Another year has come and gone, but it brings forth new technology and excitement to dive into. In this blog, I will cover the new features of Civil 3D 2018.
The first thing I want to mention is the new drawing format. I think many of you became spoiled with the backward compatibility that Civil 3D offered with versions 2013-2016. Let’s face it; Civil 3D was NEVER backward compatible until the aforementioned versions. So, what’s the big deal, right? All the AutoCAD based products have this new format. If you’re moving to 2018, make sure you are willing to stay on 2018.
So let’s take a look at these nice new features…
Below you will see that nice, new drawing format:
You can create dynamic offset profiles using the same command you use to create offset alignments. The profile geometry is offset using a default cross slope which you can modify by editing the profile properties.
In the offset profiles the geometry of the parent profile is replicated in cases where there is a consistent cross slope from the parent profile. For example, a vertical curve in the parent profile is a vertical curve in the offset profile when the cross slope that is specified for those stations is consistent, as shown in the following illustration.
Note: Vertical curves in offset profile geometry are tessellated as multiple straight segments as shown below when the profile is superimposed onto another profile view. For reviewing and editing the offset profile geometry, insert the offset profile into its own profile view by using the Create Profile View command and selecting the offset alignment.
In areas of the offset profile where there are vertical curves and there is a transition between one cross slope to another cross slope, as specified in the Offset Parameters tab of the offset profile properties, the vertical curve geometry that was replicated from the parent profile will not be preserved. Instead, straight lines are added between control points to approximate the curve as shown in the following illustration.
Offset profiles are created in a dynamic state by default. A dynamic offset profile automatically updates to reflect changes in the elevation or geometry of the parent profile and parent alignment. When an offset profile is dynamic, you can add cross slope regions on the Offset Parameters tab, but the profile geometry cannot be edited.
You can change the update mode for an offset profile on the Profile Data tab of the Profile Properties dialog box.
Relative Feature Lines
Feature line elevations can be obtained from a surface and can also be relative to a surface, so if the surface is updated, the feature line is updated.
The update behavior of relative feature lines is different depending on whether the feature line was set to be relative to a surface when it was created, or whether it was created at absolute elevations and then set to be relative.
The following illustration shows a feature line in green drawn so that it is follows the surface elevations (shown in a dashed gray line) at a positive elevational offset. This feature line was created so that it is relative to the surface.
If the surface is edited, the feature line is updated automatically and maintains the elevational offsets, as shown in the following illustration.
Behavior of feature lines created at fixed elevations, and then set to be relative
The following illustration shows a feature line that was drawn at fixed elevations with no relationship to the surface. If the surface below it is edited, the feature line elevations will not update.
The feature line is then set to be relative to the surface. This creates a relationship between the feature line and the surface but does not reset the feature line elevations to follow the surface.
However, the relative elevational offsets between the feature line and the surface will now be maintained if the surface is edited, such as if the elevation is lowered, as shown in the following illustration.
Note: Feature lines created at fixed elevations, or from grading objects, or that were draped on a surface but not relative to it all share the behavior described in this section if they are subsequently set to be relative to a surface. If you want to reset the elevations of feature line to fully follow a surface, you can use the Elevations from Surface command.
Using relative feature lines as data in surface definitions:
Editing relative feature lines:
Feature line editing commands are supported for relative feature lines.
When you open the Grading Elevation Editor for a feature line that is set to be relative to a surface, you will see the selected surface listed in the Grading Elevation Editor, and the editable feature line points will be shown as being relative to the surface.
You can specify relative elevation options by using the following features in the Grading Elevation Editor.
For a feature line that was not previously set to be relative to a surface, when you open the Grading Elevation Editor and then select a surface from the Relative to Surface list, the Elevation Derived From column is initially set to Absolute Elevation for all points and does not automatically change to Relative to Surface. Use the drop-down list to select Relative to Surface for the points that you want to be relative.
