Importing AutoCAD Objects as Surface data points

April 27, 2010 at 6:55 pm 3 comments

Do you receive drawings from Land surveyors intended for Layout or Plot purposes only? Containing Text or Block insertions with Text Attributes describing the elevation of the existing ground, but as flat objects with a zero elevation? And you want to create a surface of these objects with their corresponding values?
Then here is a short tutorial how to migrate these objects into data points fit for surface creation purposes.

 My first example shows a text object representing the existing ground elevation.

For Text objects Civil 3D will take the insertion point of the text as the (Northing, Easting) location for your C3D point and the text value as the elevation of that N, E point.

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Go to the Modify tab on the Ribbon and select Surface in the Ground Data panel.
  2. An extra Ribbon tab appears with the name Surface.
  3. Now go to the Surface Tools panel drop down menu and select the “Move Text to Elevation” command.
  4. Now select the text objects in the drawing editor.
    Note that the selected text doesn’t have any special characters or quotations included or it will not be elevated.
  5. Check (with the list command) if the moved Text Objects have an elevation corresponding the Text Value. If not, there’s probably special characters present in the text value. Resolve this before continuing.
  6. Create a surface via the Toolspace > Prospector tab and give it a proper name.
  7. Go to Toolspace > Prospector > Surface and expand the newly created surface and go to the Definition branch.
  8. In the Definition branch go to Drawing Objects and right-click to Add.
  9. In the Add Points From Drawing Objects dialog select Text as the Object type.

    If needed you can add a Description for the selected text to distinguish the imported points from other imported points. In the Preview pane of the Toolspace these points can then be edited (deleted) from the surface.
    Note: the description can’t be used to filter with Point Groups.
    Click OK.
  10. Select the text objects you want to add to the surface.

 
My second example include Block insertions with Attribute tags with a value representing the elevation.

For Blocks with Attribute Tags objects Civil 3D will take the insertion point of the Block Insertion as the (Northing, Easting) location for your C3D point and the text value of the chosen Attribute Tag as the elevation of that N, E point.

Here’s how we do it.

  1. Go back to step 3 in previous exercise but then select “Move Blocks to Attribute Elevation”.
  2. In the Move Blocks to Attribute Elevation dialog select the Block that has the associated attribute tag and a list of available attribute tags will appear where you can select from.
    Click OK to accept the selection of block insertions.
  3. Check (with the list command) if the moved Block Objects have an elevation corresponding the Text Value of the Attribute Tag. If not, there’s probably special characters present in the text value. Resolve this before continuing.
  4. Now create a surface and go to the created surfaces Definition branch and right-click to Add.
  5. In the Add Points From Drawing Objects dialog select Text as the Object type.

    If needed you can add a Description for the selected Block Attribute Tags.
    Note: like the the Descriptions with Text Objects this can’t be used to filter with Point Groups.
    Click OK.
  6. Select the block insertion objects you want to add to the surface.

I’ve only explained two types of AutoCAD Objects that you can import into Civil 3D as Surface Data. Other AutoCAD objects that you can import from are listed below:

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3 Comments Add your own

  • […] @iPinda – Edwards Twitter bio says “CAD specialist, AutoCAD trainer and Civil 3D addict” and if you visit his Civil 3D Peanuts blog, you’ll discover that he’s also a part-time freelance AutoCAD trainer and full time CAD application administrator for an international AEC company. You can also learn nice tips and tricks like Importing AutoCAD Objects as Surface data points. […]

    Reply
  • 2. 2010 in review « Civil 3D Peanuts  |  January 2, 2011 at 11:54 am

    […] Importing AutoCAD Objects as Surface data points
    April 20101 comment 3 […]

    Reply
  • 3. mike dillard’s wwn  |  March 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly feel this website needs far more
    attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!

    Reply

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