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AutoCad Civil 3d surface to .stl for 3d printing

11 REPLIES 11
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Message 1 of 12
Anonymous
12180 Views, 11 Replies

AutoCad Civil 3d surface to .stl for 3d printing

Can someone help me - new to civil 3d and want to export a civil 3d surface to an stl file for 3d printing.

11 REPLIES 11
Message 2 of 12
Alfred.NESWADBA
in reply to: Anonymous

Hi,

 

welcome @forums.autodesk.com! 

 

If you have Civil 3D 2015 and the productivity pack installed you can

1) create a Civil 3D surface from your existing 3D-Polylines

2) run the productivity pack command EXPORTSURFACETOSOLID to create a solid from the surface
3) run command STLOUT to generate the STL file from the surface.

 

HTH, - alfred -

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alfred NESWADBA
ISH-Solutions GmbH / Ingenieur Studio HOLLAUS
www.ish-solutions.at ... blog.ish-solutions.at ... LinkedIn ... CDay 2024
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(not an Autodesk consultant)
Message 3 of 12
Anonymous
in reply to: Alfred.NESWADBA

I have a 32 bit system running C3D 2013.   I also have 32bit Revit 2014, Inventor 2015 and access to 3DSMax.

 

And, wouldn't I have to give the surface some "thickness" or is that an option when you CONVTOSOLID?

 

Thanks for anyhelp you can give me - I have wasted alot of time trying to solve this.

Message 4 of 12
Alfred.NESWADBA
in reply to: Anonymous

Hi,

 

>> And, wouldn't I have to give the surface some "thickness"

Yes, otherwise you would not be able to create a stl object/file.

 

>> or is that an option when you CONVTOSOLID?

Have you tried that?

 

>> I have a 32 bit system running C3D 2013.   I also have 32bit Revit 2014, Inventor 2015 and access to 3DSMax.

I can't tell you mich about Revit or Inventor, for 3DSMax I have never tried to export STL.

For Civil 3D you are more limited with 2013 compared to now with 2015. They way you can do that is to create a surface, activate the triangles in the surface's style, then run command _EXPLODE twice. The result is you get 3D-Faces, run command _EXTRUDE with them (along a path), then command _UNION to make one solid and then you are again at the position to export that solid as STL.

(not sure if you have to explode the 3D-Faces to regions before they can't be extruded, so that is just a tip)

 

HTH, - alfred -

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alfred NESWADBA
ISH-Solutions GmbH / Ingenieur Studio HOLLAUS
www.ish-solutions.at ... blog.ish-solutions.at ... LinkedIn ... CDay 2024
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(not an Autodesk consultant)
Message 5 of 12
Anonymous
in reply to: Alfred.NESWADBA

Thanks so much for responding.

 

I have been able to do that and I was able to get a solid out of the extruded triangles.

 

I haven't tried to get them to an stl, because I don't want to print triangles.  I want to print the smooth contour surface.

 

Am I missing something?

 

Thanks again.

Message 6 of 12
Alfred.NESWADBA
in reply to: Anonymous

Hi,

 

>> because I don't want to print triangles

Then you might use the smooth surface modification or you have to start with a complete other way starting with NURBS (but I guess it will then be better to try the 3DSMax option as there you have a lot more functionality (and performance) to get smooth surfaces.

 

- alfred -

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alfred NESWADBA
ISH-Solutions GmbH / Ingenieur Studio HOLLAUS
www.ish-solutions.at ... blog.ish-solutions.at ... LinkedIn ... CDay 2024
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(not an Autodesk consultant)
Message 7 of 12

Hi

 

In my experience it is notoriously challenging to take a Civil 3D surface and 'thicken' it in AutoCAD. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't based simply on the size, scale and nature of the geometry of the surface.

 

The Civil 3D team have now produced a utility that is in the Civil 3D 2015 Productivity Pack 1 for exactly this purpose. I've pasted the text on this topic from the readme file below. You can get the pack from the Subscription Center.

 

Create AutoCAD 3D solids from Civil 3D surfaces

o Fixed level

o Fixed depth

o Between two Civil 3D surfaces

 Create AutoCAD 3D solids from Civil 3D gravity or pressure pipe networks

 AutoCAD 3D solids can be used in downstream workflows including 3D printing and projection coordination

 

 



Ian McGregor
BIM Technical Consulting Manager
Autodesk Customer Success EMEA
Autodesk, Inc.

Message 8 of 12
yorke
in reply to: ian_mcgregor

I have a DEM file that I've created a surface from and then I've tried both EXPORTSURFACETOSOLID and CONVTOSOLID however neither of them can recognise the surface I've created??? 

Is there something I need to do to the DEM surface?

 

Is anyone working on a simplified process for creating 3D print ready models from surfaces? 

 

 

Simon Yorke
Designer, Modeler, Simulator, Maker, and Futurists
Advanced Design Technologist - Aurecon www.aurecongroup.com
Owner and Director - Yorke Ltd
Chief Designer and Maker - YORKE Labs
Message 9 of 12
Alfred.NESWADBA
in reply to: yorke

Hi,

 

>> I have a DEM file that I've created a surface from

How did you create a surface from a DEM and what type of object is that now (look to the property window while the surface is selected, there you'll find the exact object type name) ... so we know what you have.

 

>> I've tried both EXPORTSURFACETOSOLID and CONVTOSOLID however neither of them can recognise the surface I've created???

Also helpful: what exact message do you get from Civil3D when you start one of the both commands?

 

- alfred -

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alfred NESWADBA
ISH-Solutions GmbH / Ingenieur Studio HOLLAUS
www.ish-solutions.at ... blog.ish-solutions.at ... LinkedIn ... CDay 2024
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(not an Autodesk consultant)
Message 10 of 12
yorke
in reply to: Alfred.NESWADBA

Thanks for the fast reply Alfred

 

To create the surface I used Create Surface from DEM, under Surfaces on the Create Ground Data section of the ribbon.

 

It says it is a Grid Surface.

 

When trying to use EXPORTSURFACETOSOLID nothing comes up in the dropdown list and when I choose the select from drawing option and click on the surface it just says Nothing Selected on the command line.

 

And for some reason today Civil3D doesnt recognise the CONVERTOSOLID command??? Unknown Command? it was working yesterday. From memory I think the message it gave yesterday was "1 object removed from selection" or something along those lines.

Simon Yorke
Designer, Modeler, Simulator, Maker, and Futurists
Advanced Design Technologist - Aurecon www.aurecongroup.com
Owner and Director - Yorke Ltd
Chief Designer and Maker - YORKE Labs
Message 11 of 12
Alfred.NESWADBA
in reply to: yorke

Hi,

 

>> It says it is a Grid Surface.

I have not tried it now but my guess is it does not work with "Grid"-surface, it should be a standard surface.

 

- alfred -

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alfred NESWADBA
ISH-Solutions GmbH / Ingenieur Studio HOLLAUS
www.ish-solutions.at ... blog.ish-solutions.at ... LinkedIn ... CDay 2024
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(not an Autodesk consultant)
Message 12 of 12
yorke
in reply to: Alfred.NESWADBA

Thanks Alfred

 

I only use Civil 3D 2-3 times per year just for simple tasks like this, so I'm no expert. Could you possibly explain how I can go about converting a grid surface to a standard surface? Or create a standard surface from a DEM? I've tried searching but cant find any solutions.

 

Thanks

Simon Yorke
Designer, Modeler, Simulator, Maker, and Futurists
Advanced Design Technologist - Aurecon www.aurecongroup.com
Owner and Director - Yorke Ltd
Chief Designer and Maker - YORKE Labs

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