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Civil Geometry Alignments v8i

Geometry tools are coordinate geometry tools that utilize a heads-up interface, persists user input, and preserves design intent. Results of these tools are intelligent graphic elements stored in the DGN and not in external files.

Civil Geometry tools are neatly found in MX v8i on the Civil Geometry Task menu.  Civil Geometry alignments are MicroStation Complex Elements.

Because Civil Geometry uses MicroStation commands, the Undo command may become your favorite feature.

Geometry wise, Civil Geometry offers both an Intersection Point and Element forms of construction.


General

Civil Geometry points use MicroStation Snap Codes.  The Civil Geometry tools utilize cursor prompts, dynamic feedback, and on-screen manipulation to provide an interface that helps keep focus on your work.  Data presented on the cursor can be changed by keying in a new value followed by an Enter to accept the new value.  The End key unlocks the new value.  A Data Point (left mouse click) advances to the next prompt.  Minimal prompts are also echoed to the MicroStation dialog.

Enter Placement Method prompt

When the cursor offers options instead of a numeric value, the available options can be cycled through using the Arrow keys.  The bottom right of the cursor prompt displays arrow head icons indicating which arrow keys to use at that moment.  The above cursor prompt graphic indicates that the Down Arrow will cycle thru the Placement Method options for that tool.

In addition, any of the tool's criteria can be locked in the dialog panel at any time.  Locking some values may limit or otherwise affect the other values.

Relationships between elements are preserved when things change.  Elements can be edited by way of onscreen graphic Manipulators or adjusting the element's properties.  Advance to the Manipulators section to learn about editing an element.

For more sophisticated constructions, use Civil AccuDraw.  It can be found on the MicroStation menu, select Tools => Civil AccuDraw => Activate Toolbar.

Design Standards may be used for the creation of an alignment.  There are also options to set the feature type.  However if the element (or alignment) is to be converted to an MX alignment, then the feature assignment is lost.


Import MX Geometry from Active Model Import MX Geometry button

Civil Geometry can import geometric elements from MX.  Click the Import MX Geometry from Active Model button to obtain the Import Geometry panel.  Select the MX items desired, then click the Import button.

  • The elements are imported as civil geometry elements but will have less intelligence than if an equivalent element was created by the Civil Geometry tools.  This is especially true for alignments.

  • Previously imported elements will show as checked if the import command is run again.


Design Standards Toolbar Design Standards Toolbar button

The Design Standard will supply values for the element creation tools (such as minimum radius and transition lengths) as well as direct which prompts are offered for a construction tool.  The Design Standard will also check for kinks in the alignment.

To open the Design Standard Toolbar,  from the MicroStation Tasks menu select Civil Tools => Horizontal Geometry (or General Geometry) => Design Standards Toolbar.

                                      design standards panel

This toolbar allows the selection of a Design Standard and also controls it's application to a civil geometry element.  From the pulldown, select the desired Design Standard.  Next, click the Toggle Active Design Standard button on the left of the toolbar to toggle the standard ON or OFF.  When ON, the button turns amber and all subsequent commands will make use of the values contained in the standard.  When OFF, the selected standard is ignored.  Also, set the desired sight distance to either Stopping or Passing from the pulldown on the far left of the panel.

If a Design Standard is violated, then feedback is provided in two ways:

  1. An icon appears on the element that has the problem.  Hover near (over it is too close) the icon to reveal a tool tip report of the error.

  2. In the Civil Message Center (Tools => Civil Geometry => Civil Message Center).

Design standards are very alignment oriented.  There is limited value for using Design Standards for non-alignment constructions.  To verify a Design Standard has been applied, use the Element Information tool on the new element.

Set Design Standard Set Element Design Standard button

The Set Design Standard is for applying a standard to previously created civil elements.  However, the Design Standard must be set and the Toggle Active Design Standards button must be toggled ON before applying an Element Design Standard.

From the far left of the  Design Standard Toolbar, click on the Set Element Design Standard button.  Next, choose the element to which the design standard will be assigned.  To verify a Design Standard has been applied, use Element Information on the selected element

 


Feature Definition Toggle Bar

Feature Definitions are used to control symbology, annotation, and various other properties that may applied to geometric elements.

