Featureline direct from Alignment & Profile

There are a number of times where you just want to get a Featurline (3D polylines) right from a profile and don’t want to deal with a corridor model or assemblies.  It is sort of funny, in Land Desktop there was a convoluted method involving points and surface breaklines to accomplish such a common task.  Well, not any more in Civil 3D!  Civil 3D will create a Featureline directly from an alignment and profile.  It has always been there, your probably may have breezed over it, like I did, for months.

After the jump learn how…

The tools is “Create (featureline) from Alignment”:2009.05.18-Featureline Align Button

Running the command is pretty straight forward.  Just create an alignment and design a profile (or sample from a surface).  Run the command and select the alignment.  You will be presented with the following dialog.  See the image below for tips:

2009.05.18-FL dialog

What may not be apparent is:

  1. You can make a featureline from ANY PROFILE; designed or sampled from a surface.
  2. You can first data-reference the alignment and profile into a new drawing and then create the featureline.
  3. The featureline can be DYNAMIC! to the alignment and profile.

So in keeping the above in mind.  You can have an alignment and profile in FILE “A” and a featureline in FILE “B” that is dynamic to the alignment and profile.  Nice eh…


  1. Josh Petersen says:

    I’m assuming this is only something you can do in 2010……

  2. John Mayo, PE says:

    This is a very nice improvement but note that if your profile does not run the entire length of the alignment the FL will shoot down to zero.

  3. Can only do in 2010? This feature has always been there!

    John, you are correct. This is one downfall. But you can always make non-dynamic and trim the featureline.