In the following tutorial, we are going to explore the ability to create Surfaces from files that contain elevation information about our project area. The availability of accurate elevation datasets in all stages of the design process is very important, as engineers need to know what the applied elevation values represent in order to be able to reach safe conclusions and make the right decisions.
The Create Surface from File command of Plex-Earth can be very useful in cases where the user has already created a topographic analysis of their area of interest and wants to generate a precise Surface model. The aim here would be a more accurate view of the terrain's morphology. It might also come in handy with other available features of Plex-Earth, including the Creation of 3D Imagery and the Snap Objects functionality.
Transform the elevation points of your topographic survey into a Surface in AutoCAD or BricsCAD
Step 1: Georeference your drawing
NOTE: You will not need to adjust any settings if the drawing has already been georeferenced
with AutoCAD's built-in functions. In this case, you will be able to use Plex-Earth
directly, as the software automatically recognizes the coordinate system applied.
Step 2: Select File
In order to create a surface from an external points file, we visit the Plex-Earth ribbon and choose the Create Surface from File command from the Import Terrain dropdown menu, found on the Terrain Panel:
We are then prompted to identify the file we would like to use. We then select the desired file (txt, prn, csv) and click Open:
Step 3: Create Surface
We are then prompted to specify which column number corresponds to each one of the X,Y,Z axes, using the command line. This will allow the software to recognize which values stored in our text file refer to each axis.
We can insert the desired values by typing them on the command line and hitting the ''Enter'' button on our keyboard, as demonstrated in the following screenshots:
We then choose the preferred delimiter between measurements. This will allow the software to recognize which specific character was used to separate different values in our text file, giving us the ability to pick between multiple format options when gathering and saving our primary data.
We can go with the character that meets our needs by clicking on the respective option on the command line, as shown in the screenshots below:
Finally, we can select a boundary in our drawing with the cursor in case there is one for our terrain. Once done, we specify the opposite corner and click Enter. This will allow the software to recognize the particular area on the screen as the one which will utilize this specific feature of Plex-Earth. For optimal results, it is best to specify the exact area our inserted elevation data refers to. Alternatively, we can skip this step.
And here we go! Our surface is ready, waiting for us to begin our design:
Surface models are essential in landscape and city modeling. The availability of precise topographic information enables us to avoid consuming precious time and resources, and the creation of accurate depictions makes it easier to convey and label information effectively. With Plex-Earth you can have the best of two worlds. You can combine the measurements of local surveys, or data obtained from other applications, and use this information to create Terrain Meshes in AutoCAD.
We hope that you have found this tutorial on how to create a surface using survey measurements, helpful. Feel free to contact us at email@example.com for any questions you may still have.
Don't have Plex-Earth yet? Explore all the features and potential benefits of this software; install a fully functional 7-day free trial of Plex-Earth now!
AutoCAD Version: 2023, 2022 , 2021 , 2020 , 2019 , 2018 , 2017 , 2016
Civil 3D® Version: 2023, 2022 , 2021 , 2020 , 2019 , 2018 , 2017 , 2016
AutoCAD Architecture Version: 2023, 2022 , 2021 , 2020 , 2019 , 2018 , 2017 , 2016
BricsCAD Pro: V22 , V21