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Creating Topography in ARCHICAD from AutoCAD Survey Data

Selen Isleyen
Graphisoft
Graphisoft

Sharing data is a common practice between architects and surveyors. In this article we are going to explain how to create a mesh in ARCHICAD with an AutoCAD file that can come from surveyors.

This article is based on Creating Topography in ARCHICAD from AutoCAD Survey Data written by Chidambaram, Chidambaram.

Step 1- Controlling the File

After you open the surveyors dwg file, you can check if it is in local standards. It is important to have correct units (meters) and correct coordinates. To do that:

  • Use List command
  • Pick an element to check
  • Click enter
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_1-List-Command.gif
List Command Workflow 1

 

wp-content_uploads_2020_02_list-command.png
List Command Workflow 2

Step 2 - Extracting Data from AutoCAD

  • Click on "Insert" tab
  • Choose "Extract Data"
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_Insert-Tab.gif
Data Extraction Workflow 1
  • Since this is your first data extraction, click on "Create a new data extraction". Next time you can click on " Use previous extraction as a template (.dxe or .blk)"
  • Click "Next"
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_Data-Extraction-Window-1.png
Data Extraction Workflow 2
  • Give a name to the file (make sure it is *.dxe file) and click "Save"
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_Data-Extraction-Window-2.5.png
Data Extraction Workflow 3
  • Choose " Select objects in the current drawing" and click on the button next to it
  • Choose all the elements in your drawing and click "Enter"
  • Click "Next"
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_Data-Extraction-Window-2.gif
Data Extraction Workflow 4
  • Select block or blocks that represent the survey points and deselect the rest.
  • Click "Next"
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_Data-Extraction-Window-3.png
Data Extraction Workflow 5
  • From "Category filter" choose only "Geometry"
  • Select "Position X,Y,Z" and deselect "Scale X,Y,Z"
  • Click "Next"
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_Data-Extraction-Window-4.gif
Data Extraction Workflow 6
  • Deselect "Show count column" and "Show name column". We don't need this information.
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_Data-Extraction-Window-5.png
Data Extraction Workflow 7
  • Select "Output data to external file (.xls .csv .mdb .txt)" and click on "..."
  • Choose a location in your computer
  • Name your file and make sure it's "*.txt" format
  • Click "Next"
  • Click "Finish"
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_Data-Extraction-Window-6.gif
Data Extraction Workflow 8

Now we should have a *.txt file that looks like this:

wp-content_uploads_2020_02_txt-file.png
Data Extraction Workflow 9

Step 3 - Importing Data into ARCHICAD

Importing *.txt file into ARCHICAD is relatively easier than exporting *.txt file from AutoCAD as you read in previous headline.

  • Click on "File" from Menu
  • Click "Interoperability"
  • Select "Place Mesh from Surveyors Data… "
  • Find your *.txt file and click "Open"
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_ARCHICAD-Import.gif
Importing Data Workflow 1
  • Choose "meter" in the units
  • Select "Original location" and "Zoom to the new mesh"
  • Click "Ok"
wp-content_uploads_2020_02_ARCHICAD-Import-2.png
Importing Data Workflow 2

Now, we have a beautiful mesh in our ARCHICAD file!

To see more about Mesh Tool, check Mesh Tool Settings .

 

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