Updating elevation points on a relative feature line:
When you create a feature line and assign elevations based on a surface, you can select the Insert Intermediate Grade Break Points check box. This creates elevation points along the feature line where the feature line crosses surface TIN lines. These points are shown as green circles in the following illustration.
If you edit or otherwise move a relative feature line, or if the surface it is relative to is updated, elevation points are not automatically added or removed on the feature line to match the surface TIN lines, as shown in the following illustration.
You can update the elevation points on the feature line by using the Insert Elevation Point and Delete Elevation Point editing options in the Grading Elevation Editor or on the Edit Elevations panel of the Feature Line ribbon tab.
You can use the connected alignments feature to create an alignment that transitions between two intersecting alignments and to create a profile that transitions between their profiles.
You can use this feature to create a curb return, an exit ramp, a merging/diverging road, or you can connect an existing road with a proposed road.
The connected alignment is created between the two intersecting alignments at a specified radius.
The geometry of the connected profile is automatically generated from the parent profiles that you select. The start and end elevations and slope are taken from the parent profiles, and the middle section of the connected profile is calculated depending on whether extensions of the parent profiles intersect.
Editing the geometry of a connected alignment or profile:
When you create a connected alignment and associated profile, by default they are set to dynamic state, which means that they will partially update if their parent alignments and profiles change. You can change the update mode to static if you want to prevent any updates from occurring and if you want full editing control over the alignment and profile.
Note: Editing the geometry of a connected alignment in the Layout Parameters window is not supported.
You can change the update mode for a connected alignment on the Connection Parameters tab of the Alignment Properties dialog box.
You can change the update mode for a connected profile on the Profile Data tab of the Profile Properties dialog box.
Corner Cleanup for Corridors
At some locations on corridor models, the corridor links can cross each other, resulting in bowtie-like configurations.
The following illustration shows a corridor with a bowtie configuration at the corner.
Automatic and command-based corner cleanup:
In some situations, such as where corridor tangents intersect at a corner, and where the corridor is created at a fixed width, bowties can be cleared automatically. You can control which types of bowtie intersections are cleared automatically by changing the Automatic Clear Bowtie Options in the Edit Feature Settings – Corridor dialog box.
In other situations, such as when the corridor is created at a variable width (such as when daylighting to a surface), you can use the Clear Corridor Bowties command.
Conditions where automatic corridor cleanup behavior is applied:
The automatic AutoCAD Civil 3D corridor cleanup behavior can be applied at tangent-tangent, tangent-curve, and tangent-curve-tangent intersection locations in corridors that use feature lines or alignment/profiles as baselines, and the assemblies have consistent widths as set by shapes within the assembly.
For example, where corridor tangents intersect at a corner, and where the corridor is created at a fixed width, the corners are cleaned up as follows:
The point where the inner corners meet is calculated and radial lines are extended from that location, using the insertion frequency along the baseline as defined in the Frequency to Apply Assemblies dialog box.
In addition, one station is also added at the corner if the At Horizontal Geometry Points option is selected in the Frequency to Apply Assemblies dialog box:
The subassembly width value is overridden at the radial stations; the width is calculated to produce a corner solution that is similar to the AutoCAD Offset command.
For more examples of automatic corner cleanup, see “Corner cleanup examples” below.
Note: You can control which types of bowtie intersections are cleared automatically by changing the Automatic Clear Bowtie Options in the Edit Feature Settings – Corridor dialog box. By default the option to clear bowties at tangent-tangent intersections is set to Yes and the option to clear bowties at tangent-arc and arc-tangent intersections is set to No. If you choose not to enable the Automatic Clear Bowtie Options for fixed width corridors, you can use the Clear Corridor Bowties command on those corridors.
Using the Clear Corridor Bowties command:
Use the Clear Corridor Bowties command in the following conditions:
For more examples of command-based corner cleanup, see the following section.
Corner cleanup examples:
The following table shows different corridor corner examples which can occur in fixed width and variable width corridors.
