The toolset that many have been waiting for was just released on Autodesk labs. The Interactive Terrain Shaping for AutoCAD Civil 3D. These tools give Civil 3D users the capability to shape and mold various features related to grading, with direct pick, apply, and drag functionality. The Labs site stated that the intent was to "facilitate the development of comprehensive grading plans that can be easily tuned through the development cycle".
A new Ribbon tab is installed in Civil 3D, and contains numerous tools including terrain feature shapes, including:
- Parking Lots
Additional grading tools are provided that allow easy creation and future manipulation of cut / fill operations. More advanced features can be developed, like retaining walls for example, to develop a comprehensive finished grade model.
I look forward to seeing these tools used in development. What is not clear yet is how these are stored back into the Civil 3D model. The Labs site went on to say that the terrain shaping is not stored in the Civil 3D model, and that the shaper must be installed in order to modify the features. This may limit the number of people that can really put this toolset to the test as team members can’t make changes, and the features can’t be modified once the Labs offering is shut down (something to consider). However, this may indicate a distinct change in Civil 3D’s future Prospector panel, as these features are stored separately at this time.
Head over to Autodesk Labs and give the Interactive Terrain Shaping tools a try. Remember to comment on Labs about your experiences with the tool, and any feedback that you have.