More on Civil 3D Labels (CAD Clinic: Civil 3D Tutorial)

31 Dec, 2007 By: Phillip Zimmerman

Explore label styles, multiple-occurrence labels, pipe network structure labels, and label sets.

A few months ago, I began to define a Pin and Parcel Area label. The initial steps of defining a label occur in the Label Style Composer dialog box. This dialog box contains the Information, General, Layout, Dragged State, and Summary tabs. I also looked at the Layout tab and described its settings in detail. In September's column, I reviewed a label's dragged state settings and the Parcel's display order for line work. This month's "CAD Clinic: Civil 3D" installment concentrates on exploring label styles, labeling multiple occurrences, and discussing pipe network structure labels and label sets.

Pipe Network Text for Each
A Pipe Network Structure label has a special Layout component type called Text for Each. Text For Each creates a label entry for each structure's incoming and outgoing network pipe. The label's component name identifies the label's text contents as incoming and outgoing pipes.


The Structure Properties dialog box lists connected pipes and identifies them as in or out. The pipes in the list are content for the label's Text For Each property. The in and out designation allows the label to correctly document a structure's pipes.


Complex Labels -- Sag and Crest
A Civil 3D label can contain lines, dimension lines, and blocks as well as text components. The Profile Curve Label Style, Crest and Sag, is an example of a label style that contains multiple component types.


This label style uses vertical lines at the start and end of the vertical curve and connects them with a horizontal dimension line to construct the basic label structure. The start line attaches to the PVC of the vertical curve and ends at the dimension line. The end line attaches to the vertical curve PVT and ends at the dimension line. This structure allows the start line to stretch to accommodate any vertical location of the dimension line and for the dimension line to accommodate changing PVC and PVT points. These three lines create basic reference lines for the text components of the label style.


The remaining label's text references the start, end, and dimension lines. The text component referencing the start and end lines attaches to the intersection of the dimension and start / end line. Because the text attaches at the middle right of the text, there's an offset spacing from the text to the line. As the text changes, it holds the upper end of the text and forces the text to move down towards the profile it labels.

The parent style, Crest and Sag, defines the line work and text placement. The child styles define the label specific to a sag or crest vertical curve.


Label Sets
Label sets are aliases for styles that contain a list of label styles for alignment, profile, and section objects. You assign a label set when defining the object. The figure below shows the alignment label set value for the Create Alignment - from Polyline command. Creating a label set is a two step process. First, you must define set style types, and second, you must define the label set and identify its styles.

The Alignment label set value for the Create Alignment - from Polyline command.

Alignment Label Sets
Civil 3D's Alignments Label Set annotates specific locations and stations along the path of an alignment. Each label type contains a list of label styles for that type. The label types are major and minor stations, geometry points, station equations, design speeds, and profile geometry points. The increment value for stations is independent of the profile and band labeling increment.


The Alignment Label Set styles are in the Label Styles branch of Alignment under the Station branch. The headings of the Station branch are the label types used by an Alignment Label Set.


Profile Label Sets
The Profile's Label Set branch identifies the available label sets, and the remaining branches identify the label types used by a label set.


The Profile Label Set label style types are major and minor stations, horizontal geometry point, grade breaks, line, and curve.


The major and minor station labels create labels of profiles' stationing in profile views. The horizontal geometry styles label the curves and spiral points of the horizontal alignment on selected profiles. The styles of the grade breaks branch annotate profiles' PVI. The styles of the line branch annotate the slopes (grades) of a vertical tangent segment. The curve branch labels the crest and sag vertical curves. These labels can be used with either surface or vertical road design.

The placement of a label in relation to the profile view is from the settings in the Profile Label Set definition. The Label Set's Dim anchor opt column sets the location of the label. The location can be one of five choices: distance above or below (the feature), fixed elevation, or graph view top or bottom. The distance above and below is relative to the feature. The graph view top or bottom, and the fixed elevation options are locations in the profile view. The weeding value prevents labels from overlapping.


Section Label Sets
Civil 3D's Sections Label Sets are similar to profile's sets; however, they annotate only surface values in a section. A Section Label Set can contain major and minor offsets, grade breaks, and segment labels.


The major and minor offset labels annotate offsets and their elevations at the offset at the increment defined by the Label Set. The labeling increment for these labels is set in the Label Set style. The grade break label annotates elevations at each grade break point of a section surface. The Segment labels annotate the slopes between each grade break segment. You should set a weeding value to eliminate grade break and segment labels from overlapping. The weeding distance is set in the Label Set Style.


Complex Objects
For complex objects, Civil 3D has complex labeling options and style constructions. An example of a complex labeling option is annotating in and out pipes. The structure label uses a structure's properties to create the in and out pipe properties and the label's Text for each option. This label option scans a structure's properties for pipe connections and creates a label entry for each pipe.

An example of a complex label construction is the profile's Crest and Sag label. The label has 10 label components. The label style's lines are connected to each other creating reference points for each of the label's text components. Civil 3D uses this label type as a parent style and creates two children styles for specific situation annotation: crest and sag.

The last label type is label sets. Alignments, profiles, and sections label sets annotate their properties within a drawing. A label set identifies label type styles that annotate the properties of an object. You must define the label styles for the label types before defining a label set.

The next installation of "CAD Clinic: Civil 3D" will review the use and definition of profile and section band styles.

About the Author: Phillip Zimmerman

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