Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Creating Topography in ARCHICAD from AutoCAD Survey Data

Selen Isleyen

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
List Command Workflow 1


List Command Workflow 2

Step 2 - Extracting Data from AutoCAD

  • Click on "Insert" tab
  • Choose "Extract Data"
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"
Data Extraction Workflow 2
  • Give a name to the file (make sure it is *.dxe file) and click "Save"
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"
Data Extraction Workflow 4
  • Select block or blocks that represent the survey points and deselect the rest.
  • Click "Next"
Data Extraction Workflow 5
  • From "Category filter" choose only "Geometry"
  • Select "Position X,Y,Z" and deselect "Scale X,Y,Z"
  • Click "Next"
Data Extraction Workflow 6
  • Deselect "Show count column" and "Show name column". We don't need this information.
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"
Data Extraction Workflow 8

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

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"
Importing Data Workflow 1
  • Choose "meter" in the units
  • Select "Original location" and "Zoom to the new mesh"
  • Click "Ok"
Importing Data Workflow 2

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

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


Didn't find the answer?

Check other topics in this Forum

Back to Forum

Read the latest accepted solutions!

Accepted Solutions

Start a new conversation!