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Thread: Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

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    Default Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

    Summary: Create a Composite Lowest Elevation Surface from several starting surfaces

    Description: I frequently need to create a composite bottom surface of the deepest mined topography for our quarries. My data can consist of anywhere from half a dozen up to 15 separate sets of topography (or dtm) data. Currently there is no way to input all of the surfaces and have Civil 3D create a composite bottom from those topos. I use daylighting and pasting to cheat this process sometimes if the surfaces are very simple but this is usually not the case at large rock quarries. My better alternative is to give it to someone that has Carlson software that can do just that, create a composite bottom surface.

    I have been using surface and grading tools in Autodesk going back to the days when Land Desktop was not even owned by Autodesk yet and can say that there has been a severe lack up upgrades to these tools over the years compared to the other areas within the software; hence why competitors still exist and there are add-ons to pick up the slack.

    Product and Feature: AutoCAD Civil 3D - Surface Modeling

    Submitted By: lawsons on 10/30/2018


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    Default Re: Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

    not sure i fully understand what you're trying to do here, but i'm thinking you could paste all the surfaces together to create a composite surface.
    this is in Civil 3d and has been since at least 2013 version. that was the first one i started using.
    Robert

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    Default Re: Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

    Quote Originally Posted by rmk View Post
    not sure i fully understand what you're trying to do here, but i'm thinking you could paste all the surfaces together to create a composite surface.
    this is in Civil 3d and has been since at least 2013 version. that was the first one i started using.
    Thanks for the reply. Pasting is certainly an option to combine surfaces, I use it all the time in fact, however the issue is that it simply replaces a surface elevation of the first surface with an elevation of the second surface indiscriminately. It does not take into account whether that more recent surface is higher, lower or the same, it simply replaces it in the overlapping area in the composite surface.

    What I need is the following; Imagine a 100 acre site that is changing over several months or years but occupying the same overall 100 acres. That project has holes being excavated in some areas, holes being filled in another and every combination of higher and lower elevations occurring at different times all over this large site. It is quite common, in mining anyway, to need to know the ultimate excavated bottom that ever occured at that site. For sites that have continuous earthwork moving all over, it becomes a patchwork of several months/years of topos that can show the ultimate bottom surface for all points on that 100 acre site. Mining sites in particular are notorious for having a hole one day and a stockpile over that hole the next.

    One of our Mine Planners within the company uses Carlson Software which gives him the ability to input multiple surfaces and dump out a single composite surface showing the lowest points that have occured over that site for all of the input surfaces. There is no equivalent to this ability native to Civil 3D, believe me, I have tried and tried again. The trouble with that is that Carlson only works with Grid surfaces which for me is fine only for mass volume checks but not on a paid per yard basis where I use TIN surfaces.

    At any rate, hopefully I did a better job explaining the need this time. I just wish there were advances made to the grading object/surfaces/feature lines side of the software which I have been using going back to Land Desktop days (All the improvements seem to go toward Corridors, piping and other needs, unfortunately for me anyway). You do develop tricks and work-arounds for things but for certain things there simply is no good way to achieve the results you need reasonably. I suppose this is why so many people in mining/construction use other software than Civil 3D but I still hold out hope since I have been using this software for so long now.

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    Default Re: Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

    Hi

    Which command or menu is Create a composite bottom surface in Carlson software?

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    Default Re: Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

    I do not use Carlson myself, so I could not tell you the command name without Googling it, but another department in my office does and they have had to create composite bottoms for me since Civil 3D lacks this ability. It has been part of Carlson going back several years though I can say (I believe it is part of their Civil module?).

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    Default Re: Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

    Quote Originally Posted by lawsons View Post
    .....Carlson Software which gives him the ability to input multiple surfaces and dump out a single composite surface showing the lowest points that have occured over that site for all of the input surfaces. There is no equivalent to this ability native to Civil 3D, believe me, I have tried and tried again. The trouble with that is that Carlson only works with Grid surfaces which for me is fine only for mass volume checks but not on a paid per yard basis where I use TIN surfaces.

    Carlson can use TIN surfaces. However (and I could be wrong) I think that the nature of how those routines are programmed, is what's limited to the grid surfaces, and in fact, as far as I know, all of their mining routines are written to work with Grids only.
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

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    Default Re: Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

    I believe you are correct as the mine planners I know that use it do in fact use Grid surfaces. Civil 3D however, lacks much of the cool surface functionality whether it be TIN or GRID which is a real shame. Every update for Civil 3D I see is related to pipes and UI elements, and yet they have added zero advancements to anything surfaces related. Perhaps this has to do with user base and I am in the minority here, which is understandable. I just wish they would try and compete with some of their competitors in this area. I have been a dedicated Civil 3D user going back to early days of LDT and for many things I have simply had to create my own workarounds or depend on fantastic programmers like Terry at DotSoft to create custom tools to do things Civil 3D is plenty capable of doing with a little more attention.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

    Thanks for the mention. Our C3DTools Add-on https://www.dotsoft.com/c3dtools.htm contains a Surface Multi-Processor ...



    ... that lets you select any number surfaces to create other surfaces by factors or elevation analysis (min elev, etc).

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    Administrator rkmcswain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Create a lowest elevation surface from several surfaces

    Quote Originally Posted by lawsons View Post
    Civil 3D however, lacks much of the cool surface functionality ...... I just wish they would try and compete with some of their competitors in this area.
    You are forgetting something important. What's the old saying "Where does an 800lb gorilla sit down? Where ever he wants to"....
    Autodesk doesn't have to do anything with surfaces, or anything else in C3D, because they are renting Civil 3D to the masses just fine without it. As far as they are concerned there are no competitors.
    R.K. McSwain | CAD Panacea |

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