I've just started working for a company who are using an old topcon machine for general surveying, nothing serious. They are wanting to start doing their own topo surveys and hence wanting their surveys to have Contour lines. I have been told that it is possible on AutoCad but I cant seem to find out how. I am using Autodesk AutoCad 2011 full version. I am able to transfer my data into AutoCad using Topcon Link with the levels attached. Will I need to purchase an extra package or can I do it with what I already have?
Thanks in Advance
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Plain AutoCAD has no provisions for contouring, you would need to upgrade to Civil3D or use an add-on like MapWorks Surfaces (try the 21-day full working eval).
You will require additional software above or beyond vanilla Acad. There are multiple solutions available, but if you are dealing with survey equipment, you might want to look at Carlson -- there are several options there for creating TINN surfaces and contour lines.
Others as well, see partner products on the Autodesk web site.
You can do it with plain AutoCAD, we did it for decades with pencils prior to CAD and for years with CAD prior to the verticals. I'm just not sure you really want to. It requires building your TIN's manually, and interpolating "even" elevation points between adjacent survey points (PITB without an add-on, or vertical).
If you're handy with lisp, you can create some aids that allow you to select two survey points and have it determine and place a new point(s) at the "even" elevation. Then "connect-the-dots" with a PLINE and fit-curve it. If you're not handy with lisp, someone over in the customization forum may be able to provide assistance.
Also, this method will only provide an approximation of the true surface (which all the verticals really do). The more points you use the closer the approximation (the more work required). Depending on the accuracy you require, and the budget you have, you might consider laser scanning solutions that will provide a much finer detail of the surface.
You can do it with plain AutoCAD, we did it for decades with pencils prior to CAD and for years with CAD prior to the verticals.
I didn't want to say that it would of given my age away, but yes it can be done.
talking about using ruling pens and linen would be a giveaway -- pencils are still being manufactured..
but the PITB factor is definitely there doing it old skool.
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