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ray isaacs

roads tool and polylines

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it seems that the roads tool only accepts polylines made in the straight segments or fillet modes. lines made in all other modes result in an error message. is this by design (if so, why?) or is it a bug? or is it just me?

cheers,

ray

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Hi Ray, Are you talking about Nurbs Roads? If so there are many problems, like the inability to draw intersections (y's, t's, x's, etc) and other common road features. File a bug!

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hi, peter.

i'm talking about the "roads" tool under the landmark menu (down near the bottom), which is roads from polylines and stakes. as i recall, nurbs roads is another approach, which i haven't used, but should try.

cheers,

ray

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i'll go ahead and submit the bug.

other than the polyline mode isssue, this tool seems to have potential...much more efficient than my method of stringing together a bunch of "grades". i don't know hoe flexible it is, but my current project could be a good test.

cheers,

ray

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HI Ray

I have submitted the same bug, and been told it is working as designed. You have to run Arc Smoothing on the Polyline. I have found that drawing a polyline composed entirely of corner vertices and then run the Arc Smoothing Command, you can get it to work, but it is very difficult to achieve the road layout you want, because Vectorworks decides in the curve radii. Alternatively, you can carefully draw out your polyline, switching modes and including only corner vertices and arc vertices. The command will be happy then. Ultimately, I still prefer this set of commands over the NURBS roadway though, because the arcs help you get the curves built as you want them.

The NURBs Roadway will give you more flexibility, but the problem then is that your roadway does not have "dimensionable" arcs to help get it built.

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thanks, tamsin.

yes, i see that now. once i finally found "arc smoothing" and applied it, it works.

what does arc smoothing do, and why is it necessary. sorry for asking, but i have a phobia of black boxes and need to know how they work.

cheers,

ray

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Well, it converts any points along the Polyline to Arc vertices. The roadway that will be created will ultimately be composed of Roadway Straight objects and Roadway Curved objects. I can only assume that it is these curved objects that MUST have an arc in order to be converted. These tools are pre-radius vertices (which I think were "invented" in 2011 or 2012...).

The Roadway from Polyline tools can create lovely curve data for you, so it is worth it over the NURBS tool.

One thing I have had success with is this workflow:

Draw the Polyline with Corner Vertices only to create the directional movement of the roadway. Then, use the Fillet tool at each junction. With the Fillet tool you can then specify the exact desired radius at each junction. Now you will have a Polyline that looks how you want it, but the Station on Polyline tool won't touch it! Don't run Arc Smoothing, or it will mess up your carefully created radii.

Now, select the Reshape tool and choose the second mode - Change Vertex mode. Then choose Fillet (Circular Arc) mode. Click on the center of each radius vertex and it will be converted to the necessary Arc vertex without messing up your road layout.

NOW, you can run Station on Polyline and proceed to create the road as desired!

Hope that helps. Have fun with it.

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But.. you will need to further edit your curves so that the arcs meets the straights at tangent, or you'll get gaps in your road!

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thanks, tamsin, for taking the time for the in depth explanation. that helps a lot.

i did some more work with an actual site that has some challenging situations. i found that with a little experience that redrawing the polylines with fillet mode was the best way to go. in some cases the arc smoothing tool was causing vw to crash, while retracing with fillet mode eliminates the need for that.

the roads tool, like the dtm itself, is a great idea. i find it works very well for studies. however, for the final presentation, i will for now resort to my tedious method of defining the road profile with the grade tool. both the 2d and 3d representations are superior. see attached screen shots of the same road curve, one created with the roads tool, the other with the grade tool.

my assumption (hope?) is that vw will improve the tools in the upcoming version.

cheers,

ray

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I've read all the info I can find on this forum for creating roads. I opted to use the "Create Road from Stakes" command. VW made the road ok, but the auto generated site modifiers don't work because the command creates overlapping pads. Does anyone know how to prevent the tool from creating overlapping pads?

Even if I manually eliminate all the overlapping pads, the proposed grading looks like Ray's roads tool example above--with wiggly contours across the road surface. Is this the best this tool can do?

Dillon

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Hi Dillon

If you created your roadway with Create Road from Stakes, each roadway segment should meet the following roadway segment at the same elevation. The touching pads message is annoying, but because the pads ARE touching at the same elevation, it will have no adverse effect on the model.

The reason the message about touching or intersecting pads is displayed, is because the Site Model simply cannot have vertically aligned elevation points. They must be slightly offset on plan, or one set of points will be ignored (the ones drawn last). So, in the case of the roads, just ignore the message and update your model. The roadway will work just fine.

Hope that helps

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Thanks Tasmin for the info about ignoring the error message.

How about the proposed contours which don't go straight across the road, but instead wiggle around--as in Ray's image example above?

Dillon

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I have tried it with the built boundary (auto generated by the site modifiers check box) turned on and turned off. I get wiggly contours either way.

I also get the same result if I create a road segment using the Roadway (Curved) tool. Wiggly contours cross the road. So this seems to be a built-in feature of the software. The site model doesn't obey the pads auto-generated by the roadway tool in the same way that it obeys the boundaries of a manually created pad.

Tasmin, have you had a different experience? Have you created a curved road using the road tools that doesn't have wiggly contours crossing the road?

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Definitely I have a different experience. The road tools that we have work perfectly with the model. One thing you do need to do is select all the straight segments and turn on the Site Modifiers and then select all the curved segments and turn on the site modifiers. When you create the road from a polyline, I've noticed I only get prompted for the curved sections. Could this be your problem?

(and it's Tamsin by the way... not Tasmin!)

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Tamsin, Sorry about your name. Yes the site modifiers are turned on for both straight and curved segments.

As i said, I get the same result if I only use one curved section using the Roadway (curved) tool. I've attached an example from a fictional site that I created to be as simple as possible for VW.

Dillon

Edited by invertase

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hi, dillon. i just made a bunch of new roads yesterday. for now i'm sticking with the grade tool. its tedious, but give me the best grading results. hopefully 2014 will improve the road and other site design tools.

cheers,

ray

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Ray, I've made the same decision. But if Tamsin has a different experience and I can actually get the tool to work that would be great.

For 2014 I'd like a road tool that 1. draws the grades correctly 2. gives me control over the road profile--being able to show a crown or cross slope would be nice options!

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