AutoCAD-AutoDeskLand survey

How to create contours with AutoCAD Civil 3D

A long time ago, this was With Softdesk, Another story, but in this case we will see how to do it using AutoDesk Civil 3D In six steps.

Civil autocad level curves 3d 1. Surface styles

Styles are geometry and display settings that are created in AutoCAD, where the type of lines, colors, layers, smooth curves or various shapes that the created geometries will have are established. Since it is not the case in this post, I will use a file that already has styles stored, at the end it is indicated how to download said file.

These styles can be viewed and modified in the "Settings" tab, can also be copied and made new.

2. Create the surface

Civil autocad level curves 3d For this, in the tools panel, we select "surfaces", with the right mouse button choosing "create surface". In the panel we indicate that it is a TIN type surface, and we select the layer where it will be hosted, in my case I will do it in C-TOPO.

As a name we assign it "Geofumadas terrain" and in the description "Test ground".

By doing OK we can see that the surface has been created, with the structure of objects that will characterize it. It can be edited by right clicking on the surface and selecting “Surface Properties”.

3. Add data to the surface

Civil autocad level curves 3d In this case, we will add a file of points, before we saw how to do it From an external database. Now what I have is a txt file with coordinates in the form x, y, z.

Civil autocad level curves 3dSo for this, we activate the option "Definition", and in this we look for "Point files". Here we right-click the mouse by choosing "Add".


 Civil autocad level curves 3dIn the panel we are going to indicate that what we are importing are points in the order ENZ Easting Northing Zelevation (X, Y, Z), and separated by commas. Then we look for the path of the txt file, and we do ok.

In this way, the points have been loaded into the file, but they have not only been entered as a layer of points but have become a surface operation.

In order to see this, we right click on the surface "Geofumadas Terrain" and Surface Properties, we will see in the "Definition" tab that in the lower panel appears as an operation.

To see the created surface, we right click on it, and select “zoom to”. The surface should be visible, with red points and white contour lines, as that is the standard style.

Civil autocad level curves 3d

4. Customize the contour lines.

Now, to see the curves in another style, what we will do is right click on the surface "Geofumadas Terrain", then "Surface properties" and in the "Information" tab select the surface style.

In case of using “Borders & Contours”, then apply we have this:

Civil autocad level curves 3d

If you place “Borders & Contours & Slopes”, the contour lines appear with a colored slope map.

Civil autocad level curves 3d

There are other styles, so I leave them to try them out. 

5. Other information.

It is also possible to see more data with respect to the surface created, in the tab "Analysis", always of "Surface Properties" like being a statistical table of the slopes, choosing range and pressing the arrow down.

Civil autocad level curves 3d

6. Label the curves

To label the contours, what we do is, from the top menu "Surface / Add surface labels", here you can select different alternatives, we will use in this case "Contour - Multiple", then the polyline is marked and it is marking The quotas

Civil autocad level curves 3d

If you want to do the exercise, here you can download:

The file Txt of the points

The dwg Which contains the template

The dwg With the elaborated exercise

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

Related Articles


  1. Use Zoom, in extended view, maybe it is but not what you are viewing on the screen.

  2. Good morning everyone. My problem is the following, I do it step by step and it seems all good, but when I want to visualize it in C3D I do not see anything, I know that the file is there but because it appears as loaded and with a lot of layers created, but not I can not see or select anything. I suppose it will be foolish, but I'm stuck. Thanks in advance!

  3. Excellent tutorial, but the text file of the points is fallen, you can upload it again please thanks

  4. Is very good your page has very precise and consistent information congratulations!

  5. THANK YOU, as soon as I practice it, I will reiterate my gratitude

  6. Hello Leonardo, if you explain better. What do you mean you have quotas?
    Does it mean that you have points on the map, with elevation, or xyz coordinates outside?

  7. Hello very interesting friend your page alone that I have a doubt look I want to draw some contours but for this I only support myself with my dimensions or what I do with the computer the nuvel

  8. I would like to know how to get the xyz coordinates ??

  9. It is difficult to know what is happening to your file, because between 2010 and 2011 there were no changes related to the Civil 3D workspace that could be causing data loss. We also do not know if the project data is being stored in the XML of the file or in a database of a project.


  11. Hi, please help me, I would like to open a file of civil 3D worked in an 2011 version and saved in an 2010 version, but when you take it to another machine in 2010 version it does not open it all completely, that is, make the longitudinal profile on this machine. has 2011 version, but when I take it to the machine that has version 2010 does not open the line of the terrain in the profile, and since it was recorded in 2010 version as I repeat. Could it be that I have generated a database yet? and if so, you could help me as it is done so that I can open everything completely. Thank you

  12. Brothers a great and excellent contribution I give the best rating

  13. Hello my question is the following, what happens that I want to edit the design of the guitars of the longitudinal profiles but I do not manage to do that I can only add the guitars that come by default in civil. So I wanted to see if anyone can help me with that, the subject in summary form is that I want to add some information to guitars or bands of the profile and change the format

