Surfaces are basic building blocks in AutoCAD Civil 3D. You can import surface information from LandXML, TIN (triangulated irregular network), and DEM (digital elevation model) files, and use points, point files, DEM data, existing AutoCAD objects, contours, breaklines, and boundaries to create surfaces.

Surfaces Workflow

Surfaces Tutorials

Surfaces Best Practices

  • Understanding Surfaces

    A surface is a three-dimensional geometric representation of an area of land, or, in the case of volume surfaces, is a difference or composite between two surface areas.

  • Creating Surfaces

    You can create a surface that comprises a combination of points, breaklines, boundaries, and contours.

  • Adding and Editing Surface Data

    You can edit and add data to a surface after you create it.

  • Surface Errors and Issues

    Identify and troubleshoot errors or problems with a surface, or its data components.

  • Surface Editing Operations

    Edit surfaces using data edit operations, which are added to a surface definition as edit operations and not to any of the existing surface data components.

  • Removing Surface Data

    You can use several methods for removing data from a drawing, surface definition, or from both.

  • Masks

    Use masks to block out areas of a surface and prevent them from being displayed or to render a section of the surface using a specified render material.

  • Watersheds

    Use watersheds to analyze how water flows along and off of a surface.

  • Managing Surfaces

    You can manage instances of surfaces in the Surfaces collection in the Prospector tab and surface settings in the Surface collection in the Settings tab.

  • Calculating Surface Volumes

    Use surface utilities to query composite and bounded volume differences between surface.

  • Surface Styles and Visualization
  • Surface Labels and Tables

    Use surface label and table styles to control the appearance and behavior of surface-related labels and tables in a drawing.

  • Analyzing Surfaces

    You can perform many types of surface-related analysis, including contour, directions, elevations, slopes, slope-arrows, watersheds, and water drop path.

  • Exporting Surface Data

    You can export an AutoCAD Civil 3D surface from a drawing to a DEM file compatible with either USGS or GeoTIFF formats, enabling you to use the surface in applications that support these formats.

  • Surfaces Command Reference

    You can use commands to access surface functionality quickly.