Creating Architectural Grading (Cut and Fill) Plans

Hey All!

I’ve been putting some thought into this but haven’t had the time to test it out yet. I wanted to get feedback from the community on the best (cleanest) way to go about this. I took a screenshot of what I’d like to achieve below: Solid lines for the proposed grade (altered 3D mesh using sandbox tools), and dashed lines for the existing grade (the un-altered 3D mesh from topo surveyors).

I plan to:

  1. Creating separate tags for the proposed, and existing geometry. The existing topo tag will have a dashed line type.
  2. Save a copy of the existing topo on each tag.
  3. Hide the existing topo tag geometry, and make necessary grade changes to the proposed grade geometry copy.
  4. After grading is finished, re-contour the proposed geometry mesh, using planes to intersect the geometry at the same interval as existing topo geometry.
  5. Create separate scenes isolating proposed and existing topo contours.
  6. Stack viewports in layout and adjust the line weights as needed.

Does this seem like a suitable method for creating the desired effect? Curious to see if anybody has tried to do this any other way, or if any handy plugins may help.


Not trying to steer you away from what you are trying to achieve, I myself played around big time on the cut & fill side using SketchUp and ended finding a different software to complete the work in half the time with a better workflow.

Generally your workflow sounds good.

Key points to keep in mind.

Collect the contours for the existing topo into a group or component and tag that. Do the same for the proposed topo. Unless you need to see the dashes in SketchUp, I would suggest giving the tags the dashes in LayOut. There you can also change the lineweight and color as desired by tag.

You may not need to create separate scenes for the existing and proposed topo contours. You could use one scene with both tags visible and control their appearance (dash style, lineweight, color) in the viewport. You might not even need to stack viewports unless you want to show contours that are otherwise obscured by other objects in the model.