The search for a tactical and practical set of best practices for Civil 3D Corridor construction for Multiple Baseline Corridors (MBC) is an on-going work in progress. We live in exciting times. In over a decade of intense product development, Autodesk built a veritable herd of Alignment related Civil 3D Features, enhancements, and the many Civil 3D Corridor engine improvements.
The latest Civil 3D 2022.1 Update includes some serious, behind the scenes Data Reference, Corridor performance, Corridor tool, and Corridor Targeting interface improvements.
Our understanding the subtleties of the new Civil 3D 2022.1 Update Corridor Targeting interface tools deserves a quick video review. Thanks to Jeff Bartels of Autodesk, we have a good one.
The New Corridor Targeting Tools in Civil 3D 2022.1
The new Targeting Tools and other Civil 3D 2022.1 Update changes generally make basic Corridor design changes simple and easier to visualize as demonstrated in the video.
For Complex Corridor design, the Civil 3D 2022.1 Update enhancements make it easier to construct and manage Multiple Baseline Corridors (MBC) for common civil engineering design challenges like Medians and Turn Lane Corridors.
These principles and practices can help Civil 3D users accomplish the similar and related Corridor design work that is applicable to many more types civil engineering projects.
Multiple Baseline Corridor Best Practices
The following points and competencies are covered elsewhere in multiple posts on the cadpilot site.
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The Principles of the Separation of Powers
It is apparent that we must learn to employ Separation of Powers methodologies to create, edit, and manage all the interrelated complexities of a Complex Corridor.
To review and summarize some of the Multiple Baseline Corridor Best Practices:
- Project Data Reference (DREF) management of the design control is essential
- Plan and Manage the creation of the Baselines and the Regions
- Know Thy Subassemblies and their codes
- Employ Sets of Assemblies to manage the cross section design control and Property details
- Master the Region Create and Edit Tools and the Master the Corridor Targeting Tools
- Corridor Surfaces are and are not generic Civil 3D Surfaces
The Civil 3D 2022.1 Update includes significant Corridor Region Targeting Tool enhancements.
What are some of the best practices to master the Region Create and Edit Tools and all the new and updated Corridor Targeting Tools?
Civil 3D Region Create and Edit Tools
Separate, managed, and project-based and shared DREF (Data Referenced) design control helps us manage the complexities of Multiple Baseline Corridors. Consistent and structured names of parent Alignments and all the many Civil 3D Alignment children are an important consideration.
If we want to support replaceable optional versions of the Corridor design control, our Data Reference project folder conventions and storage structures are important.
A Multiple Baseline Corridor typically requires a larger number of managed Baselines with Regions and a requisite Set of Assemblies to create, edit, and manage the beast.
Employ a Baseline and Region structured attack plan or plan to spend a lot of time fixing the results of the failure to plan.
The identification and planned stationing of critical Baseline Region geometric Start Station and End Station points is not as obvious nor as intuitive in Civil 3D as we first expect.
We should recognize that the muddiness or confusion about those design time decisions is as much about our lack of experience with Corridor engine Region resolution and applied Frequencies between neighboring and different Region Assemblies and the collected Subassemblies as anything else.
Subassembly Codes Rule
Multiple Corridor Baselines and multiple Regions exist to attach different named Assembly collections of Subassemblies and/or PKT definitions to the Regions. The statement is painfully obvious.
How these Property and Targeting specifics are implemented requires some experiential learned skill.
The Subassembly and PKT Link and Point codes rule.
The challenge speaks again to the need to manage Sets of Assemblies, so the neighboring Subassemblies and codes are consistent and appropriate in their Property and Targeting details.
Simple prefix type Subassembly name conventions in Assembly Groups can help significantly speed up Target assignments in the new interface which now supports filters.
Subassembly prefixed names in Assemblies also reduce targeting confusion for Civil 3D users.
The Civil 3D Corridor engine essentially expects that Subassemblies with potential Target assignments will typically employ the appropriate horizontal and vertical design control.
In single Baseline Corridors with small numbers of Assemblies and therefore fewer Subassembly targeting assignments, the need to Target is more flexible. We may be able employ only horizontal Width Targets and produce acceptable Corridor output results.
In Complex Corridors the number of Baselines and Regions with different Assemblies increases. The Corridor engine appears to be understandably more particular about the resolution of more of the Targeting design control assignments.
Be aware that duplicated Target assignments on different Subassemblies can produce bad Feature Line output results. In effect it is possible via targets to stack multiple Subassembly Feature Line production codes at the same resolved location(s).
This may produce dubious Feature Line data results when added to the Corridor Surfaces.
A check of the Corridor Surface TIN resolution with a QAQC Surface Style can point out these Target resolution issues.
Region Edit Tools
How the Split Region tool functionally works in Civil 3D is relatively easy to understand.
When and how then to employ a Split Region, Add Before, and Add After tool is something else again.
The Split Region tool is notable for its point and shoot approach. Left unsaid but implied - the selection of appropriate Region geometry points can often benefit from the employment of Civil 3D Transparent commands like ‘SO (Station and Offset).
In practice Region Station specifics are often best derived from other horizontal design control locations.
More about the need for a Corridor attack plan for Baselines and Regions in a more detailed upcoming post.
It may be acceptable to be sloppy about the initial Split Region locations and to manually adjust the Start Station and End Station locations appropriately in the Corridor Parameters box. However, that also means we must access the Corridor Parameters tab which is still is not modal in Civil 3D.
Sadly, the Corridor contextual Ribbon and Modify Region panel does not include a Modify Region tool to get us to the correct Region in the Corridor Parameters box by selected Region.
Edit a Region in Corridor Parameters
However, if we know the Baseline that contains a Region, you can get there in the Corridor Parameters box quickly in the Toolspace. The displayed results work best if the Corridor itself is not selected.
In the Toolspace, Select the Baseline. Right click and Pick Properties.
Civil 3D will also expand the Corridor Parameters box automatically and scroll to the Baseline.
We can switch to edit any of the Regions in any of the Baselines.
The horizontal control is highlighted.
If the Region is Off, there is no highlighted design control.
With a Right Click on the Region we can Zoom and Pan to it and employ the Add Region Before and Add Region After tools.
Needless to say the current Corridor Style and the current Corridor Code Set Style effect how well all this works or confuses us.
The Region Match Parameters Tool
The considerations of how, when, and where also pertain to the Region Match Parameters tool.
The updated Match Parameters tool has powerful enhanced options that are easy to overlook.
What is the fastest way to get rid of all the many Region property specifics? Kill and recreate?
What is a fast way to get rid of only a Region’s targets? This might require a somewhat similar Region somewhere with no targets assigned.
In the new Civil 3D 2022.1 Update, the Match Parameters tool got a serious productivity and capability updates. We can now:
- Match Parameters between Regions in different Corridors.
Previously the Match Parameters command could only match parameters in Regions within the same Corridor.
- Run the Match Parameters command from contextual Ribbon menus and from the Prospector tree.
- Select the destination Region for Match Parameters from a list of Regions
We still must select the first Region on screen.
- Choose the type of Targets to match.
Selections are now available for surface targets, width or offset targets, and slope or elevation targets.
Previously the type of Target was not selectable.
As seen in the video above - the new Civil 3D 2022.1 Targeting tools now allows us more copied Targets flexibility.
The Need for Adaptive Civil 3D Style Choice
The iterative design capabilities of Civil 3D continue to increase. The clearly apparent need for choices of consistent, adaptive, and robust Civil 3D Styles that allow us to appropriately visualize and/or reduce the currently displayed complexity of Multiple Baseline Corridors therefore continues to increase.
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