When I worked in engineering firms, we were discouraged from making design marks in the CAD files. I remember several occasions where I used polylines to measure out areas, made extra alignments to get a better view of the surface and created endless “_Dana-test” layers in the base plan. It would usually only take a few minutes before the CAD manager was over at my desk with his/her fingers jabbing towards my eyes.
As I mentioned yesterday, one of the things I always wanted to do was make one big long profile that followed the whole run of water down to my outlet. This would have been a lot of work, so instead we just cut our little perfect 24X36 profiles and worked there- wasting plenty of time and brainpower that could have been used to optimize the design. Instead, I spent it fiddling with perfect labels and keeping a big stack of notes on paper next to my keyboard.
This is a project I did a few years ago with some clients (forgive the really bad screen colors, I decided to give my color OCD the day off today):
The profiles for review and construction would be cut along the streets, but since the site had huge fall from north to south, and where the connection points were and things like that- the main controlling line followed a path something like this:
Before I even figured out where my exhibit or plan/profile sheet profile views would be cut, I made a series of long alignments that followed my probable pipe locations, and began working in very large profile views that would make the CAD managers of yore burn a hole through their desk with the electric eraser.
It is a lot easier to get used to the graphical and model style design and editing in Civil 3D if you take advantage of looking at things from different angles. I had been trained to design pipes in spreadsheet form, and I still do sometimes. One thing I really wanted the Prospector and Panorama windows to do was to act like a spreadsheet and it made me mad that they didn’t. That was, until I had the “OH YEAH” moment of making as many big, long, giant pipe profile views as I wanted and tweaking slopes and inverts there.
Once I cut my little paper sized profile views that followed the road alignments, any changed I make in the big, long, giant profile view carry over immediately.
Civil 3D can have multiple profile views for the same alignment- like these two examples. I needed one exhibit to have detailed labels and light linework for the bedrock depths and another to be more of an exhibit for the bedrock. Note that not only are there different labels, grid frequencies, etc. but also different vertical scales.
I created the above hatched profile view using Civil 3D 2010: Profile Hatch and the surfaces I made in: Using Geological Data for Rock Quantities: Part I and Using Geological Data for Rock Quantities: Part II .
Don’t forget to take advantage of labels every place you can. The old days of CAD management meant that labeling got in the way. Now, you can data shortcut in your model information and have your own private sandbox for making labels that tell you the designer what to do. Same with styles, colors, etc. When I did this project, I made a little flickr album with some pipe labeling and trenching ideas.
Other ideas for labels you can add:
More to come on this, along with some specific steps on creating some of these labels.