Importing contour lines to make 3D model similar to a physical model

Hi all,
I would like to import contour lines from AutoCAD (they are 250mm apart) to create a model that resembles a physical model - so the terrain is constructed by flat layers 250mm in height each overlaid. This will allow me to cut into the terrain easily and understand the morphology of a larger area. Thank you so much! (ps new to sketchup).

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File > Import > DWG

Basics of SketchUp at

Thank you for these very helpful lessons!
I have looked through the terrain sections - however I cannot see a way to create a physical model type terrain, rather than a smoothed terrain made in the sandbox tool. I tried the Eneroth face creator extension, but I see that wont work for a drawing of contours (attached) as they are open lines… I’d really appreciate any other ideas. thank you!

That is why it is necessary that you first learn the basic things in SketchUp, then you will know that to create a face, you need a closed outline.

Thank you so much!
The contour map that I have is a proving quite tricky to work with, I guess I need to learn the programme more, however all the contour lines come through as one “component”, but then if I explode them, each contour line explodes into many tiny little pieces… so the only option I can see is to trace over it… which will take forever…

Learn to use the basics of the program first… it will be easier and faster that way.

If you carefully watch the clip I showed you, you will see that I started from a 2D contours, moved each contour line to Z, and then created the necessary 2D/3D surfaces.

No need to explode the component, just open it for edit.

Take it from the beginning and you will then be able to create what you need.

Thank you for your input and recommendations, and lovely demo!!!

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Sorry to add another question to this thread, but I also thought it is helpful to keep them together. I have some questions about how it is possible to work with the 3d terrain model - I will attach as screenshot. I need to slightly indent this ground plane in oder to demarcate roads and kerbs). These are very slight amounts - about 100mm - and are not defined in the existing contour mapping. I don’t see how one can push/ pull into this type of surface, and am at a bit of a loss as to know how to do this.
Thank you in advance!

If you learn the basics, you know that you can’t pushpull a surface, only a face, which is always coplanar.

So you will have to make the outlines another way, line and arc tool for instance…
Or import them separately if you can find them somewhere.
Another option is to draw the road and use the stamp funtion of the sandbox tools.
Lots of options, as always in SketchUp there are more ways to skin the cat…

Side note: the solution button is to make it easyer for others with the same question to find the “solution”. You marked your thank you to @mihai.s as the solution but I think it would be better to mark another one…

thank you very much!!

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It is possible to just use PushPull (from Fredo JPP) to raise the roads by 10 cm, but it would probably be better to model them separately from the terrain (following its shape). All of these require knowledge of the basics of SketchUp, plus the use of certain extensions.

However, it also depends on the desired result.

Thanks, Herman!

A few possible methods as an idea


Wow! Thank you, Herman!

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You’re welcome, I trusted that @mihai.s would provide you with a nice explanation about how to do all this. :wink:

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