Terrain modeling plays a critical role in site planning, site grading, earthwork, quantity estimates and more. It gives engineers a more accurate understanding of the earth’s bare surface which allows them to design better-performing structures and be more cost-efficient.
Plex-Earth 5D offers a feature to easily generate Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) in a blink of an eye, directly into your AutoCAD drawing. This tutorial will guide you on how to import terrain using Plex-Earth 5D.
Importing a Terrain
Before importing a terrain, make sure that your drawing is always georeferenced.
Let's start importing!
Go to the Plex-Earth 5D ribbon and on the Terrain panel, click on "Import Terrain".
Plex-Earth will then prompt you to select your area of interest. This can be done by either defining the area's two opposite corners or by selecting an existing polyline that bounds the area of interest.
Note: If you select the polyline option, make sure that the polyline has at least three corner points for successful grid mesh calculation. Or else, Plex-Earth will display the a dialog box showing an error message as illustrated below.
After defining the area of the terrain that you want to import, Plex-Earth will pop up a window and will ask you to confirm the number of points to be imported. Click on "YES, IMPORT TERRAIN" to proceed.
The terrain should be downloaded within a few seconds and it should be displayed as shown below:
|Note: You can change the terrain provider by typing PXV_TERRAIN_PROVIDERS on the command line and select your preferred provider. Then, you may proceed on importing a terrain again from your selected provider.|
Terrains imported through Plex-Earth are, by default, meshes. You may generate other objects from your terrain by accessing the Terrain Manager.
You can access all the terrain objects of your drawing from Plex-Earth 5D's Terrain Manager. To open it, click on the "Show Terrain Manager" button on the Plex-Earth ribbon, as highlighted below:
The Terrain Manager palette will pop up and it will display a list of all the terrain objects contained in your drawing.
On the top part of the palette, there are buttons to modify your terrain objects.
- New Terrain - This imports a new terrain object into your drawing. It functions the same as the Import Terrain button from the Plex-Earth ribbon.
- Generate Drawing Objects - This creates extra objects from your terrain. Here are the several objects you can generate from your terrain:
- TIN Mesh
- Polyface Mesh
- Point Objects
- Civil 3D Surface (only for Civil 3D)
- Remove - This completely deletes a terrain object from your drawing
- Close (x) button- This closes the Terrain Manager palette.
When the mouse cursor is pointed on a terrain object on the list, two buttons will be visible beside the object, the Zoom to Object and "T" buttons.
- Zoom to Object- This will allow AutoCAD to zoom to the extents of the respective terrain.
- Rename (T) - This will allow you to rename the selected terrain object on the list.
|Note: Terrain objects can be deleted from the drawing space and can be re-created by using the "Generate Drawing Objects" feature as long as the terrain objects are not completely removed from the Terrain Manager.|
Now that Plex-Earth created the terrain model, an engineer can proceed to the designing process with greater confidence and analyze all the important aspects of his project site (bumps, dips, channels, etc.) with just a few clicks and from the comfort of his own office or home.
This is just one of the many convenient tools Plex-Earth has to offer. The best way to explore all the features is to try it out for yourself. Install a fully functional 7 day free trial of Plex-Earth 5D now!
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions you may have and don’t forget to start your free trial today.