Each element creation tool allows for a Feature Assignment.  The proper assignment is imperative for subsequent functions to work properly.  In order to avoid setting a feature assignment for each element every time you create an element, use the Feature Definition toggle Bar.  It allows the user to select a feature once and it be used for all element creation tools until directed otherwise.

From the Civil Tools Task pane, in either the Horizontal Geometry or the General Geometry task menu select Feature Definition Toggle Bar.

Feature Definition Toggle Bar

Expand the Feature Definition drop-down in the middle of the Toggle Bar to choose from the available defined feature definitions.  For Civil Geometry, use a feature from the MXROAD.PSS (likely to be the Alignment feature).

The Use Active Feature Definition button Use Active Feature Definition button is used to force commands to use the feature definition selected on the Toggle bar.  This button should be toggled ON, which is designated by a amber background.  Now all future feature assignments will be properly directed.

Use the Match Feature Definition button to populate the combo box with the feature definition of another selected element.

Click the Create 3D Automatically button Create 3D Automatically button to generate 3D model elements for the created elements.  These 3D elements are computed by best fit with respect to the active terrain model, which is reason enough to keep this button OFF for all Civil Geometry work.

Use the Chain Commands button to toggle ON command chaining.

Use the Rule Deactivation to toggle OFF rule application.   If toggled ON (button turns amber), then commands will create elements with rules disabled.  Therefore, relationships and associations between elements will be ignored.  If toggled OFF, then commands will create elements with rules enabled.  We recommend leaving this button OFF.


Complex By PI Complex by PI button  

Complex By PI creates a linear element with curves based on user input of PI (point of intersection) locations.  These curves can include transitions.

This is basically the Civil Geometry version of MX's Quick Horizontal alignment.  As the command suggests, the resulting alignment is a Complex Element.

Follow the dialog and/or the cursor prompts to guide your alignment construction.  Data Points place the PI's.  The value for the curves back radius is seeded on the cursor.  To change the seed radius, supply the new value followed by the Enter key to lock the value. Tap the End key to unlock a value.  This back seed radius will be used for all subsequent curves till it's changed.  A Data Point (left mouse click) advances to the next prompt.  Select the Reset button to terminate the placement of PI's.

Advance to the Manipulators section to learn about editing an alignment.


Civil Geometry Elements - Fixed Elements

Line Between Points Line Between Points button creates a line between two user defined points.

Arc Between Points Arc Between Points buttoncreates an arc.  There are six Workflows for creating an arc:

  • Start Point, Radius, and Sweep Angle (or length)

  • Center Point, Radius, and Sweep Angle (or length)

  • Start Point, End Point, and Pass-Thru Point

  • Start Point, Pass-Thru Point, and End Point

  • Start Direction, End Point

  • Start Point, End Direction

Use the Down Arrow key to cycle through the Workflows.  Follow the dialog and/or the cursor prompts to guide your element construction.


Civil Geometry Elements - Free Elements

Line Between Arcs Line Between Arcs button constructs a line between two previously placed arcs.  This tool has the ability to apply both a back and/or a forward Transition (spiral) between the arcs and the constructed line.  This tool also has the ability to apply both a back and/or a forward Offset.  Follow the dialog and/or the cursor prompts to guide your element construction.

There are four possible solutions and each solution is assigned a number.  After the second arc is identified, the four possible solutions are displayed with their solution numbers.  The position of the cursor directs which solution is taken.  If your not paying attention, then you might accept the wrong solution.

The last prompt offers four Truncation Methods, choose from the following:

    • None

    • Back

    • Ahead

    • Both (recommended for most situations)

Use the Down Arrow key to cycle through the Truncation options.  

Simple Arc Simple Arc button constructs an arc between two previously placed elements.  Similar to Line Between Arcs, there are four possible solutions and the position of the cursor directs which solution is taken.  If your not paying attention, then you might accept the wrong solution.  There are also four Truncation methods.

Spiral Curve Spiral Spiral Curve Spiral button also constructs an arc between two previously placed elements.  However this tool has the ability to optionally apply both a back and or forward transition between the elements and the constructed arc.  Follow the dialog and/or the cursor prompts to guide your element construction.

Note that Civil Geometry alignments are easy to adjust after assembly.  Refer to the Manipulators section to learn about editing an alignment.


