Civil 3D User Defined Properties
This is a quick tutorial on adding and using User Defined Properties for Civil 3D cogo points, and we will create a new expression for use in our point label style. I’m starting with the stock template provided with Civil 3D 2013. Create a single point whose point style is Storm Sewer Manhole, and whose point label style is “Point#-Elevation-Description”
Set the point (rim) elevation to 50.00. Now suppose you are given one of more measure down distances for locating the pipe flowline(s) at this manhole. Take a look at the point properties, there is no field for measure down, or pipe elevation, etc., so we need to define one. On the Settings tab in the Toolspace, find Point, then User Defined Property Classifications. Right click on Unclassified and choose New. Fill out the dialog like this.
After you press OK, click on your cogo point and look in the properties palette. There is now an “Unclassified” category with a single property named “pipe1”, whose value is 0.00. Change the value to 9.5, which is the measure down distance.
Ok, we can easily do the math and figure out that the pipe flowline is 40.5, but what if you have dozens of these to process? Let's define a single expression, and let Civil 3D do this math for us. On the Settings tab, under the label styles, find Expressions. Right click and choose New. Fill out the dialog as shown here.
Note that you don’t have to type out the actual expression, use the buttons in the dialog to find and load the strings needed. Click OK. Staying in the same location, in Label Styles, right-click on “Point#-Elevation-Description”, and choose Edit (in reality, you would probably create a new label style here, but let's keep it simple). On the Layout tab, add a new text string label, and set the following properties for it:
- Name: pipe1
- Anchor Component: Point Description
- Attachment: Top Left
- Y Offset: -0.17
Now edit the contents of this new text label. Erase the default string, and add in the property named “pipe1-md” (which is the expression we created above). Prefix this with the string "Pipe 1 = " as shown below.
Now after you exit all of the dialog boxes and get back to the drawing, your original point should look like this.
In this quick tutorial, we created a new user defined property and a new expression to modify this property. This is just a simple example, and there are many possibilities for use of these two items, in many places in Civil 3D. What can you do with these features?