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Baseline Civil 3D Alignments

Tags alignment, corridor, baseline, region, intersection, profile, Project Management

There is an intimate relationship between the Alignment, the Intersection, and the Corridor in AutoCAD Civil 3D. These are at the heart of Civil 3D world of managed relationships. Yeah. I know. Surfaces and Grading are mission critical to civil engineered projects too, but we already talked about that. The point is if you pay attention to software tools, you…

Follow the Money

What tools has Autodesk really delivered? We may not like that Autodesk focused on things we don’t initially consider to be the most important things to our civil engineering design practice. We could certainly complain they give us poor examples and Styles. Our Production Solution products fix that. Does Civil 3D actually provide us a new and different ways to solve our old classic design problems? You betcha.

In that light we proposed a mental rename of Alignment to the Design Control Manager. We reviewed the list of the Alignment’s Design Control Managers. That small change of perspective hopefully allows us to improve our production use of the Civil 3D tools Autodesk delivered. In the infamous Cook with Corridors post I said the Corridor engine is the Design Manager in Civil 3D. How we think about what a Corridor is makes all the difference. See the videos about linear and non-linear corridors.

Primary Relationships

Put another way the Alignment lets you set up the Design Control via its built-in managers and Corridor let you manage the resultant design(s) built from those details. The thoughtful use of the Intersection wizard and Civil 3D data references helps you reduce the repetitive setup and management of that interrelated work. This gets complex with more to manage, doesn’t it? Aren’t your parcels are related to your right of way? Get more Civil 3D parcel understanding.

Alignments Become Baselines?

Is an Alignment a Corridor Baseline? No. God knows, we are almost tempted to answer, yes.
Must the Corridor Baseline control be an Alignment? Yes. Errr. No. Wait a minute.
A Baseline definition is an Alignment and Profile pair isn’t it? Oh yeah.
We’re not mincing words or semantics here.
Corridor Baselines are NOT Alignments or they could just be called that.
Such distinction is important.

Better Managed Design

Baselines are the Stationing-based design management control device inside Corridors?
What are Baselines there for? What are Regions there for?
In the real design world most end product Corridors are multi-Baseline and multiple Region constructions. Perhaps rough and finished at least?
Could the same Alignment provide horizontal control for two separate Baselines in the same Corridor? Of course, but that is not all that intuitive unless we see Corridors for what they are – Collectors of our better managed design.

Please tell me you turn on and off Baselines all the time in your Corridors? You do manage your Options and your design quality control?

How Many Baselines Do You Need?

This is like the infamous question about Existing Surfaces,
“How many existing surfaces are there in a project?”

Many people answer, “One.” 
I chuckle and say, “As many as you need.”

The Alignment Management posts: a study guide to Read and Test in AutoCAD Civil 3D.

Civil 3D Alignment | Civil 3D Alignment Types | An Alignment in Civil 3D | Baseline Civil 3D Alignments | The Alignment End View in Civil 3D | Annotative Profiles in Civil 3D | Civil 3D Horizontal Control | Alignment Based Point Groups

Alignment Video posts: (see the Deliverables course in the Members section)

Civil 3D Alignment Matters - An Overview | Civil 3D Best Fits are Fast and Better | Civil 3D Best Fit Segment Tools