Would you like to 3D print the terrain you imported with Plex-Earth 5D to get a real feel (sic) of the area morphology? Here are the easy steps that you need to follow, provided that you are using Civil 3D.
Step 1: Convert Plex Earth's surface to Civil 3D Surface
The first thing to do is to import a Plex-Earth surface as shown in this tutorial.
After that, we need to extract from the Plex-Earth surface a form of the elevation data that can be used from Civil 3D. There are plenty of workarounds, here, but the easiest thing to do is to extract a Polyface Mesh.
To do so, we select our imported terrain on the Terrain Manager, click on Generate Drawing Objects and select the option, Polyface Mesh.
Note: You can select the option to directly import Polyface Meshes every time you import a terrain through Plex Earth using the PXV_OPTIONS_TERRAIN command
Now you can close the Terrain Manager and go to the Home Tab of Civil 3D and select the option Create Surface. Click OK to the dialog box appearing to proceed with your surface.
Now, open the Civil 3D Prospector (you can do this by typing PROSPECTOR on the command line), find the surface you created, expand its subfiles, and locate the Drawing Objects Option. Right-click it, and select Add.
On the window that pops up, select as an object type Polyface, click OK, and select the Polyface Mesh you have created with Plex Earth.
Step 2: Extract a 3D Solid
When the Civil 3D surface creation is completed, select your Terrain. That will automatically open the Tin Surface Ribbon of Autocad Civil 3D.
Then choose the “Extract from Surface” command from the ribbon and then select “Extract Solids from Surface”.
In the window which pop-ups, select as the vertical definition “At fixed elevation” and set it to zero in order to create the whole volume of your terrain, and then select “Create solid”.
After this process, a 3D Solid Object should have been created in your drawing.
Step 3: Export an STL file
After creating a 3D Solid object from your terrain, you can export an .stl file that is suitable for 3D printing.
Go to the Autocad Civil 3D Icon on the top left of your screen, click and choose “Export” -> “Other Formats”
Then select to export your drawing as an .stl file.
You can select one or more solid objects.
Note that all objects must be entirely within the positive XYZ octant of the world coordinate system (WCS). That is, their X, Y, and Z coordinates must be greater than zero.
That’s it! You have created your model and you are ready to print now!
Still not convinced?
See how Aristides made his life easier using Plex-Earth 5D to 3D Print his architectural models.
Many features waiting to be explored. Just try the fully-functional trial of Plex-Earth 5D and get to know its amazing capabilities.
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.