Skip to main content

Hi, I’m Charles Ellison. I’m a Civil 3D designer and trainer at Today we’ll be looking at the Inquiry Tool in Civil 3D 2020, which is a palette specific to Civil 3D. The Inquiry Tool gives us the ability to get measurements from Civil 3D objects without creating labels. It comes in handy especially for finding spot elevations or slopes on surfaces.

One additional palette that’s part of the Civil 3D interface is the Inquiry Tool palette. We can find the Inquiry Tool palette on the Analyze ribbon, and if we go all the way over to the Inquiry panel, we have our standard AutoCAD Inquiry, along with a few Civil 3D Inquiry tools, including the Inquiry Tool palette. I’m going to click on this button, and it opens up the Inquiry Tool palette. Now this is a palette. I’m going to right-click near the name and choose to make sure Allow Docking’s unchecked, and I’ll slide it over here. Now what this does is it allows us to query or get information about Civil 3D objects. Surfaces, alignments, profiles, sections, corridors, and so forth.

So for example, let me expand our palette a little bit. And I’m going to choose a surface, expand that out, and then choose Surface Elevation and Grade at Point. When I do so, it asks me for a surface from this location. I’m going to choose the Osceola Road surface. Now that is this proposed grade, these brownish contours in the background. And I’m going to click OK. It has this information, then at the command prompt it says Specify point for elevation and grade. And I’m just going to pick a point here, and notice what it’s doing. It’s giving me a little bit of a visual showing the direction of the grade, and then it tells me what the grade is. It’s roughly 4.92 at the point picked. The elevation at the point picked is 254.79. Now it continues to prompt me to Specify point for elevation. So I can pick another point here, and again it will show me the direction of the grade, as well as the elevation, grade, and slope. So I can look at the slope in this case and see that we’re close to the three to one here.So all of this will stay there. Even if I hit Escape, it’ll clear out now and allow me to choose another option, but a lot of different ways that we can use the Inquiry Tool to really better understand our designand be able to work with that information so as to build our design out from other items.

Now I don’t use the Inquiry Tool that often. Do you remember at the beginning we talked about relationships of labels? I could place a label on this surface, such as a slope label with a proper style and that information will always be available to me.But it depends. I don’t want that label to print. So maybe the Inquiry Tool will be better available because it provides me the information that I can always choose again to pick and change the point and have that value without anything that’s going to be printed. So we’ve looked at the Civil 3D user interface. Let’s get into some of the features now of Autodesk Civil 3D.