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Creating a site model


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I am looking for a way to create a site model from predrawn contour lines.


When creating 3D-polys and using them with "Create Site Model", Vectorworks calculates a new and faulty topography.


Ultimately I am looking for a way to calculate cut and fill, so i need to compare the new model to an existig site model.


I am happy about any suggestions !

Bildschirmfoto 2019-12-09 um 14.09.06.png

Bildschirmfoto 2019-12-09 um 14.09.27.png

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

convert the poly lines to 3d polys, then set each lines Z value to the desired elevation. I would then select all lines and use simplify polys to reduce the number of vertices. Once this is done, select all 3d polys and create site model.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Vectorworks creates a TIN for the model so if you are referring to the flat house pad having terrain you would need to use a pad to modify the surface.


Let me know if this is what you are referring to.

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The bottom center of the 3D polys is blank, but part of the generated model.  Is that the areas you are referring to?  If so, perhaps your model crop should be closer to the property line?  Have you set the minimum and maximum elevations to be lower and above the contours?  Looks like some of your low areas got cut off, although it appears to be in the original contours, not the site model.

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One procedure that I saw in a webinar is to create 3d loci or stakes with the heights of the contours and then distribute those elements in the lines that you imported using the "Duplicate along path" (https://app-help.vectorworks.net/2018/eng/VW2018_Guide/Objects_edit1/Duplicating_Objects_Along_a_Path.htm).


In that way you reduce the vertex number to be included in the new site model, making it much more lighter to work with.

With the Existing Site Model created, you'll include the Site Modifiers to get to the final grading that you desire and you'll get the values.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@jpccrodrigues yes this process can work but requires much more time and more clicks. By simply simplifying the poly (Modify>drafting aids>simplify polys) you achieve the same result with a measured affect that can easily be modified from there.

and @elch I would second @Rossford remarks. Let us know. and if you would like feel free to PM me the file. I can take a look and send back.

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@bgoff thank you for the helpful remarks. However - I spent the entire weekend trying to get the model to work - no success. Simplifying the polys scambles up everything.


So I restarted with the original site data, using Pads - what happens ist still not the desired outcome. I am using pads with retaining walls and grade limits with that. There still is topography inside the building sites, but i do not understand why.


Could you maybe have a look at the file and let me know, what I am doing wrong?



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