ASE Project Work Flow diagram
 
 

Alignments

Overview

ASE Civil includes its own proprietary alignment system. It's full-featured, completely automated, very fast, easy to define and extremely flexible.
 

Work Flow Alternative

ASE offers a unique approach to alignment definition. The entire set of alignments for a project can be defined in a single batch process in a few seconds, regardless of the number of alignments to be defined. Alignments may also be defined individually via entity selection.

Rapid alignment definition may be supplemented with rapid conversion of ASE alignment definitions into Civil 3D format with a single mouse-click. Utilizing this work flow short-cut can reduce project setup time by hours versus defining alignments using only Civil 3D.

 

Tangent Extensions

ASE Civil automatically adds tangent, linear extensions onto each of the terminal ends of its alignment definitions. The lengths of these invisible elements may be adjusted by the designer. Terminal extensions are provided to support profile definitions beyond the drawn endpoints of roadway centerlines that normally terminate at intersections with other alignment geometry or site boundaries.

 

These additions to the final alignment definition are always required for subdivision design needs. However, without ASE Civil, each extension would need to be manually created.[1]

Notes

[1] ASE Civil does not station terminal extensions. They are visible only when alignment definition entities are viewed in the drawing

Requirements

Dedicated Drawing

When defining ASE Civil alignments, a single drawing file must be dedicated for that purpose. Even if the alignment drawing is used for other purposes, ASE alignment definitions can only be modified from the original drawing in which they were defined.

ASE Project Data Path

The ASE project data folder must exist and must be attached to the alignment control drawing.

 

Source Linework

AutoCAD LINEs and ARCs must be present in the alignment control drawing.

No other types of objects are eligible for ASE alignment definition.

Geometric Accuracy [1]

Source objects to be used for definition should have been previously validated for tangency, endpoint proximity and duplication.

Layer Control

Source objects should be grouped into predefined layers according to their functional classification

Notes

[1] A geometric tolerance preferences dialog is available for adjustment of minimum and maximum allowances of geometric precision.

 

Specifications

 

ASE Alignment Database

When source objects are provided to ASE Civil's alignment system to create new alignment definitions, those new ASE objects are stored locally in the drawing as well as externally in the form of a formatted ASCII database inside a file named "<ase project data folder>\Alignments.txt".

Control Restrictions

When ASE alignments are initially defined within a project, the drawing used for definition automatically becomes the "Alignment Control" file. ASE alignments can only be modified from within that drawing.

This restriction exists to eliminate duplication of alignment names, geometry or both from outside the control file. [1]

Database Changes

When new alignments are added  or existing alignments modified or deleted in the dedicated alignment control drawing, the external alignment database in the ASE Project Data Folder is immediately synchronized to reflect those changes. 

Accessibility

After the ASE alignments are defined, they are immediately available to all drawings throughout the project.

ASE alignments (if available) will be loaded into all ASE project drawings during ASE system initialization.

Utilities Limitations

Despite the numerous benefits, ASE Civil's alignment definitions cannot be used directly to support utility design in Civil 3D. Due to this limitation, ASE alignments are an optional feature.

 

Civil 3D alignment definitions [2] may be used instead without affecting ASE Civil's normal functions.

Notes

[1] See "Advanced Concepts: Using A Different Alignment Control File"

[2] ASE alignments may also be translated to Civil 3D format

 

Alignment Protocols

One can design in ASE Civil using one of two types of alignment configurations. These configurations affect the method by which ASE Civil will profile roadways and calculate data through eccentric knuckles and cul-de-sac regions of each corridor.

Intersecting Alignments

Alignments intersect in locations such as knuckles, extending beyond the point of intersection for the purpose of profiling true-length or "unwrapped" sections of the knuckle. The knuckle's profile will be shown either (a) entirely on one of the intersecting alignment's profile, or (b) partially on both.

ASE Developers recommend using intersecting-type alignments

Intersecting Alignment Definitions

Radial Alignments

A single alignment continues through a knuckle using a radial crown arc to connect one roadway to another.

Stationing is defined such that the crown is used as an element of the centerline alignment definition.

Characteristics of Radial Alignments in ASE

 

No True Lengths

Profiles for offset paving components through terminal regions (cul-de-sacs, eccentric knuckles) cannot be shown at their actual length

Adjusting Alignment Protocol

After deciding which type of alignment protocol will be used for the current project, reflect that selection in the ASE Civil Paving Features preferences dialog as follows:

  1. Menu: [pav] → Settings → Alignment Features

  2. Modify the "Use Radial Alignments" checkbox of the dialog to the appropriate setting:

    • If 'Radial' alignments will​ be used, select the maximum 'Offset Tolerance' to be used for Design Marker selection & qualification during paving feature design.

 

Markers located outside this 'Offset Tolerance' from the alignment centerline will not be eligible for paving feature definition on that alignment.

