Point Clouds In An Infrastructure Project Part Three

In this final part of the review from our Point Clouds in an Infrastructure Project, I’ll be looking at how to take the model we created into Civil 3D, ready to do our design.

First things first, lets extract what we can from the Infraworks model. We don’t need the surface because we’ll just open that in Civil 3D. Infraworks can extract the linear and vertical features as an ESRI shapefile. Now, I’m not interested in the vertical features, but the linework would be really useful. The Transverse verticies might be useful for larger road projects because creating the horizontal lines could take some time. They might also be useful when you don’t have a relitively uniform structure like a road. But for a project of this size and type, the linear features will be enough. Don’t forget to set the target coordinate system.

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The ‘Extracted Ground’ option will output a grid of points in a Recap format (RCS). So you can see what it produces, here it is in Recap:

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Again, this might be useful in some circumstances, like a large non-uniform surface, but not in ours.

When you have exported the linear features, you will get a shapefile. Civil 3D can read these using FDO, but better still it can import them using the MapImport command. This will create 3D polylines. Remember to bring the data in so you can set them on a layer depending on what feature they are automatically. The ‘Manual Style’ data field describes what the features are. Top of Kerb, Paint stripe etc.

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Once imported you can set up the layer style and keep them as 3D polylines, or convert them to Featurelines depending on what you are going to do. Featurelines are easier to edit and can have more data for your BIM model.

Next we open the Infraworks model in Civil 3D to bring the surface in. You can use the dedicated Infraworks Ribbon tab for this.

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And you're done. A really good surface from a Point Cloud that is useable and created with little effort.

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If you would like any more information on how to work with Point Clouds please get in touch, we’d all be happy to help.

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Point Clouds In An Infrastructure Project Part Two
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