation tools, you'll notice that there are the same number of dropdown menus as there were categories with one additional button.
This is just for importing points, but we see the same grouping here. These are commands that have to do with miscellaneous, or all the different kinds of point creation tools. These are based on intersections, alignments, surfaces, interpolation, slope, and then we finally have that import points command that I mentioned earlier. So that's the grouping of points in this point creation tool's toolbar. Now I collapsed this earlier without talking about it, let's address it now.
This is a quick access into some of the settings that control what happens as you create these points. For example, what layer would you like them placed on? And then this points creation section is kind of what do I want to be prompted for, what do I want to have entered automatically, for example you'll notice that prompt for elevations is manual. If I say automatic then I have to give a value elsewhere, but I'll just keep that at manual. Or If I want to skip elevations completely, I can say none.
And as I scroll down, I see other choices there. So for example if I were to say automatic, then I would want to provide a default elevation, such as zero. Scrolling down we do see default styles, but unfortuantely I can't change that. I can change the name format and the identity so I can say my next point number which is currently eight. I believe I have other points in the drawing so I couldn't set this to one if there already is a point number one there. Again, just some settings that you can adjust when you jump into creating your points.
And just in the interest of time, we can't dig in to every single one of those settings, but I do recommend that you kind of study those, test those out, and see what they do in preparation for the certification exam. So let's take a look at some of these commands just kind of do a few spot checks throughout this series of lists here and see what we're dealing with. So in this first miscellaneous pulldown, I'll admit the command I've used the most often by far in this whole set of many, many point creation commands is this one here, just simply manual.
So I'll often use this command and maybe snap to a point or snap to a location in the drawing, but I can just manually click a point in the drawing, enter a description, I'll just call this manual, remember our prompt for elevations is manual so it's going to stop and prompt me for the elevation and I can type that in. I'll just type in 100, and then it'll prompt me for the next point. I'll just hit escape, and that's just manually creating a point. There's nothing automated whatsoever. Pick a point on the screen, of course I can snap to a location, utilize some of my autocad skills and techniques, but this is truly a manual approach.
So let's delete that point and we'll take a look at another one. Let's say divide object, or better yet measure object. If you're familiar with the measure command in Autocad, it means I can take an object like a polyline and break it into or mark it at even increments. So let's say this is a fenceline and I want to mark out 50 foot locations for a fence post, even though I didn't draw it very straight, you get the idea. I can go in here and pick my measure object command, select my polyline, and notice my starting station is zero, my ending station is 226, my offset I will say is zero, I want my fence post to be on the line, not offset, and for my interval I'll type in a 50.
I know 50 feet is a pretty wide spacing for fence posts, but you get the idea. And for the description I'll enter post, elevation I'll just press enter. Notice how it remembers what I've entered. Now I'm just pressing the enter key over and over and it's measuring out using something similar to the measure command in Autocad to space out these points at the interval as applied, which in this case is 50 feet. I'm just gonna undo that command, and you'll see another one in here called automatic.
Which is gonna pick up kind of the automatic key points on the object. I'll select my polyline and press enter, for description I'll just say auto, and just press enter a few times. And you can see that it automatically picked up either end of the polyline. So this is handy if you've got a whole bunch of objects in the drawing, you want to pick the endpoints or centers of circles and things like that. It just automatically looks at the geometry and picks up key points. Let's undo that, take those points back away out of the drawing.
Okay, let's look at the next list. And these are point creation commands that have to do with intersections. For example, probably the easiest to understand is direction/direction, right at the top of the list. So I have two bearings and I want to find where they intersect. So I pick my start point and then I'll indicate my direction. No offset. I'll pick my other startpoint. Indicate a direction. No offset there either. And it's going to find the location between the two and I'm going to type in INT for intersection.
Press enter, enter for elevation, and there we can see where it's found the intersection between the two bearings that I've indicated in the drawing. So that's an example, and you can see there are many of an intersection between two directions. You can also find two distances or a direction in the distance, you can pick two objects in the drawing, and it'll find their intersection. Even if it doesn't physically exist, if it exists by extending the two objects, it'll find that as well. A lot of similarity to some of the other functions that Autocad can do, but in this case we're creating points as a result of the intersection that we find between whatever geometric property we're looking at.
Next we have alignment, so most basic form is just station and offsets. So I'll launch that command, naturally since I'm working with stations and offsets, I'm going to need to select an alignment, so I'll pick my alignment here. It's asking if I want a profile as well, I can choose that and click okay, and I'll say I want my station to be, let's say 350, and my offset to be zero. And for my description I'll type in a line.
Now if I click this point and right click and go to properties, scroll down a bit, you'll see that the elevation was set to 2162.96. It automatically picked up the profile elevation for me as you may recall it asked me to select a profile. So that can come in really handy if you're trying to utilize not just the alignment, but also the profile that may be associated to it. And there are lots of other commands associated to alignment so we can divide and measure the alignment, much like we measured the polyline a moment ago.
We can look at geometry points such as changes in curvature, PCs, PTs, PRCs, points of reverse curvature, lots of different options here. Next we have points that have to do with a surface. So, is our polyline still down here? It is, so let's a long polyline or contour. So I'm going to select my polyline here, actually I need to select a surface first. My distance between points, the default is 10 feet.
Let's go with 50 feet. I'll select my polyline, enter a point description, and I'll just call this along, and I'll just press enter for each one of these. Now what's different about this command and the one I did earlier is that that it actually picked up the elevations of the points, so I'm going to select all these points and actually change their label style so that we can see the elevation that they are. Actually, right here is where I want to make my change. Point elevation and description.
You can see each one has a unit description based on the surface I selected, which is the existing ground being represented by these contours. So that's an example of how you can tap into the information in a surface to create some of your points and have elevations automatically assigned. We can also interpolate between points. So let's say I want to get rid of these points in the middle and do a direct interpolation between 11 and 15, let's see how that works.
I'll say interpolate, pick my first point object, my second point object, number of points in between, I'll just say one, offset will be zero, and I'll just call this INTER for interpolate. And again, let me turn on a style or assign a style that will show the elevation. And that will be point label style. And we should find an elevation that's somewhere in between the two, between 72.99, and 69.49, is apparently 71.24, so that's how you can interpolate.
And then we can also set points by slope, similar idea where we pick a point, enter a direction that we want to go, a distance between the points, and it will set them by grade for us. And as I mentioned earlier, this last command is just about importing point data which we'll actually cover in the next video. So as you can see, there are many, many ways to create points using the point creation systems toolbar. You should really study and practice all of the commands we talked about in this video to get ready for the certification exam.
This course isn't designed to teach you the basics, but to help you refresh your Civil 3D skills and prepare for the exam topics and format. Once you're finished with the course, you can feel confident taking the AutoCAD Civil 3D Certified Professional exam.
- Creating and using styles
- Using line, curve, and point creation commands
- Creating and editing surfaces
- Annotating parcels
- Creating alignments
- Designing profiles and profile views
- Creating sections and section views
- Managing and sharing data
- Producing plan documentation such as sheet sets
Skill Level Intermediate
Q. What should I do if I have an older version of the software?
A. This course uses AutoCAD Civil 3D 2017 exercise files. If you have an older version of the software, but still want to follow along with this course, one option you might consider is downloading a 30-day free trial of the software.