Civil 3D Corridor Frequency Data Models

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Our recent explorations of a common Turn Lanes and Median Corridor design reveals that we have skills and best practices to learn to successfully annotate Complex Corridors in Autodesk Civil 3D.

Repetitive and simple Civil 3D user events dramatically affect the amount of work required and the quality and substance of the Civil 3D Corridor results we can deliver.
Some of those events include:

  • Project-based shared Data Referenced design control
  • Robust and consistent Sets of Assemblies resources
  • Corridor Creation Baseline and Region Plan(s)
  • A Managed Project based approach to Region Frequency Properties
  • What, When, and How we share the Corridor results in our project

Civil 3D Styles, Sets, and Resources

To Do the Do we need robust and adaptive Civil 3D Templates, Civil 3D Styles, and other integrated Civil 3D resources to visualize all the many nuances of Complex Corridors inside the Civil 3D interface.
Why there is the deep and rich product that is the Framework for Civil 3D.

The Deliverable Point of Region Frequency

Corridor Region Frequency properties drive all the many forms of output from a Civil 3D Corridor. Corridor Surfaces are one of the best understood Corridor output forms. All the familiar Civil 3D Surface annotative label tools work acceptably. A Civil 3D Surface is a surface.

Sadly, the traditional Surface label methods tend to be man-hour intensive and the QAQC of Corridor Surface labels can be difficult to check as our project-based Corridor design evolves. They are problematic to create, QAQC, and maintain.

Corridors Surfaces are created from the core forms of Corridor output data.
There is a lot of that data behind. We need to plan to manage the Corridor WTMI.

Automated Corridor Annotation

A more automated form of Corridor annotation driven by other Region Frequencies outputs to managed Line and Curve Labels is easier to create and maintain when we are prepared to execute that. We may choose to employ dynamic or static extracted Corridor Feature Lines output.

No matter what, the Corridor Region Frequencies remain the heart of the Corridor WTMI output challenge. We have a real information management problem. We can employ a managed system and workflow to address that.

Why do that all that seemingly extra work?


Civil 3D Corridor Frequency and Annotation

We get better, more consistent, and more adaptive deliverable results.

How do we get our Civil 3D project, the drawings, the many DREFs, and other resources set up to achieve repeatable and consistent Corridor annotative results from a Complex Corridor design?

An instructive Corridor annotation setup video helps.


Civil 3D Corridor Frequency Data Models

The Civil 3D 2022.1 Update improvements to the Corridor Match Properties tool can certainly be useful.

A continuously improved and small Civil 3D Project Template with acceptable and consistent file resource placeholders remains the most appropriate Civil 3D customization work we can perform to receive the best bang for the buck.

The use of standardized name conventions for Corridor build and edit, working, and publication drawings and the many potential annotation report files are significant.

What’s In That Corridor?

The Turn Lanes and Median Corridor model:

  • Multiple alignments with a main road that includes multiple non-tangent horizontal curves
  • Multiple vertical curves in the profiles of two of the three intersection alignments
  • The main road uses Offset Profile slope design control to flatten the pavement surfaces through the intersection
  • There are vertical curves in all the curb return Profiles which all honor the cross slopes
  • Either side of the intersection could honor the crossing flowlines instead of the crowns.
  • Requires only 6 Assemblies all built from stock subassemblies in the Set of Assemblies.

This example Turn Lanes and Median Corridor design is a bit nasty in part to make the managed system and workflow points about how we must plan to handle the Corridor WTMI and produce real benefits from the Corridor data behind.

Civil 3D DREF Spaghetti

Complex Corridors require lots of project-shared design control. It is the nature of the beast. Most Civil 3D project design challenges also tend to require multiple option scenarios.

After each stage of our design development, we must take the time to check and update the consistency of all the shared Data References or risk the infamous Civil 3D DREF spaghetti problem.

A Civil 3D Corridor is far more than a Surface production engine.

The Region Frequency Properties help us manage the many potential Corridor outputs to maximize our deliverable results with less effort.

The Civil 3D capability to employ shared Corridor Data Model References to manage a Corridor collector’s output results is certainly worth the weight.

Region Frequency Properties

Managed Complex Corridors require a deeper understanding of Corridor Region Frequency Properties.

The Corridor Frequencies dialog box allows us to specify Assembly insertion Frequency for the following components of a Corridor Region:

  • Tangents
    Specify the Assembly insertion frequency along the tangent portion of an alignment.
  • Curves
    Specify the Assembly insertion frequency along the curve portion of an alignment.
  • Spirals
    Specify the Assembly insertion frequency along the spiral portion of an alignment.
  • Profile Curves
    Specify the Assembly insertion frequency along the curve portion of the profile.
  • Offset Targets
    Specify whether Assemblies should be inserted based on offset targets.
  • At specific Points
    Specify whether Assemblies should be inserted at specific geometry points.
    These include: horizontal geometry, superelevation critical, profile geometry, and profile high and low points.

The newer Offset Targets nuances are worth a careful read of the Civil 3D Help files.

There is definitely a point to Region Frequency property management and that ever-present Corridor annotation challenge in Civil 3D.

Frequency Considerations

More Frequency applied in a Corridor Region is not always the best or fastest way to get satisfactory Corridor and Corridor Surface and/or useful Corridor Feature Line results. Less can indeed be more.

We may need the annotative Corridor Frequencies properties to differ from the Corridor Surface or Region resolution properties. A Corridor model that produces this managed project-based annotation is a useful production tool.

See the Deeper Civil 3D Corridor Annotation post and video and the entire Corridor Station Labels post and video series for more about Point label based annotation in Civil 3D.

The Corridor Question – To Do or Not to Do

The frequency that we encounter Complex Corridors in Civil 3D is up to us. These common Corridors are clearly applicable to roadways, parking lots, and almost every civil engineering grading design challenge.

It unquestionably helps to have robust and rich Civil 3D Style, Civil 3D Set, and other in-depth and integrated Civil 3D resources to tackle these beasts. We make that affordable and accessible to all.

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