 

Definition

ASE offers a unique approach to defining alignments. All alignments for a project can be defined in one easy step very quickly. They may also be defined individually through entity selection. Tangent Extensions are automatically created at both ends of alignments at user-specified lengths for the purpose of profiling beyond the drawn endpoints of roadway centerlines.

Procedure

Open the alignment control drawing

Check or set the ASE Project  Data Path

Ensure C/L source geometry is present in the drawing and properly layered. [4]

Set the 

 
Set Preferences

Menu: [aligns] → "Preferences" → "Control Layers" [5]

In the "Alignment Controls Dialog" move select layer(s) from the left pane to the right by clicking ">>"

Click "OK" to close the dialog

 
Auto-Define All Alignments

Menu: [aligns] → "Definition" → "Automatic"

ASE defines alignments and displays an AutoCAD alert to indicate completion

Click "OK" to close the alert

All newly-defined alignments will now display their geometry and stationing

 

Manual Definition

Menu: [aligns] → "Definition" → "Manual"

Select the LINEs/ARCs [2] to be used for definition of a new ASE Civil alignment [1][3]

Click "OK" to close the dialog

 

Results

Alignments are defined and stationed within the drawing.

The drawing used to define the alignments is recorded as the ASE "Alignment Control Drawing"

The new alignment definitions are immediately available project-wide.

Notes

[1] No layer restrictions apply during manual definition

[2] Eligible object types are restricted to AutoCAD LINEs & ARCs.

[3] Selected source objects may only be used for a single alignment definition

[4] See: Site Reproduction Using BMC

[5] Important step. Alignments will not be defined unless control layers have been specified first.

 

Editing

Within the alignment control drawing, the user can easily edit the name, direction, and starting station of any ASE alignment definition.

 

The changes immediately update the external alignments database file: "<ase project name>\Alignments.txt". [1]

 

Modification

To edit the properties of an existing ASE alignment definition:

 

  • Open the alignment control drawing

  • Check or set the ASE Project Data Path

  • (Menu) Select: [aligns] > "Modify Properties…"

  • Select a point near an alignment. [3]

 

The name of the closest alignment is shown at the command prompt.

If "Zoom to Current Alignment" option is enabled, the view will rotate parallel to the alignment & ZOOM to its extents

 

  • Make the desired changes in the alignment properties dialog box

  • Click "Ok"

 

After the dialog is closed, the specified changes update the alignment data and its appearance, if applicable.

The external project database file is also updated automatically at this time. [2]

 

 

Notes

[1] This file should never be manually edited. Invalid modifications will affect all drawings referencing ASE alignment definitions

[2] For others drawings reflect changes to the ASE alignments database locally, they will need to use the [aligns] > "Refresh' option

[3] Avoid selecting a location near intersections. Locations close to separate alignments may yield undesired alignment activation.

 
 

Conversion To Civil 3D

One-way conversion of ASE Civil alignments to Civil 3D's database format can easily be accomplished in a few steps.

Procedure

  • Open the alignment control drawing

  • Check or set the ASE Project Data Path

  • (Menu) Select: [aligns] → "Definition" → "ASE >> Autodesk Civil"

 

The ASE alignment definitions are copied to a Civil 3D-compatible format and placed into the Civil 3D project database.

An AutoCAD alert dialog will be displayed indicating the number of successful conversions and failures. [4]

 

  • Click "Ok" to close the alert

 

After the dialog is closed, the converted alignments [5] will automatically become visible in the "Prospector" tab of the Civil 3D "Toolspace" palette.

 

 

Notes

[1] This file should never be manually edited. Invalid modifications will affect all drawings referencing ASE alignment definitions

[2] For others drawings reflect changes to the ASE alignments database locally, they will need to use the [aligns] > "Refresh' option

[3] Avoid selecting a location near intersections. Locations close to separate alignments may yield undesired alignment activation.

[4] Conversion failures are extremely rare

[5] ASE Civil alignment definitions remain intact and are unaffected by the conversion process.

 

Advanced Concepts

Hiding ASE Alignment Definitions

To suppress the detection of ASE alignments by all ASE project drawings use file management techniques:

 

  • Open a file browser (Windows Explorer, My Computer, etc.)

  • Browse to the active ASE Project Data Folder

  • Find the file: "<aseProjectDataFolder>\Alignments.txt"

  • Modify the file using any desired method. For example:

    • Rename the file (Recommended) [1]

    • Move the file to a different folder

    • Delete the file

 

When ASE Civil is initialized in a drawing file, the ASE alignment definitions will not be loaded.

 

Notes

[1] Case changes are insufficient. At least one character must be added, removed or replaced with a new character(s)

 

© 2002 - 2018. All rights reserved. ASE Civil is a registered trademark of ASE, LLC and its affiliates.

Your use of ASE Civil Design Software and related applications is subject to the terms of the Engineering Design Innovations, LLC Software Maintenance Agreement (SMA)