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Richard C

Site models

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I like this forum - lots of frendly help. My question - Is there good detailed reference (beyond the Help and the VectorWorks tutorial) for converting a survey to a 3D site model? I have a survey given to me in AutoCad. I imported it into VectorWorks. It came in with the contours as 3D symbols. It seems to be in 3D when I look at it in View isometric, but I can?t convert it to a solid model. I have tried converting the 3D symbols to many other types of lines that the texts suggest but nothing works.

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Survey datum for VW DTM conversions requires placement of 3D Loci in order to calculate the Triangular Integrated Network which then become the 3d Mesh / Polygon surfaces of the solid model...

The 3d symbols may be 'XYZ surface polygons' or they may only be contours with elevation in the 'Z' plane.

If you desire the capablities of the DTM Procedures you will need to place 3D Loci datum points onto those 3D sysmbols. Then point to the Layer and create an Existing DTM from them...

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Or, you can generate a DTM from 3d polygons. For most residential jobs I find it easier to use the following procedure (note: this may not be time effective on very large sites!): Step 1) Import scaled topographic survey; Step 2) On a new layer, trace each contour line using the polyline tool in the second (b?zier) mode. Be very careful that each line is continuous and does overlap itself or any other lines. Step 3) Select all of the polylines and convert them to [2d] polygons (in version 11 this is in the TOOL menu). Step 4) Convert the 2d polygons to 3d polygons using the command "2D polys to 3d contours" (from the AEC menu). During this step you will basically be assigning a "z" height to each contour line. I think VW's always works from left to right (you have no choice in the order) and allows you to designate the vertical distance (up or down) from each line to the next. Each line in turn will be highlighted, until all of them have been converted. Step 5) With the newly created 3d polys selected, use the "create site model" command (again from the AEC menu) to create your DTM. This command will prompt you to choose various different display options, all of which can be changed later, if you wish.

I think if you follows these steps you will be happy with the result. Once you get the DTM to work once, you will use it all the time. I find it invaluable! Hope that helps!

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CipesDesign - I followed the steps you gave but at step 5 I get an error message that reads, "There isn't enough valid data on the specified source layer to build a DTM." There are no option boxes displayed.

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When you select the "site model" command from the AEC menu, there is a pull down list right at the top called "location of source data". Is this set to the layer in which your 3d poly's reside???

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Peter,

I've never seen that process better explained. I think you ought to post it over to the How To board so we can all find it a little easier.

BTW, aren't we supposed to be away from our computers this late in the day?!

I notice you're now officially ranked as an "addict". Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!!

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Insomniacs all ... the 2d>3D does seem complicated compared to

1) set grid to contour spacing intervals x-y

2) place 3d loci at grid intersections & assign Z value

3) Copy paste or dup array loci , as required to fill grid

4) run DTM

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Richard, THAT"S GREAT! FWIW I also had tons of problems getting the DTM to work when I first started using it. It was very frustrating. In my case it might have been some small corruption in the imported survey file(s). Since then I always import the survey data into a "disposable" file, then trace the contours and copy them to a new, clean file. Now it seems to work for me pretty much all the time. And there is no way I could do some of the work I'm involved in now without it! Anyhow, I'm happy you were successful... Peter

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CipesDesign, When I select ?site model? there is no pull down list, just the error message. I tried your method with an abbreviated contour map, 8 contours. At the end of step 4 these contours now reside on layer ?Mod-Site-DTMData? which was created automatically after using the ?2D Polys to 3D Contours? command. Highlighting the 8 contours, the Object Info tells me that they are 3D Polygons, a valid source data according to the 11.5 Help screen. Clicking on the ?Site Model? under AEC only brings up the error message. Nothing else. I have tried using 3D loci but get the same result.

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CipesDesign, I got it to work. I started a new drawing in a different file and at all came together just as you said. Great - Thanks. Must stll be Tricks or Treats for my computer.

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Peter,

I just finished creating a DTM using your procedure and it worked perfectly. Thanks for the info!

BTW, I discovered the "2D polys to 3D contours" command works through the polygons in the order you have drawn them.

------------------------------

Don Samuelson

Samuelson Timberframe Design

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Mac G4 500 Dual/OS 10.3.9

VW11.5 RW ARCHITECT

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Very cool. Thanks for the tip Don. Now that I think about it, I guess I pretty much always draw them left to right :-) P

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