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[Ss4] Best Practices for File and Model Setup when Cutting Cross Sections

I have the Best Practices (Ss3) PDF but it does not address this topic deeply enough. We do not cut cross Sections that often and it seems like it takes a number of attempts before the results are acceptable.

I'd prefer a standard operating procedure as to what references to attach and where to attach them and what live nesting (if any) to use where. I would also prefer to avoid having redundant attachments as most users, including myself, find the " " " settings in the reference file dialog box of redundant reference files not as intuitive as Bentley seems to think they are.

For example, yesterday, I created a file for cutting cross Section in. Started with 2D - attached my alignment and corridor file, one of which brought along the existing ground file. When I viewed dynamic sections, everything appeared as expected. But when I ran the Create Cross Sections tool, the model in created displayed my sections, my sheet reference files, but the existing ground was missing.After trying various options, I finally decided to directly attach the 3D model of the exiting ground to the 3D model created by Open Roads during the Dynamic Cross Section command. Only then did my cut cross sections result in the existing ground being included in the sections.

  • Chuck: My 2 cents - A best practice for reference files is easy to develop in a vacuum. In my experience, real world projects are so variable that any best practice ends up being only a guideline, at best. Thus for me, my standard practice and advice I share in my classes is attach whatever files are needed one by one and almost never use live nesting. If I later find that I forgot a file or a new file was added to the deck then I just attach them as reference wherever needed. 

    Is that a lot of one by one referencing? Yes. But in the grand scheme of the project, it is 2-5 minutes effort, repeated a few dozen times so that the actual work of attaching reference files over the life of a project is an hour or so at most. 

    What is the benefit of the extra work of not using live nesting? Things are way more stable for one. With all due respect to my former Bentley colleagues (and full disclosure: I participated in a lot of the early development) OpenRoads still has struggles from time to time with live nesting. You mentioned one example. Therefore, I just don't do it (live nesting that is).

    Robert Garrett

    Senior Project Engineer

  • Yeah cross section's have a different workflow.  What I have found that works every time is to attach the alignment file, attach the terrain.  Make the terrain active.  Open 3D model and attach the 3D model of the corridor.  Open 2D model and cut cross sections.  No nesting on any of the files.

  • Hey Guys, this is all great advice. Is there any way I can get some more specific information on this, a Best Practices Guide, perhaps? I am struggle with getting some of my terrain to display in my SS4 Cross Sections, as well as getting some of my 3D files to show in my cross sections. To add even more complexity, I am also using a SUE Model to reference in some underground utilities.

    Perhaps I should just ask some basic questions. 

    1) Do I start with a 3D Seed File/Model- and then attach my Roadway Terrain Model (without Live Nesting) Drainage Terrain Model ((with SUE Model included) (without Live Nesting)) Alignment Model (without Live Nesting), 3D Line work Models (without Live Nesting).

    2) Do I then Create a 2D Design Model within the Master Model, call it the name in which my Cross Section Set Name is going to be, display the cross sections and then reference my 3D model within that 2D Design Model to show the party I am doing this for, which alignment I used to get the sections.

    3) Finally, how can I get the center line of an active alignment within the 3D Master Model I started with to display in my cross sections. Just set it as the active profile?

    Thanks everyone, my boss is getting pissed because these have taken me way too much time to create, switching to SS4 was not such a good idea, but now I am committed.