Civil Geometry Elements - Float Elements

Similar to MX, these tools for Floating Elements are designed for constructing an element with respect to one other element.  In addition there is an Offset option and a Skew option, both are features MX does not offer and are useful for the creation of intersections and ramps.  There are two workflows for float lines and two workflows for float arcs.

To Elements

Line To Element Line To Element button & Arc To Element  Arc To Element buttonconstructs a line/arc to a base element.  Both of these commands require an End Point that the new element will pass thru.  Next, identify the connecting element.  If using the Arc To Element command, in order to change the arc's projection, toggle the Hand option between Clockwise and Counter Clockwise.  Follow the dialog and/or the cursor prompts to complete the element construction.  

From Elements

Line From Element Line From Element button& Arc From Element Arc From Element buttonconstructs an line/arc from a base element, COGO style.   Both of these commands require the point of tangency and the new element is projected from there. Then follow the dialog and/or the cursor prompts to complete your element construction.

Note that Civil Geometry alignments are easy to adjust after assembly.  Refer to the Manipulators section to learn about editing an alignment.


Complex by Elements Complex By Elements  

Complex By Elements assembles a Complex Element of previously placed elements (lines and arcs).  You are not limited to using Civil Geometry elements to use this tool, any existing graphics may be selected.  Therefore, be careful of your proximity to other elements when building a Complex by Elements

Using the Automatic method, hover over the beginning element until the directional arrow points to the desired direction.  Left Mouse click to accept the chosen element.  At this point, the complex path will be highlighted.  Left Mouse click again to accept the complex creation or Right Mouse click to cancel.

Alternatively, using the Manual method, select each element individually using the Left Mouse click.  Be sure the directional arrow is pointed in the proper direction before selection.  Once all items are selected, Left Mouse click away from any MicroStation elements to accept the complex element creation.

Advance to the Manipulators section to learn about editing an alignment.


Manipulators

Civil Geometry alignments are editable by selecting them with the MicroStation Element Selection tool.  The selected alignment highlights and additional graphics appear showing the alignment Manipulators.  These manipulators enable adjustments to be made to the alignment.  Tool tips always confirm which manipulator you are at.  Relationships between elements are preserved whenever possible, this includes intersections.

                                                                    Example of Manipulator - graphics

The Text Manipulators display Lengths, Bearings and Radii which can be selected and lets you type in new values.

The Dots represent drag handles that allows one to move the points without constraint.

The Triangle or Arrow shaped drag handle redefines the point with one or more directions constrained.  This insures that aspects of the alignment's geometry are held.

A MicroStation Snap icon displays if a point was defined with a snap.  Hovering near the point will display the normal manipulators.  Click and move the point's drag handle to remove the snap constraint and place it in a new position.

The Civil Accudraw drag handles display when a point was defined with a Civil AccuDraw constraint.  Text manipulators display the Civil Accudraw constraints which were input.  Hovering near the point will change it to a normal manipulator.  Click and move the point's drag handle to break the Civil AccuDraw constraint and place it in a new position.

As you zoom in and around the design, the position of the manipulators may change.  The software will attempt to display as many manipulators as are valid for the part of the item displayed.  This includes automatically moving a manipulator if necessary.

Note that Manipulators may be toggled ON or OFF from the Element Selection panel with the Disable Handles Disable Handles button button.


Offset Transition                         Offsets and Tapers toolbar

Offset Transition constructs linear elements utilizing various methods by defining offsets from a base element.  The base element may be a line, arc, spiral, or a complex element.  There are four methods:

  • Single Offset Entire The offset element maintains a constant offset along the entire length of the base element.

  • Single Offset Partial Same as above but with additional control for Start and End distance.

  • Variable Offset The offset is variable and defined by station and offset at each end of the base element.

  • Offset and Ratio The offset element is defined by a station offset at the beginning, and then the end point is defined by a ratio.


MX Conversion

Civil Geometry alignments may be transferred to MX using the MX Conversion toolbar.  However, Civil Alignment strings that are transferred to MX do not follow our MX Design String Naming Convention.  Therefore, rename any MX Strings that are transferred from Civil Geometry.  Use the RenameM Add-In to insure that the reference and sub-reference strings are properly addressed, refer to the MX Add-In Index for details.

Note that Spirals do not transfer from MicroStation to MX.

 





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