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Building Information Modeling Resource Area

The Right Fit: Alignments From the Field

By Russ Nicloy

I was working with a user this week.  During the process he had points he’d surveyed in the field for the centerline of an existing path was.  He was going to eyeball in the alignment along that path based on the points he’d shot.  But why not let the computer do things like that?!  The alignment will be much easier to put in, and more appropriate mathematically as well?!

In Civil 3D 2011 you can create a best fit alignment.  Now, the user I worked with had C3D point objects fom his survey, but you can also use AutoCAD points, AutoCAD blocks, feature lines, or AutoCAD lines and arcs.  If you are using C3D points from the survey you just got in, you could also use an existing point group to even more quickly assign the C3D point objects.  You can assign a maximum radius for curve creation so that the alignment will curve, or choose a more direct path.  You are still in the “alignment creation” process, so styles and labels are available in the same dialog box.  For those that want to double-check where this alignment is coming in, there is even a regression graph available.

All this and you don’t have to play connect the dots!

Just another real world example of where the 2011 release is saving time and increasing accuracy.

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