Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Creating a Minimum Cover Profile in Civil 3D

I was working with the new pressure pipe features in Civil 3D 2013 and I realized I wanted to do something:  I wanted to create a profile that represented 3.5 feet below my existing ground profile.  I thought - simple, I'll just use the profile copy command to copy it and then drop it down 3.5'  Not going to happen with a surface profile - most of the commands are greyed out, including the ones I need.

So - what to do?  Turns out you can temporarily change the profile from dynamic to static, make the copy, then change it back to dynamic.  The link below is a video showing what I did.

After doing this, I realized that I could have also made a "Cover" surface by creating a new surface, pasting in my EG, and then lowering it 3.5'  Then I could sample the Cover surface and show it in my profile view.  Actually a better solution since it will work anywhere - meaning I can move the pipes and alignments around and the "cover line" will always be accurate.  This solution is shown in the link below:


  1. Good blog, but, note: It is also possible to just copy the static profile using the plain old COPY command.

  2. There's also an app for that now as well that will save you a few clicks...


  3. To take this post a step further: I have a composite surface setup in my pipe template drawings. For each new project I dref my eg & fg surface and paste them into the composite surface. My minimum depth surface has the composite surface pasted into it and dropped 3.5' (or whatever value I want). Then I create my alignments and profiles. The composite surface profile is a no plot style with labels attached to the bottom of the profile view to show surface elevation (be it eg or fg, doesn't matter). As the FG is created/revised, the profiles update automatically. Then I can quickly skim through the profile views looking for minimum depth issues.