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Point Clouds in Civil 3D

Point Clouds in Civil 3D

With the industry pushing heavy into new LIDAR and Photogrammetric data collection, point clouds are everywhere. Though Autodesk has some pretty handy tools for visualizing and manipulating Point Clouds, I feel that Civil 3D falls short of keeping up. I imagine that this will be something coming out in the near future but of course I wish it was here now.


What I would like to see:


1. Point Cloud Analysis in Section and Profile Views! Allow a slice with adjustable depth to be applied to Sample Lines/Alignments. and allow sample lines/alignments to "sample/project"Point Clouds and project to profile views and section views.


2. Corridor Interference Detection with Point Clouds. Probably would be a slightly more difficult step but it would be useful to be able to analyze corridors and very they clear certain obstacles, project parameters, etc.


I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out how make a pretty picture out of point clouds and have come to the realization that its not technically necessary. But it would be ULTRA useful to be able to at least be able to "efficiently" visualize them against existing design features in the software. (Without having to by another 10K in software)


- Joe




Wanted to bump this one up in the priority, as it still doesn't seem to be possible. 


(Machine translation from Japanese)

I thought of the following ways to implement your ideas.
A point group that is close to the survey line (for example, within a range of one centimeter or both sides of the survey line) is extracted and projected onto the cross-sectional view.
Then, the projected point cloud is given the color that the point cloud originally has.
It seems easy to extract the point cloud in the specified area.
Civil3D can project the point object or COGO point specified in the section view, so it can be executed if you do not think that the load on the PC is heavy.


..something like 3dsurvey...


Visualizing point clouds section in sections or profile views is a MUST HAVE today... (leica cyclone does it... very usefull to compare existing vs project).

Point clouds integration in autocad is basic, in civil it is almost inexistent.

Point clouds should be the number one axis of development, along with bim and revit collaboration.

Thanks 🙂



I dont know what package you have, but a Recap > Infraworks > Civil 3D workflow works very well for me. Infraworks creates very nice surfaces from point clouds. The breakline extraction feature is also very nice. I have been able to use the automatic extraction with success, but manual is quick as well.


Definitely a need, especially in the realm of pipelines and projecting to profiles and cross sections.  Hope to see this workflow addressed soon.

its now 2024 and recap still has no way of filtering classification in LAS, even though they had it before the change to recap!!!!


Doesn't look like C3D 2025 has anything, either. It's now been almost 7 years since this was requested with no progress by Autodesk.

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