Collaboration with other software
About model and data exchange with 3rd party solutions: Revit, Solibri, dRofus, Bluebeam, structural analysis solutions, and IFC, BCF and DXF/DWG-based exchange, etc.

Advice for 3D Grading Coordination on Large Sites


I’m looking for some wisdom, advice, and best practices for exchanging 3D grading information with our engineers.

Our firm does a lot of multi-family work, and sometimes the grading coordination can be quite overwhelming. I know that our Civil engineer uses a 3D based modeling program (Autodesk Civil3D) so in an ideal world it would be very nice to be able to take his geometry and import that into our model. I see several benefits: that would help us to better understand the grading as it relates to the project, maintain coordination through our plan set, help us to determine some wall heights, establish the ground plane in sections and elevations, appear in renderings, etc. This would have saved us tons of hours on the last project I worked on!

In our experience trying Surveyor’s point data (xyz files) has so far proven cumbersome for several reasons:

- The imported files sometimes have *lots* of points and any kind of cleanup is extremely tedious. (one file I am working with now (a 5 acre site) has points on a 2'x2' grid!)
- Perhaps more importantly, when I import the point data, there are no property lines or other reference points, so it can be quite the guessing game as to where our site actually belongs.

Does anyone have any wisdom they can share here on a good way to go about this? Thanks!
ArchiCAD 22 (6021 USA Full), 2.5 GHz Intel Xeon W iMac Pro, 64 GB RAM, MacOS 10.14, AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64
I see the benefits of the having the 3D grading inside our model, and I’m really pushing for it; but so far all the project manager sees is that the 3D grading is proving to be far more time consuming than just drawing the ground using 2D fills. Our experience with meshes and surveyor's data so far makes that hard to refute. 😕
ArchiCAD 22 (6021 USA Full), 2.5 GHz Intel Xeon W iMac Pro, 64 GB RAM, MacOS 10.14, AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64
Not applicable
The total silence on the response is informative. It sounds like this is an issue not addressed or acknowledged as an issue.

All Architecture sits on a site, most often with some slope and grade, and this total lack of import export to formats that Civil engineers use places an incredible burden on the Architect using ArchiCAD in implementing the site information. This also defeats the BIMness in use of ArchiCAD.

CIVIL 3d can export Meshes but we have no way to import those Meshes at this time that can in as Mesh objects. We are going to ask the Civil to export a IFC Mesh for the site to see if this allows us to bring in the site.

We need to be able to create from 3d Polys set to a height into a mesh object. In other words, select all the 3d Polys then run a command that says convert to Mesh object interpolating all this with contours for the grades.

Our practice designs projects with multiple buildings on a site and this void is impacting time utilization drastically that should be as easy as import and place.

Wonder if any of the long time users have a solution other than a hack.
Please give it more than a day. I grant you that this is an overlooked area and that this work is extremely important.

One article you may find helpful and would like to share with your civil consultants is here.

There are other articles on this blog that you may find useful as well.

I am personally interested in what the Rhino / Grasshopper / ArchiCAD connectivity may have to offer in the site / /civil / context arena as well.
Think Like a Spec Writer
AC4.55 through 27 / USA AC27-4060 USA
Rhino 8 Mac
MacOS 12.7.2
Not applicable
As a Construction and Civil Engineer I would prefer to see a file/link
Between Vws(2016)/Marionette/Subdivision Surfaces-> Archicad
IMO Vws workflow would be a better fit.
OT with regards to Civil multiphysics simulations and data optimization (new frontiers) makes sense to back Parasolid and python.

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