Grading Plan- Proposed Grade Questions

Here I have an imported CAD file that I’ve tried to clean up showing just topography. I’ve attached the grading plan that I’m referencing for proposed grade. I have reached out to the community and some course sites that I’ve paid to be a part of but I’m sure everyone is extremely busy. Question- I can’t figure out with Fredo/Sandbox/Contours how to reflect/identify the proposed grade. Is there anyone you recommend to teach this to me. Out of my paygrade here but…teaching myself is my only option. Thank you.

Do you want to create a mesh out of the contour lines? If you want to use sandbox the lines don’t have to be dashed, can you change that on autocad and import it again from sketchup?

Can you share your Topo SU file here? If too large then use Google Drive, Dropbox, etc and share link.

Try @slbaumgartner’s Slope Markers from the SketchUcation Plug-in Store ( The latest version has automated ways of marking slopes, colouring them by steepness.

I only have autocad viewer. I’m not sure with that if viewer allows me to make changes

No it doesn’t allow you to edit files. Can you share the DWG file?

I’m still not sure what your initial question is

…reflect/identify the proposed grade.

Sandbox or Toposhaper will generate a surface mesh based on your contours. The difference is that Sandbox Triangulates the mesh and Toposhaper uses a quad mesh.

Ex: Toposhaper:

If you want to find an exact grade or spot elevation anywhere along either a surface or contour…you can just add a text label under the ‘tools’ dropdown and click anywhere on your model. Notice the third number in the label…that’s the height or elevation. I drew a line from that point down just to check it and you can see the length of the line reflects the same measurement.

Does this answer your question?

I’m also interpreting your question to mean that you want to show the proposed grades integrated into the topography? If that’s the case you need to do a bit more work. You need to have both the existing and proposed grades…run two different meshes…‘clip out’ and separate the extent of proposed grade/surface from the existing by either hiding, deleting, or reassigning the ‘existing to be regraded’ surface to its own tag.

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I think that what you’re assuming is what I’m asking. I would like to have the site showing proposed grade so that I can add retaining walls, landscaping, structures etc. I am way out of my skill set here, so I’ve been looking online for some reference as to how to learn this aspect of Sketchup and I can’t seem to find anything. So what you’re saying conceptually makes sense to me, but knowing how to do that is where I’m failing. Long story short, thank you but I still don’t understand. I don’t want to waste the time of those that keep responding to me with tips when I still don’t seem to grasp it.

Do you have the proposed contours in CAD or imported into SU? In the file you posted it appeared to just be existing contours.

Here’s one way to get some topography.

Eric is correct, if the tags are correct, your skp file only contained the existing contours, being on tags CONT MNR-V and CONT MJR-V which probably stand for Contours Minor Survey and Contours Major Survey. Can you post the actual CAD file ?

I think I got it, you want a color variation by altitude in a gradient way.

Topo.skp (3.9 MB)

This is great, how did you do this?

Is there anyone or do any of you know of anyone I could have a teams call with or something to learn this stuff? I’ve watched every video of Sketchup Essentials and I must be missing something here. I feel like my brain is regressing.

I ran purge on the file and the size dropped down to 1.930kb. Ran sandbox on it and got a mesh? from the contour lines.
Topo.skp (1.9 MB)

The entire drawing is really far from the origin so that might cause some issues. There are a lot of tag/layers turned off. If you have the dwg file I would delete any layer you don’t need.

I was trying to do that to remove all the excess layers that weren’t needed. But honestly I’m not sure on reading cads. So far I’ve been modeling floor plans and in a controlled setting. Right now I’m trying to expand my horizons by dabbling in with terrains and grading but this is not going well. I need a tutor haha. Yikes.

If you have the dwg file send it and I can try to clean it for you. we could even do a teams meeting so you can see what I am doing.

That would be wonderful if we could do a teams, I would like to understand/learn. Let me know your availability and I will send the files as well.