Creating Profiles and Profile Views

Now that you have an understanding of profiles and profile views, let’s explore how you create them in AutoCAD Civil 3D. This section explores creating an existing and a proposed profile, and begins by using the Profiles commands available from the Profile drop-down menu on the Home tab.

For the most part, existing profiles are created using the Create Surface Profile command, and proposed profiles are created using the commands available from the Profile Layout Tools toolbar, which is displayed when you select Profile Creation Tools.

After selecting Create Surface Profile, the following dialog box is displayed:

After selecting the desired alignment and surface, click the Add>> button to create your new Existing Ground Profile in the Profile List. If you look closely at the dialog box, you will see options for controlling which portion of the alignment is sampled, as well as the ability to sample offsets. This is not very different from Land Desktop.

After adding your new profile to the list, you can present it in a profile view by clicking Draw In Profile View at the bottom of the dialog box.

NoteThroughout the process, having to select both the alignment and the surface in the various dialog boxes reduces the possibility of error. It also means you don’t have to worry about what is current and what is not as you do with Land Desktop.

Remember that the profile view is just a container that displays the profiles. Conceptually, you only need to select your alignment and the desired profiles you want to display. After you click Draw In Profile View, AutoCAD Civil 3D opens an easy-to-use wizard that guides you through the process of creating a profile view.

As you step through the choices in the wizard dialog boxes, you’ll be able to configure the following to determine the organization as well as the presentation of your profile view:

Profile View Name—To assist in keeping things organized, you must give this profile view a name. As with all AutoCAD Civil 3D objects, you can accept the default name that is displayed automatically, if you wish (for example, PV 1).

Station Range—If your profile is very long and you only want to present a small portion of it, you can specify a desired station range.

Profile View Height—If you want to provide some additional white space (margin) at the top or bottom of your view, just increase the View Height.

Profile View Style—The profile view style controls how the profile view looks. In other words, it defines components such as grid spacing, vertical exaggeration, titles, view direction, and so on.

Band Set—Selecting a band set adds preconfigured labeling to the top or bottom of your profile view.

When finished specifying options, click Create Profile View and you are asked to select a point in Model space to display the new profile view. Just as in Land Desktop, you are selecting where the lower left corner of the profile view will be placed.

Once these choices are defined, they can be easily changed using the Profile View Properties dialog box. Just right-click on a profile view and click Properties from the right-click menu, or select a profile view in the drawing and then click Profile View Properties from the ribbon.

After the insertion point is selected, the profile view is displayed. Using the Move command on a profile in Land Desktop was problematic, but in AutoCAD Civil 3D it’s not a problem. To move the profile view, you can use the standard AutoCAD MOVE command to relocate it, or use the grip at the lower left corner of the profile view.

It’s now time to create your proposed profile. From the Profiles drop-down menu on the Home tab (ribbon), select Profile Creation Tools. You are then prompted to select which Profile View you will be using to create your new profile. After clicking on the desired Profile View, the following dialog box is displayed:

NoteWhen you are trying to select a Profile View in a drawing, you must make certain that you click on a grid line rather than on a profile line. The grid lines are part of the profile view object. The profile lines are profile objects. Even though the two object types can be displayed together, it is important to understand that the profile view and the profile are two separate and distinct object types that are displayed on top of each another.

Using this dialog box, you can give your proposed profile a name, and select styles to control how it is displayed and labeled. Accepting the defaults will produce a proposed profile that looks very similar to a Land Desktop profile.

After clicking OK, the following toolbar is displayed. Notice that the Profile Layout Tools toolbar is very similar to the Alignment Layout Tools toolbar. This is another example of the standardized user interface in AutoCAD Civil 3D.

In Land Desktop, you could create proposed profiles graphically, through an editor, or a combination of both depending on the information you have to work with. The next section explores performing the same tasks using AutoCAD Civil 3D.