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Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 What is CIVIL Design?

CIVIL Design is a software devised for civil engineering design, planning and project accounting. It is
an AutoCAD integrated software program that exploits the potentials of the automatic processing
functions. Working with CIVIL Design is as simple as drawing with AutoCAD, without particular
restrictions and limitations. CIVIL Design goes beyond the mere graphical aspect of producing
engineering drawings and accounts: drawing a line with CIVIL Design is other than simply a
computerized translation of the operation of tracing a line on paper using a pencil; it is providing the
computer with numerical information enriched with its own semantic value which can be processed,
verified and controlled, dramatically reducing operational time while improving the quality of the

1.2 How can you learn to use CIVIL Design?

CIVIL Design is a software program that has been on the market for many years: now, as time ha s
gone by, technology has advanced and the specific engineering planning techniques have become
more complex, so this program has been expanded with many new commands, options etc. CIVIL
Design allows the user to tackle and resolve very diverse works as are those of the civil engineering

How can you learn to fully exploit this product?

Simply by following the tips, which were written bearing in mind that few hours spent learning,
efficaciously help save many hours when planning.
Following the experience gained, we believe the ideal learning process is:
Read the chapter named Tutorial which supplies information on the most frequent operations: the
entire process to be followed when designing is fully and clearly explained.
Then read the chapter named Work Flows where the sequences of simple commands to be used
when working on the traditional designing themes such as for roads, railways and quarries are

Reference Manual

1.3 Manual Conventions

Throughout the manual the text often refers to what is contained in the dialog boxes. The
terminology is used as indicated in the following figure:

Dialog box


Drop down





For each command the reference manual supplies instructions according to the following la yout:

Menu command

Se ctions on Alignme nt command ( Plsez)

Keyboard command
The Pl se zcommand, correspondi ng to t he Se ct ions on A li gnment drop-down menu it em, e nable s to i nsert cross Se cti on on the
Al ignment. B efore i nserti ng t he Se ct ions, an Al ignment ha s to be out li ne d by using theTrsel command.
Form at : Plse z
Sele ct the Alig nment or the axis

Now sel ect the Ali gnme nt e nt it y wit h your mouse . If sel ect i ng an unre cogni zed e nt it y, t he fol lowing message wi ll be displ ayed

Performing procedure The sele cted enti ty is not vali d.

Sele ct the Alig nment or the axis

The parts of the manual that are marked in blue and underlined as this line stress the
changes made since the previous version.


1.4 How do you use CIVIL Design?

Thanks to CIVIL Design any kind of project (roads, quarries) can be completely developed within an
AutoCAD drawing. AutoCAD drawing files (.dwg) can be created with any name and saved in a
directory of your choice. This feature contributes to simple and versatile filing of the projects.
Plans, Profiles, Sections, etc. can be arranged in a single drawing.
CIVIL Design offers an exclusive system to manage the project elements which enables the user to
choose diverse reference systems (2D and 3D) coherent to the data to be processed. In other words,
it is possible to work on a Plan while referring to a three-dimension geographic system, and at the
same time, have the Profiles and Sections use their proper reference sy stems (Chainage/Elevation,
This automatic mechanism to control the reference systems is based on the objects and
An object, in general, is a graphical frame that sets the boundaries of a portion of the AutoCAD
drawing plane. For example, the block of a Section (frame and column) is a Section object. The
graphical objects within the frame of the section object are recognized as project data of the Section
(Terrain lines, project etc.). With the specific command (Select object) it is possible to select the
object you want to work on, activate the relative reference system and have the usable commands
of the objects available on the program menu.
When activating a Profile object, for instance, the AutoCAD UCS will be set with a new origin
coinciding with the origin of the progressive distances and the elevations of the block and all the
profile operation commands will become available from the relevant menus.

The objects (Plan, Profiles, Sections) from a graphical point of view are AutoCAD blocks named:
CD-PX nn as for Plans
CD-RR nn as for Profiles
CD-SE nn as for Sections
Both Plan and Profile blocks are simple boxes that contain the attribute inputs enabling to modify the
object (name, ).
Section objects are complete column blocks prepared to be plotted. They can be created using a
specific command while laying out a project, and saved as a drawing to be employed in future works.
A very particular object is the global object which is not represented by any graphical entity, but is
simply the global X, Y, Z drawing area of AutoCAD. The global object is similar to a Plan object, so
the commands enabled within this object are the same as those for the Plan environment. Note: By
convention, for all CIVIL Design objects the AutoCAD drawing unit is 1 meter (S.I.).