  14. There are not many ways, as the program works with the data you bring from the field.

  15. Hi, very good guide thanks ..
    What happens is that it already generates the curves but then I have very far points and by default the program interpolates them ... How do I define the contour of the surface, so that my surface is closer to reality?
    Thank you

  16. Very interesting article, I would like to know if you can help me edit a surface, what happens is that I want to add more lines and the program does not draw or allow me. See what solution I recommend

    Thank you

  17. Program or course for Contour ... Value in Bolivares

  18. How much is the Course Value for Autocad Level curves 2010-2011

  19. Please, how much does the course for autocad 2010-2011 and full instruction manual for 2010-2011 please? Thanks

  20. hello .. support !!… .support !! How can I cut the contour surface to fit in a circle, it doesn't explode with X, and another way to edit the contour lines use it as a polyline… thanks… support guys !!! pa los bravos del civil3d

  21. I want something about contours (standards)

  22. Anyone know where I can get a video on video from civil 3d 2010?
    Thank you.

  23. That is part of what you define in the template, in surface style, in the option contours, contour intervals.

    Minor interval and major interval, there you define to each how much you want the main curve and the secondary one.

    Look at it this post

  24. How can I vary the distance between the contour lines ???????????????
    Ps I think this planito is every meter and if I want every 2 meters where I can modify that ?????????????????????????

  25. Regards,

    I have a query, I mentioned that it is possible to change the style or format of polyline to one called contour, this is since the second is much lighter to work in civil.
    I have contour files that have the property of polyline, now my concern is to know how that file changed the property so that these polylineas are now contour and the work with these is easier, but not lose the value of quota Possess.

    Thank you…

  26. Hi friend, how do I draw cross sections of a track and calculate the areas and volumes
    Thank you

  27. Well I do not know, if it is a Windows meta file format file, you can open it with Adobe ilustrator, and export it to dxf.

    If you say that it is as a block, is it because you can see it in AutoCAD ?, if so, and exploit it with the command xplode Does each curve have elevation?

    On the contrary, if it is a wmf worked with WideLands, it is more difficult.

  28. Hello, very good publication, congratulations! I would like to know if a .WMF file can be worked in civil 3d, it happens that it is as a block and half of the plane has contour lines and the other does not ... what do you suggest about it? thank you very much in advance

  29. Hello Mario, at the end of the example appears the link to download the txt file that contains the coordinates of the work.

    I guess you mean this.

  30. Thanks for all the contributions, but I would like the database where they made the example if someone has it to please to be able to do that work, I leave my email

  31. Thanks for the great contribution, another one of geofumadas


  33. Excellent, it has been very useful to me.
    Where can I get more data to improve my contour lines….?

  34. Thanks for the information and I was able to create the contour lines, following the procedure

  35. Zcgt21:

    You can create the digital model in two ways:

    1. If what they gave you was a tif with elevation properties, you should do it from the left panel of civil 3D, in the prospector tab, right click on surface, and choose “create surface from dem”, and there you will choose your tif file.

    2. From the mesh of lines you have, as these have 3D properties, you create points. For this you are going to:
    -Points, create points. Then expand the panel that unfolds, in an arrow to the right,
    -Specify in “Points creation”, prompt from elevations (automatic) and prompt for description (none).
    -Then you choose the option to create miscellaneous points, in the “automatic” option and you will be asked to select the lines. You only have to select a few to test how it is coming out.

    When you select from the Points panel, the ones created with their x, y, z coordinates should be displayed below. With this you can create the digital model as explained in this post.

  36. I have tried to download the file from where you uploaded it in Rapidshare, but I downloaded it with an error message.

  37. another thing that I did not mention, is that they gave me the file dwg, an orthophoto in extension * .tif and an extension file * .tfw

  38. something I do not mention is that I'm new to Civil 3D, I'm a user of Autocad, but not of Civil 3D

  39. Excellent post, I just want to bother with the following:

    As I can create contours having a grid that I provided the geographic institute of my country (Guatemala), I attach the link where you can download it:

    When you see the file, each line has its respective XYZ coordinate, the area to create curves is quite extensive, try to do it with topocal but it complicates me, since the PC freezes.

    Any help will be grateful.

  40. Hello friend thanks for the contribution helped me a lot, hey you know how to create a longitudinal profile from the curve level thank you in advance

  41. Civil 3D is an AutoCAD with extra functionalities for Civil Engineering and Cartography.

    It is not in the rules of this blog to promote piracy by means of software download.

  42. I wonder I have autocad 2008 is different from the civil autocad 3d and if so, where I download the civil 3d

  43. Thank you, it is of great help to be able to improve the design of topographic works …………

  44. Good morning, I want to get styles for the autocad civil 3d to use defaults and not be configuring the styles every time a project is carried out ... thanks

  45. Well the tutorial ... but, taking advantage of the topic:
    How to do only one level curve specifying the elevation obviously?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Back to top button