Object Layer Tip

Every open a Civil 3d drawing and begin creating an object and notice that the layer that you need to place an object like a FG surface is missing?  What tools do you have?  Check out a little tip after the jump.

I am in the middle of importing the EG surface from a data reference into the grading drawing.  I’ve selected create surface Reference – but the Surface Layer is showing as Layer 0.  Oops – the draftsman purged the layer or maybe this is an older drawing. 

imageIf you click on the “Saturn” icon, which brings us to Object Layer Dialog Box.  After opening the Layer Selection dialog box, layer EX-SRF isn’t in the current drawing.

I guess I could exit, jump to Design Center and drag the layer, or I can click new and create it from the CAD Standards Manual, if I can find it.

How about changing the Layer Source? image

Hey, Drawing1.dwg actually has a use!  Be sure the set your QNew to your Civil 3d template and leave it open!  Civil 3d is MDI-aware.


  1. Mark Jung says:

    Nice tip. This will come in handy when we work on drawings that were created before we had our Civil 3D template completed.

  2. Nick Rhoads says:

    What did I miss? I only get the current dwg in the layer source list!

  3. Nick –

    You need to have more than one drawing open and select the down arrow. You will see ALL of your drawings that are open if you have more than one drawing open. (This is Civil3d and its MDI capable!) I usually leave drawing1 open anyway as its my template and I can quickly grab styles etc to drag into the current drawing.

  4. David Tice says:


    I have C3D 2008 and I tried finding the “Saturn” like the one you’ve shown but all I’ve seen was the similiar looking one asigned to “free orbit”. Am I mistaken that this was only available in 2009?

  5. No – The “Saturn” Icon is located at the upper right hand corner of the Create Surface dialog box to the right of the layer.

    In the example, I was creating a Surface Reference and noticed that the layer the surface was going to be created on was layer zero which isn’t our standard. From that dialog box, the Saturn icon is located. It typically appears in thge “create” dialog boxes. For reference – see page 222 in Mastering Civil 3d. The “Create Alignment – From Polyline” dialog box is visibile and “Saturn” is located next to the Alignment Layer.

    Hope that helps,


  6. David Tice says:

    Ah! That’s where it is, OK I got it! I was looking for it within the main drawing screen, Thanks!