1.5 Menu, Environment and Object Structures

When CIVIL Design is run all the items of the menu are activated.
This is because CIVIL Design is structured in three Environments (or Objects):

In each of these environments (or object) only the specific commands are available, so as not to
get them mixed up.
Yon can easily move from one environment to another by using the command Activate Object, that
so is used not only to set the relative co-ordinates of the object you are working on (progressive
distance and height for Sections and Profiles, X and Y for the Plans), but also to activate the single
commands of the menu.
The objects (which actually are boxes and title blocks drawn as AutoCAD blocks) enable you to
work within a file having several Sections, Profiles and Plans.
The only object that is not represented by a block is, as already said, the object global Plan , as it
coincides with the whole AutoCAD work page (Return when activating the object).

Reference Manual

1.6 How to use graphical objects

CIVIL Designs database is a .dwg file as all the important and project data coincide with the
graphical objects. In general, the graphical objects can all be modified (copied, rotated, moved and
stretched etc.) by using the traditional CAD commands, except in the cases listed in the following

Data Object Rotated Moved Sheare Stretch Cancell

d ed ed
P lan bloc k Bloc k NO yes NO NO yes

G raded plane point Bloc k or point yes yes yes yes

C adas tre line L ine NO NO NO NO NO

C adas tre I dentific ation no. Bloc ks yes yes yes NO

C artographic 2 D /3 D P olylines ,
yes yes yes yes yes
dis c ontinuities lines
3 D M odels 3 D fac e, 3 D M es h yes yes yes yes

C ontour lines 2 D P olylines yes yes yes yes yes

Road c urves Bloc ks yes yes NO NO yes

A xes * * 2 D P olylines yes yes NO NO yes

P lan Sec tions L ines yes yes yes yes yes

P rofile bloc k Bloc k NO yes * NO NO yes

P rofiles 2 D P olylines yes yes yes Y es yes

P rofile Sec tions Bloc ks NO yes * NO NO yes

Sec tion bloc k Bloc k NO yes NO NO yes

Sec tion L ines (terrain,

2 D P olylines yes yes yes yes yes
projec t)
Sec tion c ontours (Sec tions ) 2 D P olylines yes yes NO yes yes

Sec tion identific ation no.

T ext yes yes yes NO
(Sec tions )

* After this operation you must update the elevations of the sections using the command Prsez

** do not use the offset for the axis, as the program will consider the new polyline as an
axis having the same name as the original one, therefore creating an ambiguous situation. Use the
command Alignment Offset.

Improper use of a command can give rise to INCOHERENCIES between the geometrical
representation and the other information memorized as data within the objects. For
example, stretching a line, the list and the data which are drawn when setting the height
of the line do not correspond to the modification!

To perform operations which are not admitted by using the simple AutoCAD commands you must use
the specifically designed CIVIL Design commands.


1.7 Special Layers

Several commands of CIVIL Design draw the objects on special layers which are created by the
program. In these cases, the name of the layer can partially be restrained (normally by a suffix).
Usually, on the layers created by CIVIL Design, only the prefix (CD-XX, where XX stands for any
character), is restrained leaving the user to choose the second part of the name (LAYER_NAME).
The following chart shows a list of layers that can be created by the program, starting from the
command (or commands) that causes them to become and a short description of the objects that are
drawn on the various layers.

Command Layer Name Objects created

CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-POINT Topographic point block

CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-C Attribute concerning the code
CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-D Attribute concerning the
CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-N description
CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-Q Attribute concerning the name
CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-S Attribute concerning the
CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-ELLIPSE Attribute concerning the symbol
CDPQT2 CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-TRIF Readings scheme layer
PNTSOST CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-CONT Fiducial triangles layer
PNTPOLY CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-PARC Traverses scheme layer
RILIEVO CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-DESC Cadastral unit perimeter block
CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-LINES Cadastral unit identification
CD-PX-LAYER_NAME-SQUA Cadastral unit description
Cadastral unit lines layer
Alignments layer
Cross staffs layer
Hatches layer

TABCOORD TABELLA-COORD Lines and texts of table layouts

ESPRO CD-PX-PLANE_NAME-FRAZ Text with a progressive number


LAYER_NAME Contours (2Dpoly)

LAYER_NAMEB Heavy contours B

QUOTACUR LAYER_NOME_POLY-QUOTE Contour elevations (text)

CALCSEZ CD-PS-LAYER_NAME_DTM 2D Section polylines on model


CD-SE-LAYER_NAME_DTM 2D polylines in Section blocks


Reference Manual

Command Layer Name Objects created

Block where all basic elements
CD-PD-ELEMENTI-BASE are drawn (arcs, clothoid and
parabolic transition curves)