Corner elevation value after clearing a bowtie:
The elevation value that is used for the corner after bowtie resolution is obtained from one of the inner points of the bowtie as shown in the following illustrations.
The following illustration represents a corner prior to clearing the bowtie. The corridor baseline is shown in red.
The following illustration represents a corner after clearing the bowtie.
Points 3 and 4 are moved to the location of point 5, and the elevation of point 4 is now used in that location. The locations and elevations of points 1 and 2 are unchanged.
Resolving other corner cleanup issues:
Corner cleanup does not get applied at the end point of a closed feature line-based corridor if the start and end of the feature line meet at the corner, as shown in the following illustration on the left.
To work around this, it is recommended that you draw the feature line so that it starts and ends at a location other than a corner as shown in the following illustration on the right.
To resolve other corner cleanup issues that are not cleaned up automatically and which cannot be addressed with the Clear Corridor Bowties command, you can extract a dynamic feature line from the corridor and use the grading tools to grade from that feature line. The following is an example of adding grading to the right side of the corridor.
Move Section Views to a Different Section View Group
You can move one or more section views into a specified section view group.
When you move section views to a different section view group, the following occurs:
In the following example, an individual section SL-25 needs to be moved into the section view group. Its station is 1+75 so it will be inserted between the sections for station 1+50 and 2+00.
The following illustration shows the section view inserted into the section view group. You can choose to keep the existing stylization, as shown in this example, or you can choose to apply the stylization of the destination section view group to the moved sections. The section view for station 3+00 was moved to the next sheet.
Section View Drafting Buffers
Section views are created with drafting buffers. When you add AutoCAD annotation or drafting elements or AutoCAD Civil 3D note labels within or crossing the drafting buffers, they are bound with the section views, and are moved with the section views if they are moved.
In the following illustration, the drafting buffers around the section views are shown in magenta. Drafting elements that were added to the sheet are shown in red.
When the section views for station 2+50 and 3+00 are moved up or off the sheet, the drafting elements that are inside the drafting buffers are moved with the section views. The text that notes the lane slope is not moved because it was outside the drafting buffer area.
Binding drafting elements with a section view:
Drafting elements become bound to a section view when they are added or modified within or crossing the drafting buffer.
Drafting buffer grips:
You can use the grips on a drafting buffer to increase or decrease its size. The following illustration shows the grips and the value of the right drafting buffer margin (50.0000) when you hover over that grip. You can select the grip and drag it to resize the drafting buffer, or you can and enter a new value at the command line.
Note: Resizing a drafting buffer after drafting elements already exist does not automatically change the binding behavior of the drafting elements relative to that drafting buffer. For more information about the binding behavior, see “Binding drafting elements with a section view” above.
Settings and styles related to drafting buffers:
Settings and styles that impact drafting buffers are as follows:
Behavior when changing the direction of section views or deleting section views:
Changing the direction of section views that have drafting elements
If you edit the style of a section view so that the section view direction changes, the drafting buffer is changed to accommodate the new direction, but the drafting elements that are inside or crossing the buffer are not moved. If this results in existing drafting elements being displayed outside of the buffer, the drafting elements will still be bound with the buffer unless you move them to a different location outside the drafting buffer. For more information about the binding behavior, see “Binding drafting elements with a section view” above.
Deleting section views that have drafting elements
If you delete section views that have drafting elements within a drafting buffer, you have the option to delete the drafting elements or preserve them. A task dialog box is displayed with options you can select.
Note: If you select the Always Use My Selection in the Future check box in the task dialog box, and you want to change the behavior in the future, you can edit the Hidden Messages Settings on the System tab of the AutoCAD Options dialog box.
Two new templates for Plan Production have been added for Plan over Plan and Profile over Profile…
Autodesk InfraWorks Ribbon
The new Autodesk InfraWorks ribbon has more options than before. See illustration below…
There are some more new features in this release. Register for the What's New in Civil 3D 2018 Webinar on May 18th at 10am CST to discover more features.