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 an AutoCAD or BricsCAD drawing. This tutorial will guide users on how to import terrain using Plex-Earth 5D.
Importing a Terrain
Before importing a terrain, make sure that the 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 one to select his 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 to import, Plex-Earth will pop up a window and will ask 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: The terrain provider can be changed by typing PXV_TERRAIN_PROVIDERS on the command line and selecting the preferred provider. Then, the user may proceed on importing a terrain again from the selected provider.|
Terrains imported through Plex-Earth are, by default, meshes. It is possible to generate other objects from an existing terrain by accessing the Terrain Manager.
All the terrain objects of a drawing can be accessed 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 the drawing.
On the top part of the palette, there are buttons to modify the terrain objects.
- New Terrain - This imports a new terrain object into a drawing. It functions the same as the Import Terrain button from the Plex-Earth ribbon.
- Generate Drawing Objects - This creates extra objects from an existing terrain. Here are the several objects that can be generate from an existing terrain:
- TIN Mesh
- Polyface Mesh
- Point Objects
- Civil 3D Surface (only for Civil 3D)
- Remove - This completely deletes a terrain object from the 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 CAD to zoom to the extents of the respective terrain.
- Rename (T) - This will allow a user 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.