Surface Smithing in Civil 3D
Frank Diemert, a Technical Specialist at ATG, explains a basic workflow for Volume calculation with Volume Dashboard Tool from combined multiple surfaces in Civil 3D.
From the ATG YouTube Channel.
You can construct the differential volume surface(s) before you open and use the Volume Dashboard Tool. That has some workflow benefits Frank does not cover here.
Frank's tip about the use of LandXML files to help you manage the Civil 3D dynamic model interaction here is as important as he states, but maybe not that obvious when the surfaces are not large.
Sometimes is helps to keep the new design surfaces in separate XML files as those specific design surfaces usually change. The data Imports, Surfaces, and Reports can be refreshed after the files are updated.
In other words, you can build a standard placeholder drawing(s) for basic volume calculation into your Civil 3D Project Template to optimize user time spent and the namining conventions. Placeholer Surface drawings and empty XML files work.
See the videos on the Civil 3D Projects and Setup page
The Framework for Civil 3D includes Style collections of themed Surface styles for both contours and points and triangles and Surface representations. This video demonstrates the need.