Civil 3D Wish – Surface definition order

Ever wonder why your surface contours aren’t behaving properly?


In most cases, the issue can be found in the order of operations in the surface properties. In the screen grab below, the issue is simply that the outer boundary should be at the end to ensure that data added later will still be limited by that boundary.


After having conversations with folks in training classes as well as support calls, I’ve come up with a solution. It would be great if….

We could order those operations by default regardless of when they occur. Generally speaking, surface operations should be clustered or ordered like the list below:

1 – data clip
2 – points / point groups / survey queries
2 – breaklines
3 – surface edits (add/edit/delete points and lines)
4 – minimize flat area entries (actually only one entry per surface)
5 – inner boundaries
6 – outer boundaries

IF we did follow the above, then the result might look like this:


Maybe we could add a toggle in the data options of the surface to sort the data? And then have a few options, both pre-defined and user-defined to do the sorting.

I submitted this to the AUGI wishlist for CIvil 3D here. What ideas do you have to make surfaces work better? If you have ideas, you can also add them using this link.


About Kevin
Hi… I am a husband, father, brother and neighbor. I am employed as a Civil Engineer and have enjoyed playing the drums for the last 30+ years.

One Response to Civil 3D Wish – Surface definition order

  1. Zasham says:

    I am new to the engineering sector.For a beginner like me your article provides some nice information.I have started to work in an engineering project(in a company here)as an intern.Thank you for publishing.


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