Create Alignment from Network Parts Command in Civil 3D

The purpose of this article is to optimize the use of the Create Alignment from Network Parts command in Civil 3D. You will typically repeat this command for each pipe run you wish to display in a Profile View. There are many settings to preconfigure so each dialog box you encounter in the process will have the desired name format, style, and label choices set as the default.
Civil 3D usually has consistent workflow patterns that allow you to develop an intuition that you can apply to learning other parts of the software. Occasionally you encounter an outlier that defies your intuition. What should be a simple, intuitive, and consistent setup for the Create Alignment from Network Parts command turns out to be somewhat inconsistent and obscure. This command is usually run repeatedly to create profiles for several pipe runs. Each time you run the command you are confronted with the same changes if your settings are not preconfigured with your desired defaults. This tedious repetition can be avoided. I will show you how to preconfigure Civil 3D settings to make the Create Alignment from Network Parts process smoother. I documented which settings worked and which did not to help you avoid hours of bewilderment and frustration.
A few assumptions about the reader before I get started. I assume you know how to run the command so I did not go into a step-by-step process description. I assume you know Civil 3D well enough where there is no need to define what each Civil 3D object does nor get into the details of styles and labels. From the screen captures I provided you can find your way through the Civil 3D interface to get to that dialog box. When I identify something “works” I am stating that I tested the Create Alignment from Network Parts command which begins the sequence of other commands namely the Create Surface Profile and the Create Profile View wizard.
First, I will step you through my thought process and where command behaviors were different from what I had anticipated. Finally, I offer a simplified workflow to produce the desired behavior of having the default settings in each dialog box preconfigured as much as possible.
If you’re eager to see my final conclusion the summary is below:

  • Enable Save Command Changes to Settings in Drawing Settings.
    • Your alignment name edits will be remembered
    • Your choice of the Profile View Style will be remembered.
  • Set the Alignment Style by editing the Alignment Settings, not the command settings
  • Set the Surface Profile Style, Profile Name Template, and Profile Label Set by editing the Profile settings, not the command settings.

If you want to explore what works and what does not read on. The process might help you develop a deeper understanding of Civil 3D settings.

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  • Thanks for explaining that the command to create alignment from network parts is usually run repeatedly to create profiles for different pipe runs. Learning about pipe networks is interesting to me because I like to find tips I can share with my husband. I’m glad you explained some of the commands that are used when designing pipe runs!

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