Refine Your Mid-Section Mechanics

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Last time I talked about the idea that you can build in simple Section Line Groups into your templates and your project plans. The idea there is to use placeholder Features to get both More consistency and save yourself time with a little up front planning and work.

The way that Civil 3D produces Pages of Sections is a publishing task. There is only so much setup work you can do beforehand outside of having well crafted Styles and Sets to apply to the data. However, a regular and ritualized Method and Practice of performing the data connection process task does help.

The Sample Line Group Collector

Because Sample Line Groups are ALWAYS a part of an Alignment's collection of Features, we can put that fact to some good use. We can use connected Offset Alignments and their Widenings to put some More bang into our Sample Line Groups. 

The Offset Alignment connection is short-lived in all the shipping versions of Civil 3D. But even the "On Create" temporary connection is worth employing.

Use Offset Alignments to Set Sample Line Swath Widths

We can easily and quickly create separate Offset Alignments attached to any Centerline Alignment. Note that you want to include this Section USAGE into the Names of the Offset Alignment so they are easy to locate. 

We can add Widenings to the Offset Alignments if we need to stretch the Sample Lines in certain ranges of Stations along the Centerline.

There are cute and/or simple things you can do to the Widening properties to tweak the Section Swath widths where necessary.
Below we've tweaked the most basic properties to widen the Sample Line endpoints around a "deeper" set of daylight stations and our potential Sample Lines and the Section View output.

Remember Less is More

In our example, we don't already have a Sample Line Group for the main alignment to add Sample Line to. We need to build one.
We don't really need ANY Data Sources at this point either.
We certainly do NOT want all of the ones shown below from in our example drawing.

The More Data Sources we put into the Sample Line Group the More resources and time the Sample Line Group updates will take.
Less is More at this point in time.

Style and Sets are Remembered

Getting some Style and Sets assigned is to the potential Data Sources is worth the minimal effort.
The Sample Line Group will remeber these Style connections even if you disconnect the Data Sources.

If you add too many Data Sources to a Sample Line Group here, you can ALWAYS remove them from the Sample Line Group either via the Sample Line Group Layout toolbar or by using the Ribbon tools.

Throw Away is More Than OK

Civil 3D will NOT maintain the connection between the Sample Line Swath Widths and our Offset SECTION Alignments but the PROCESS allows you to quickly make these adjustments On Create.

If we think of the Sample Lines as QA or "assessment" objects until we're really ready to produce final Section output, the current methodology for Sample Line creation works well.

The "object" lession (pun intended) is -

Don't get Stuck on What you See on the Screen in Civil 3D

Our AutoCAD mindset says, "If I already made it, it is tough to recreate it. Fix it."
Civil 3D doesn't work that way at all. 
Sample Line Groups and their Sample Lines are a case in point.

Renumbering replacement Sample Lines and/or even a replacement SL Group "correctly" is just a question of knowing where to go to adjust the properties in the Feature|Command Settings.  

In Civil 3D, we are working for a More refined PROCESS to REPRODUCE the CONSISTENT results we need.

We build up "layers" (pun intended) of civil data in known and QA'd Features (not by linework pictures on layers) to make the magic happen.