We took an initial and considerate peek at some uses for Connected Alignments in AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018 in an earlier post. The Connected Alignment provides us with the mechanics to create manage the Curb Return interconnections of two Alignments and their Profiles. We get both horizontal and vertical control between Offset Alignments in any two intersecting Alignment systems. Great stuff that applies to more than roadway design as I pointed out in the Civil 3D 2018 Connected Alignment Upgrade post.
Connected Alignments are a specialized Curb Return Alignment type. Be warned. Changing the type will permanently destroy the connection associations of the Alignment. Civil 3D doesn’t like it either. There is no “Are you sure you want to do this” feedback at the moment.
Connected Alignments may be coupled with the other new Alignment related tools in Civil 3D 2018.
“Does that create new Civil 3D 2018 superpowers?”
Offset Me to Better
AutoCAD Civil 3D 2018 finally provides us with the ability to create and manage Offset Profiles. Yes. We’ve had Offset Alignments for ages. Now we have the new ability to create and manage slope-controlled Offset Profiles too. If you understand the Civil 3D Intersection tool’s profile slope-control, that should make some sense. Now instead of make and destroy we can actually edit them.
Offset Profiles may maintain their formal and dynamic relationship with the Offset Alignment parents. An Offset Profile also allows you to create slope-control regions and transitions via a new Offset Parameters tab in the Profile properties box. Yes. The slope control honors and recognizes Widenings too. OMG! Give yourself a minute to let that sink in.
I’m so Excited I Just Can’t Hide It
If you’re a skilled Civil 3D user who employs Offset Alignments all the time, you do have to remind yourself to now always visit the new Create Offset Profiles tab in the new Create Offset Alignments box. One of the first things to grab me about Offset Profiles is the capability to employ variable slope control across intersections without the need to resort to Superelevation Design Control tricks and/or real and dummy Civil 3D Intersections. Both of these are a bit hard to track in the current Civil 3D workflow with only Alignment Description edits to audit trail the weirdness.
We now have multiple attack plans for managing multiple and parallel Baselines inside Corridors. In Civil 3D 2018, we can also now build and manage intersections without Intersection objects. See all the Civil 3D 2018 preview videos here.
Of course, nifty Civil 3D Intersection tricks like Cascaded Intersections are, and will still be, a good thing. Do commercial site design with multiple entrances and exits? Time to pay attention…
How to Construct a Cascade Intersection in Civil 3D
How to build a cascaded Intersection from the design control of another Intersection?
This is a step-by-step walk-through of the entire process. Once again we're using the
Stop the Wizard methodology seen Stop That Civil 3D Intersection Wizard.
This video covers newer Civil 3D Profile locking properties which may cause issues with the Intersection Ribbon tools.
The previous video post The Cascaded Civil 3D Intersection covers the concepts and other important details employed here.
Intersections Matter – Style Matters
It would be nice if the 2018 Intersection Wizard automatically identified that existing Offset Alignments and Offset Profiles already were available. Ok. We can dream. Connecting the pieces is time consuming.
The ability to create, design, manage and edit them before you start the Intersection wizard and modify those Offset Parameters of the slope-controlled Profiles in more detail is a significant improvement.
Offset Profiles make some reduction to tangent concessions in regards to the complex geometry possibilities of vertical curves and slope control interactions for reasons that should be pretty obvious if you think a bit about it. Truth be told - most of the time we often make the same concessions when we construct such things in the real world anyway. Are the results acceptable? Best to check with good Civil 3D Style and Label Style tools. These QAQC type Style tools are already part of the Framework of Civil 3D.
The Offset Profile vertical curve graphics are approximated to representative tangents when used as a Superimposed Profile in another Profile View. Left unsaid is the affect that has on the Profile View labels on that Superimposed Offset Profile. None the less the result is much better that a sharp stick in the eye.
I already let it be known that the 2017 version of the Framework for Civil 3D has the Style tools to make the new design tools perform well and even publish the results faster. The Framework upgrades to AutoCAD Civil 3D without issues. See the Civil 3D 2018 and the Framework post for details and goodies.