Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Sampling a surface profile, part of Civil 3D Essential Training.
- Profiles are sometimes referred to as long sections. Generally speaking, a profile represents a cross-sectional view of a site where the sectioning path is defined by an alignment. Using profiles, we can easily follow the existing surface elevations along an alignment. This information is then used as the baseline for a proposed design. In this lesson, we'll use an alignment to sample a surface profile. On my screen is a drawing representing a small subdivision. Let's take a quick tour. Right here, I have a surface called EG.
This represents the existing ground. Over here is an alignment called Kingsley Drive. This represents the proposed road centerline. Down here is another alignment called Center Street. This one represents an existing road centerline. I would like to create a profile by sampling the existing ground surface elevations along the Kingsley Drive alignment. I'll do that by coming up to the Create Design panel. I'll open the profile's menu and I'll choose create surface profile. In the dialogue box, I'll select my desired alignment. Kingsley Drive is perfect.
Over here to the right, I can choose the surface I'd like to sample. We don't have much choice here. There's only one surface in the drawing. Over here to the left, I can choose how much of the alignment I'd like to use for sampling. By default, Civil 3D will sample along the entire length of the alignment. If I wanted, I could select a new start and end station using these fields, or I could click the icons to the right to pick those locations in the drawing. Let's use the entire alignment for sampling. Once I've chosen an alignment and surface, I'll come over and click add.
That's it. The profile data's been sampled. When I'm finished, I'll come down and click draw in profile view. This brings up the create profile view dialogue box. This dialogue box contains multiple pages of settings. We're going to sample another surface profile in just a minute. When we do, we'll look at several of these settings. For right now, I'm just going to come over and click create profile view. I will then pan the drawing over and I'll click to place the profile to the right of my geometry. This profile view represents the full length of the Kingsley Drive alignment.
If I zoom in, we can see the station values along the bottom. In the profile grid itself, there is a profile line representing the sampled surface elevations. We can see those elevations are labeled every 100 feet along the bottom of the view. Based on the sampled profile, it looks like the lowest existing ground surface elevation along Kingsley Drive is right here around station 8 + 00. I'm going to hover over this profile line. Take a look at the name. We didn't get a chance to name this earlier. Let's do it now.
Knowing what we know now, we can rename a Civil 3D object by selecting it and then I could come over to the properties palette. I can change its name here, or I could come up to the contextual ribbon and choose profile properties. I'm going to rename it here. I'll call it Kingsley Drive, CL - EG. Kingsley Drive centerline existing ground, and I'll click OK. I'll press ESCAPE when finished. I'll zoom out. We'll pan this over. Now that I've given the profile a logical name, let's find it on the prospector tab.
To do that, I'll come over to the tool space and make sure the prospector tab is active. Then when I drag the slider up and down, notice we don't see a profiles category. That's because a profile is considered to be a child of an alignment. Knowing that, I'll expand the alignments category. I'll open centerline alignments. We'll drag this down. I'll expand Kingsley Drive. Right here is a profiles category. If I open that, we'll see the sample surface profile we just made. Note there's also a category called profile views.
In here is another object. The profile view represents this grid. It also has a name. Let's rename the grid. I'll do that by selecting the profile view and then notice we have choice; profile view, properties, and profile properties. When working with profile properties, you have to ask yourself, "Am I making changes to a profile line or to the profile grid?" Since I'm working with the grid, I'll come up and choose profile view properties. And I'll rename the view right here. We'll call this Kingsley Drive View.
I'll click OK and I'll press ESCAPE. Let's pan the drawing over. I'd like to sample another surface profile, this time using the Center Street alignment. Once again, I'll open the profile's menu and I'll choose create surface profile. I will then select my desired alignment. I'm going to be sampling the existing ground surface along the entire length of the alignment. Let's click add. The profile data has been sampled. Note, we can see the profile name right here.
It would be nice if we could click and rename this. Unfortunately we can't. We'll have to do that in a little bit. For right now, I'm going to come down and click draw in profile view. All of the settings in this dialogue box control the appearance of the profile view. Here at the top, I can select my desired alignment. By default, this will be the alignment you just selected for sampling purposes. Below, I can give the profile view a name. I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity to call this Center Street View. I can then give the profile view a description.
I can assign a new style. If I open this, we can see the default template includes several profile view styles you can experiment with. I'm going to keep the default style. Right here is the object layer the profile view will be placed on. If I wanted to select a different object layer, I could use the icon over here on the right. Next, I'll choose station range. This is where we control the length of the profile view. By default, it will be the entire length of the alignment. If I choose user-specified range, I could select my own starting and ending stations.
Let's keep this in automatic and we'll go to profile view height. This is where we control the height of the profile view. By default, the height will be dictated by the profile data. If I choose user specified, I can assign my own minimum and maximum elevations. In the event I was dealing with a really tall profile, I could choose split profile view. This would break the profile view into several views, each of which have a shorter height. I'm going to keep the automatic setting, then I'll choose profile display options. Here I can select which profile lines I'd like to display in the view.
Right now we only have one. I'm going to keep that turned on. If I had sampled utilities, I could use this page to control their display. Next I'll choose data bands. This is where we control the labels along the bottom of the profile view. At this point, I'm going to keep the default data band labels and settings. We'll take a closer look at band labels in a future lesson. Finally, I'll choose profile hatch options. In the event that I'm displaying more than one profile line, I can have Civil 3D hatch the area in between them to simulate things like cut and fill areas.
When finished with the profile view settings, I'll come down and click Create Profile View. I will then pan the drawing over and I'll place the new view right above the last one. Let's zoom in. We can see there's obviously a low point along the center street. Right around station 730-ish. If I hover over the sampled line, we can see it needs to be renamed. I'll rename it by selecting it, and I'll come up to profile properties and I'll call this Center Street CL - EG. Center Street Centerline Existing Grade.
I'll click OK when finished and I'll press ESCAPE and then we'll zoom out and center the drawing on screen. Surface profiles give us a much clearer picture of the vertical properties of a site. They also provide a baseline from which all proposed elements can be measured. Using profiles, we can ensure a design represents a good fit with the surrounding area.
- Exploring the design data in drawings
- Creating, connecting, and grouping points
- Customizing label styles
- Defining existing ground surfaces
- Designing horizontal alignments
- Controlling alignment properties
- Creating profiles and profile views
- Sharing design data
- Creating and managing parcels
- Building assemblies
- Modeling advanced roadways
- Defining gravity-based pipe and pressure pipe networks
- Creating sections and section views
- Analyzing designs
- Generating plan sheets