One of the first tasks many new users are faced with in Civil 3D is importing an ascii file (otherwise known as text file) of points into Civil 3D for the purposes of building an existing ground surface.
You might get the points as a .txt, .prn, .csv or similar. In addition to their file type, points will have a format such as PNEZD, PENZD, NEZ, etc. and be space or comma delimited.
If you are wondering how you “create contours” from a list of points, here is the step by step on importing your points file, creating a point group, building a surface and viewing your surface contours in Civil 3D.
1. Create a new drawing from a Civil 3D Template
2. Points>Import/Export Points>Import Points
3. Choose your format, find your file, press OK.
4. Zoom extents to see your points
5. Make a new point group for the points you’d like to include in your surface.
6. Give your point group a name, and choose a style and label style for your point group
7. Include whatever points are appropriate. In my project, the points with elevations greater than zero are OK. You might have other criteria, such as certain raw descriptions, all points or otherwise. Press OK to form the point group.
8. Note the point group is formed in Prospector
9. Make a new surface
10. Give your surface a name and a style.
11. Note a surface entry appears in Prospector. Think of a surface as an empty bowl. You need to “fill it up” with data. Just like your cereal bowl isn’t breakfast until you add cereal, fruit and milk, your surface won’t be a surface until you add points and/or breaklines and/or other data.
12. Right-click on Point Groups and choose “Add”. You want to tell this surface that you’d like to use a certain point group.
13. Choose your point group and press OK.
14. Look in your drawing and note that a surface has been created instantly.
15. To change the way your surface looks, ie to change it from contours to triangles or vice versa, select your surface in the drawing, right click and choose surface properties.
16. From the drop down list, choose a different style.
17. Further refine your surface by adding breaklines, boundaries or more.
And of course, our forthcoming book will have lots of great info as well.
Also check out the following tutorials which can be found under the Help menu.