Create Polyline around the Outside of Multiple Objects!

As we discussed in the previous post related to Civil 3D – How to find Closest Distance Between 2 Objects? there are a lot of great drafting tools that can improve our work.

Create Outside boundary of Multiple objects

For today’s post, we are going to look at a tool that automatically creates Polyline around the Outside of Multiple Objects.

This can be really useful when we need to compute some overall areas. For example, if we have several parcels and we want to get the whole area they take. Or if we have some irregularly shaped objects and we want to compute their area – like river outline.

The command – LINEWORKSHRINKWRAP

The tool’s command is LINEWORKSHRINKWRAP. Civil 3D will automatically auto-fill the command if we type in “Linewo” so don’t worry if you can’t remember the whole thing…  After starting the command we just have to select objects from which we want to create the outer polyline.

Note: This tool works with all AutoCAD objects like line, polyline, circle, etc. as well as with Civil 3d objects like corridors, surfaces, etc.

 

Assign elevations to Feature line from existing surface.

Feature lines in AutoCAD Civil 3d are one of the most powerful objects in the software. They are very similar to normal 3d Polylines but we have an extended number of tools to play with.

Many times we need to have line object laying in an existing surface, but how can we assign the exact same elevations on this object directly from the surface? By using feature lines. Just fallow these simple steps and you will have your line laying on the surface:

Method one – creating new feature line object

  1. Decide where do you want your line to be? It can have any shape and can be open or closed.                                                                                                     
  2. Click on Feature line and then Create feature line
  3. Window will pop up, here we will set up our feature line.
    – At the top you will see Site, for this exercise you can leave it that way.
    – Then we see Name, it would be unchecked, you can leave it that way too.
    – Next is Layer tab, here I recommend to select an unique layer which will be used only for our feature lines. In the example we will use “C-FTLN-SITE” layer which stands for Civil-Featureline-Site.
    – Lastly you will see Conversion options they will be greyed out. You can use them only if we convert an existing object to featureline.
    – You are ready to hit OK                                                                                    .
  4. Now AutoCad Civil 3d asks for specific start point, upon choosing one it will ask for elevation, leave it 0 for now, then you will repeat the process until you have the required shape.
  5. Now select our new feature line and you will have a new ribbon – Feature line. Here you can see Elevation from Surface command, just select it.
  6. New window will pop up, here you will be asked for two things:
    – Choose the sufrace from which the elevations will came from. We will use ET (existing terrain).
    Insert Intermediate grade break points – check box to insert intermediate grade breaks where the entity crosses surface TIN lines. Elevation points are created at these locations.
    Note: If you leave the box unchecked you will have surface elevations only at feature line’s vertexes.                                                                                    
  7. Click OK, then select the feature line.
  8. The feature line is assigned the elevations of the underlying surface.

Method two – create feature line from objects

  1. Decide where do you want your line to be? It can have any shape and can be open or closed.                                                                                           
  2. Click on Feature line and then Create feature line from objects
  3. AutoCAD will ask you to select an line or polyline. Now we will just select our existing polyline.
  4. Window will pop up, here we will set up our feature line. It will be almost the same as method one.
    – At the top you will see Site, for this exercise you can leave it that way.
    – Then we see Name, it would be unchecked, you can leave it that way too.
    – Next is Layer tab, here I recommend to select an unique layer which will be used only for our feature lines. In the example we will use “C-FTLN-SITE” layer which stands for Civil-Featureline-Site.
    – Lastly you will see Conversion options here we can choose weather to Erase existing object or leave it there, we will erase it. Assign Elevations we will check that box. Weed points we will leave this unchecked for this exercise.
    – You are ready to hit OK.                                                                     
  5. New window will pop up, here you will be asked to Assign Elevations, you have two options to set specific elevation for all vertexes or Assign Elevations From Surface.
    – Since we want Surface elevations you will choose the sufrace from which the elevations will came from. We will use ET (existing terrain).
    Insert Intermediate grade break points – check box to insert intermediate grade breaks where the entity crosses surface TIN lines. Elevation points are created at these locations.
    Note: If you leave the box unchecked you will have surface elevations only at feature line’s vertexes.                                                                                                            
  6. Click OK, the feature line is assigned the elevations of the underlying surface.

Note: Elevations obtained from the surface are not dynamic.

 

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