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Calculate cut&fill volumes
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* August 15, 2017, 09:30:19 AM
I know this question has been asked before but I haven't found a complete answer.
I have Turbocad Pro 2017 v 24 build 38.2 and recently purchased Civil Design Suite v  I am trying to do cut and fill volume calculations for a building site but I can't find detailed documentation on how to use the volume tool.  I can create the mesh and surface TIN of two surfaces which the volume function finds but calculating volume results in zero area and volume.  Is there more documentation or instructional videos on the volume function than what is in the help file?    Specifically how to use break lines or edit the point file or contour layers to create surfaces that will calculate.  Also, can I display a color image of cut and fill elevations?

Alex P.


* August 15, 2017, 11:36:12 PM
I don't have the civil suite. But if I was drawing with straight cad. using solids
I would create the existing terrain by lofting the contour lines. Then use slice by surface to and slice a box. - resulting in the "terrain" (I am not really a fan of the terrain tool)
I would then draw the shape of the platform (positioned at the correct level) using a closed polyline.
extrude the polyline using a draft angle (you would probably need to use 2 extrusions - one for the cut and one for the fill.)
Make sure the cut extrusion is higher then the terrain. Make a 3d intersect of the extrusion and the terrain -(keep original should be on)
Hopefully you would be able to get a volume from the result.

TC20 platinum
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TC 2017 with lightworks

* August 17, 2017, 09:03:48 AM
Thanks for your response. What you suggest sounds useful but I don’t think it would be accurate without taking a long time.  Civil Design Suite has a built-in slice tool (which I do get Volume results) and  also volume between two intersecting  complex surfaces. Each surface consists of 10,000 to 100,000 irregular polygons that would be difficult to model by hand with enough resolution.  I am pretty sure C.D.S. has the capability to do this.  I need help on how to create surfaces that will calculate.


* September 03, 2017, 05:07:35 PM
The "create Road" tool was created a while ago. Because it produced a cross section at each node I used that to extend it to also produce cross section graphs with area and accumulated volume at each station. Use that tool and the graphs will be created as well as a printout by station.

Jerry Simington
« Last Edit: September 03, 2017, 05:09:33 PM by jerry.simington »


* September 03, 2017, 05:21:09 PM
Sorry my answer was not for the original question. The only way you get a zero volume is if the surfaces did not overlay in the z axis. A ray in the z plane must pass through both surfaces for the grosser version for some reason or the prismoidal method could not create a similarity triangulation between the two surfaces.


* September 06, 2017, 12:32:53 PM
Thanks for your reply.  The two surfaces overlay each other on the Z axis. I think I was having problems creating valid surfaces. The triangle meshes looked okay but the TIN surface layer creation was inconsistent and certainly wrong and I did not know how to edit the source contours to make it calculate. I did not have time to work on this further and ended up purchasing other software (Kubla Cubed) for my needs.  Although it had a clunky interface it was easy to see what to edit in the contour lines to get it to calculate and my results were matching my engineering firm’s results on Autocad.  I think Civil Design Suite is an important product but needs more documentation and/or error message feedback.


* September 06, 2017, 02:24:04 PM
    Thanks and I apologize for seeing your message too late. I'm glad you found an application that works for you. I did find some bugs. One was that if you give a elevation as a whole number then it always came in as a zero. And the triangulation had problems too. Those have been fixed. But your requirement is an area problem which requires more than just two numbers. I am going to add the feature you need. I wonder if your data is not proprietary and that if I could get it to test with and find the bugs and problems that you found. If you could help me and tell me what's wrong then I can get those things fixed faster.
    The new feature would be to also produce a set of x-y-z points with the z-value being the difference in the z-value of the first surface minus the z-value of the second  surface at that x-y. Then you could create a TIN from that result. Then all of the other tools are available.
    Again I am sorry for the frustration. And I will work to make the tool work better for you.

Best Regards,
Jerry Simington