2D-MATERIAL_NAME Polylines created in plan starting

3D-MATERIAL_NAME from a section

Entity symbol storing all data

CALCROT concerning rotations of road
platforms and railway

CD-SE-LAYER_NAME Polylines drawn on Sections

ELSIMID CD-ID-TESTI Summary table of Section areas

Closed polyline, calculate volume

Open polyline, calculate area
Symbol (text), calculate volume
AREASEZ Symbol (text), calculate area
LINEASEZ Transition line
AREAGLOB Transition line on backward
Transition line on forward

SEZMOD 2D Polylines on the UCS Section

SEZMODI or polyline


FRAMES Profile block and Plan block

Elevation point within the profile

PRSEZ CD-LQ-LAYER_NAME sections block

PRSEZ1 CD-LL-SECTION_NAME Lines within the profile sections


CDROTAT CD-RND_AXES Roundabout axes; Roundabout

CD-RND-DOTTED dotted lines; Islands; Deflection
CD-ISLANDS and Visibility Verifications

PCALIB CD-C-ADJUSTMENTP Arrows that connect the origins

and destinations of the
adjustment points.


1.8 Font
CIVIL Design employs specific fonts to handle topographic points. The employed font is stored in the
file CD-PUNTO.SHX which is in the directory CD-C20xx.
When you open a file created with CIVIL Design on a computer where the form file is not installed,
AutoCAD will ask you to localize the file.

Use the e-transmit command when you deliver the works: the SHX file will be put
together with the .dwg file.

Reference Manual

1.9 Blocks
When booting, during the initializing phase of CIVIL Design, several blocks, contained in the prototype
file (CD-PROT.DWG), are added. These blocks have to always be in the file for the program to work
properly; it is therefore recommended not to use the command Purge to delete the blocks.

The default Blocks are:

CD-FINATT Blocks used to define objects
CD-PENDENZA Block used to add a slope
CD-PROT CIVIL Design prototype drawing
CD-PX-PUNTO Block used for topographical points
TESTO Block used for Section labeling

Other blocks created or used by the program are:

CD-PXXX Block defining a Plan block

CD-RRXX Block defining a Profile block
CD-SEXX Block defining a Section block
CD-TXXXX Block defining Section templates
Blocks defining Natural gradings
SIMFS Symbol for railway labeling
CD-FRECCIA Symbol for water drainage gradient


1.10 Files
The CIVIL Design database is an AutoCAD file. All the data are therefore AutoCAD entities, such as
points, lines, 2D and 3D polylines, blocks, 3D faces, etc.
The only exceptions concern the topographic survey data which are stored in an ASCII file with
extension .LLL (see chapter Topography and Cadastre).
CIVIL Design employs certain support files to perform some of its commands, among which there are:
Item Files: they are ASCII files reporting the different items to be computed (description and
code articles, polylines defining the area) and are stored in the Items sub -directory of CIVIL
Design; these files have the extension .ART. For further explanations read the Reference Manual.
Printout Files: when computing volumes, printouts can be customized by changing the default
settings as for the content and the language of the descriptions. All the data are stored in a
Tabulati.SET file located in the CIVIL Design directory and can be modified by using Windows
Section Blocks: they are created with the Creacart command and can be made available for
other works. They are stored as .DWG files inside the BLOCKS sub-directory of CIVIL Design. The
settings used to create a block are stored in an ASCII file with the same name of the block with
the extension .SET.
Sectional templates: these are created as blocks and can be made available for future works;
once the CD-T# block is created, it is possible to run a WBlock and save it in an external file to
then select it with the Sezaut command. The input styles of the sectional templates are stored
inside a .SAU file, always located in the CIVIL Design directory.
Labeling style files: these are files where the labeling style for both the Alignments and the
Profiles is memorized. These are stored in the CIVIL Design directory and their names are
characterized by the extensions .SRT and .PRF respectively.
Analysis Style Files: style files are created for slope, altimetric and exposure analyses. The
extensions of the files are respectively .PDN .PQT and .POS, and the files are stored in the CIVIL
Design directory.
Conversion of files downloaded by topographical tools: these files are converted into a
format that can be utilized by CIVIL Design using the command Survey. Most of the conversions
need parameters to be set which are stored in ASCII files with extension .LL2.
Files containing road regulations: these files contain tables used to check the standards in
force: limit of the surface coefficient of adhesion, tire longitudinal slip (FLDMAS.CNR and
FLDMS.CNR respectively for freeways and other roads), surface coeff icient of adhesion, tire
lateral slip (FTABC.CNR and FTDEF.CNR)
- Customised type section file .SET: customised design sections that can be saved in the Set
Road Regulations Standard command dialog box.