Surfaces in Land Desktop

The Land Desktop concepts and tools that are built into the AutoCAD Civil 3D surface object include the Terrain Model Explorer, Surface Editing, Contour Creation, and the Contour Object. The following table briefly summarizes how these features work in Land Desktop:

Land Desktop Surface Functionality Description
Terrain Model Explorer You create surfaces in Land Desktop using the Terrain Model Explorer where you can select data from sources such as point groups or boundaries to build a surface. Once built, the surface is written to an external file, which is actually a folder of data under the Land Desktop Project/DTM folder. Having the surface connected to this external file presents several of the same issues you might have with points.
Surface Editing If you want to edit your newly created surface, you must first import 3D lines. This is because the surface exists in an external file, and not in the drawing. After importing the 3D lines, there are numerous options available for performing edits. For example, if you want to “flip face”, you must do it one at a time. Furthermore, after each flip, you must rebuild the surface, reimport the contours, and possibly, re-label all the contours. This type of workflow can result in designers having to perform these tasks over and over again.
Contour Creation After you finish editing a surface, you must create contours using yet another tool.
Contour Object Each contour is a separate object with no association back to the original surface. Editing the surface means you must recreate contours.

Building surfaces in Land Desktop involves many steps, and the process is not very intuitive. Although the process lets you accomplish the work you need to do, it does have several limitations. For example: