Civil3d LandXML surface to Microstation Surface - Help

Posting this here in hopes of finding a CAD/Microstation crossover expert.   The situation:  We have a 5+ mile topographic surface in Civil3d2018 that we need to get into Microstation.  LandXML seemed like the way to get this done but have come to find out that MicroStation doesn’t hold the triangles created as part of the Civil3d LandXML export.  Basically it hold the points but then all of the triangle faces need to be flipped to match the Civil3d surface.  We were hoping one of the long time experts in both could provide us with some guidance.  This should be so easy yet it is so hard....or possible it's our ignorance but we have tried and searched high and low and have not found a solution.

Parents
  • My tech put this together. He gets all the credit, not me. 

    How to Create a Surface in Power InRoads
    (Microstation)
    1. Create a surface in Civil 3D.
    a. Create a surface that meets <insert ageny here> CAD standards.
    b. Do all clean up in CAD. Add breaklines, flip faces, delete lines.
    c. Export .xml file from Civil 3D.
    2. Create/Open your .dgn file in Power InRoads.
    a. If you need to create a file start with the STND_SEED3D.dgn file. Located under: Workspace – ITD SS4 – Microstation – Seed within Projectwise.
    b. Select the “Civil Tools” tab on the “Tasks” pane
    c. Select the “Terrain Model” tab
    d. Pick “Create From File”
    a. Navigate to where you saved the .xml that was exported from CAD
    b. Select the .xml and this will open the “Import Terrain Models” box
    3. Link to Screencap: Screenshots: Import Terrain Models Box 1
    4. Link to Screencap: Screenshots: Import Terrain Models Box 2
    5. Press the box on the toolbar labeled ## and rename your Terrain accordingly.
    6. Feature Definition;
    a. Under “Feature Definition” click the drop-down and set it to;
    a. Terrain Display – Existing Triangles
    b. Under “Import Options” click the drop-down and set it to;
    a. Import Both
    c. Make sure “Include Spot Features” is checked.
    7. Land XML;
    a. Under “Build Terrain From” click the drop-down and set it to;
    a. Source and Definition
    8. Geographical Coordinate Systems;
    a. Under “Source” click the three dots in the drop-down bar
    a. Navigate to the proper projected system for your project
    1. ID83-WF (NAD 83 Idaho State Planes, West Zone, US Ft)
    b. Under “Target” leave this set to “None”
    9. Click “Import” this will bring your .xml file into Power InRoads as a Terrain Model.
    a. The terrain model will be one entity and you can select it and toggle on and off the various layers contained in it.
    b. You will also see that it contains the extra “Triangles” that were already deleted in CAD, you clean them up again later.
    10.Now you need to “Drop” your terrain to a “Mesh”.
    a. Switch back to the standard “Tasks” pane.
    b. From the top “Toolbar” select Tools – Manipulate – Drop (W) – Drop Element (1)
    c. Link to Screencap: Screenshots: Drop Element 1
    d. Once you have selected “Drop Element” a Drop Element tool pane will open.
    a. Place a √ in all the boxes
    b. Link to Screencap: Screenshots: Drop Element 2
    c. Identify the Element to Drop
    1. Select anywhere in the “Triangles” from the terrain.
    2. Process happens quickly, look on the bottom bar and you will see “Element Dropped”
    e. You now have a “Mesh” in your drawing instead of a “terrain” and you will only have two used layers relating to the “mesh”
    a. MODEL_Boundary_Existing
    b. MODEL_Triangles_Existing
    11. Create a new surface; Screenshots: Create New Surface 1, Screenshots: Create New Surface 2.
    a. Once your new surface is created right click it and set it active. Screenshots: Surface Set Active
    b. Then from the menu bar select:
    a. File – Import – Surface, Screenshots: File-Import-Surface
    b. This will open the Import Surface box, this is where you will add the “Mesh” triangles as graphical break lines for the .dtm surface.
    c. In the Import Surface Box make sure you set it to match the following, Screenshots: Import Surface Box 1
    a. Surface drop down select your current active surface.
    b. Load From drop down “Single Element”
    c. Level is greyed out and should say “Default”
    d. Elevations drop down “Use Element Elevations”
    e. Seed Name, type in a seed name i.e. “MESH”
    f. Feature style drop down “Default”
    g. Point Type drop down “Breakline”
    d. With the Import Surface Box still open in the map view pick the element selection tool (the arrow with the #1 under where it says Tasks), in the map view pick the Mesh triangles (make sure level MODEL_Triangles_Existing is turned on)
    e. Hit apply and select OK to use the elements contained in your selection set.
    f. Check the results to make sure that your surface has data in it now, points and lines.
    12. Populate the surface with Triangles.
    a. Right click the surface name and click “Triangulate” Screenshots: Triangulate Surface.
    a. This will happen in the background and nothing will be displayed.
    b. From the menu bar select Surface – View Surface – Triangles Screenshots: View Surface Triangles 1
    c. This will open a new box View Triangles, Screenshots: View Triangles
    a. Make sure that your active surface is selected in the Surface drop-down bar.
    b. Under Preferences make sure that ITD-Default is selected
    c. Make sure that the Symbology is Object = Triangles, Name = DES_SURFACE_Triangles (this is controlled by the ITD-Default preferences)
    d. Hit Apply and it will process, and the Triangles will display in the map view.
    d. Save your surface. The first time you save your surface you will have to set the pathing for where you want it to save. Make sure to save it to your working directory for your drawing. Name it and give it a description. Screenshots: Save Surface
    e. Once you have saved the surface the first time save your surface often while making any edits, right click the surface name and select “Save”. Don’t click anything else in the drawing while it is saving, sometimes very quick sometimes very slow and appears it is not responding just wait for it.
    13. Edit the surface to cleanup those extra tin lines.
    a. You can x-ref in your CAD drawing, so you can see which lines to delete.
    b. Prior to the next step you may want to create a drawing the only contains the surface and nothing else and then you want to make sure that the layers you want to see are turned on and visible in the C3D .dwg before you save it. When you open through Microstation Connect in the next step only what was displayed when the drawing was last saved will be visible.
    c. To be able to do this navigate to where the CAD topo drawing is saved and right click on it, use Open With – Microstation Connect Edition. This will open the .dwg file in Microstation connect and allow you to save it as a .dgn file that can be x-ref’d into your Power InRoads .dgn. Civil 3D 2018 has a function to export a .dgn but it does not view correctly in Power InRoads and the 2018 version of C3D .dwg is not an allowable reference type in Power InRoads.
    d. Attach your reference to your Power InRoads .dgn. You will have to set the scale of the Master to be 1.000002 : 1.000000 this will accommodate for the slight difference in International feet and US feet. Click accept on the units error message that will come up. Now your TIN lines from C3D will be visible behind the Triangles in your drawing and you can start editing.
    e. To edit the surface, from the menu bar select Surface – Edit Surface – Delete Triangles, Screenshots: Edit Surface 1, a new Delete Triangles box will appear, Screenshots: Edit Surface Delete Triangles. Click apply and carefully delete the extra triangles, you can toggle on and off the triangles layer to more clearly see the referenced C3D TIN lines. If you have areas of the surface that are not supposed to be triangulated you must leave a couple triangles that bridge that gap, if you don’t then when you create your perimeter in the next step it will only go around the last section of the surface that you cleaned up and separated from the previous section of the surface. This is common when crossing intersections where no road data was acquired. If you delete triangles you did not want to delete you have to re-triangulate and start all over. Save often as you are editing the surface.
    f. Once you have finished deleting all the triangles that you wish to remove you can create a perimeter around the new surface area.
    a. From the menu bar select Surface – View Surface – Perimeter, Screenshots: Surface Perimeter 1, this will open up the View Perimeter box, Screenshots: Surface Perimeter 2, in the Preferences tab make sure that ITD-Default is selected and then click apply. This will draw a perimeter around your surface.
    14. Add an exterior boundary to your surface.
    a. Now you will add the surface perimeter as an exterior boundary to your surface, this will constrain the surface to this boundary so that should you have to re-triangulate then it will all happen within the boundary and you will not have to delete the extra triangles again.
    b. From the menu bar select File – Import – Surface, Screenshots: Import Surface Perimeter, this will open the Import Surface box. Screenshots: Import Surface Perimeter 2
    a. Surface drop-down select your active surface
    b. Load From drop-down Single Element
    c. Level greyed out should be Default
    d. Elevations drop-down Use Element Elevations
    e. Intercept Surface greyed out should be default
    f. Seed Name type in a seed name i.e. (Exterior Perimeter)
    g. Feature Style drop-down DES_SURF_Perimeter
    h. Point Type drop-down Exterior
    i. Make sure to √ Exclude from Triangulation
    c. With the Import Surface box still open use the Element Selection tool in the Map View to select perimeter that was created from the Surface, toggle off and on any levels necessary to see it.
    d. Click Apply in the Import Surface box and say OK to use the elements contained in your selection set.
    e. Check the results to make sure that the border has points and lines.
    15. Now you can re-triangulate your surface. Right click on your active surface and select Triangulate.
    a. Once it finishes processing you will have to re-draw your triangles. From the menu bar select Surface – View Surface – Triangles this will open the View Triangles box and you can then hit apply for it to re-draw the triangles. Should be constrained the exterior boundary you just finished creating.
    16. You should not have to change any triangle edges as they should match what was done in C3D. If you need to change any triangles from the menu bar select Surface – Edit Surface – Change Triangle Edge this will open a Change Triangle Edge box clip apply and very carefully change the edges that you need to, once you have changed edges you can save and re-draw triangles but if you re-triangulate your surface all changed edges will be lost. It is best to make sure that your surface is clean and ready to go without need for changes when it is exported from C3D.
    17. Once you are done with the edits you can display the contours. From the menu bar select Surface – View Surface – Contours this will open the View Contours box Screenshots: View Contours.
    a. Make sure your active surface is selected and that under Preferences ITD-Default is selected. Click apply and your contours will be drawn.
    18. Save and close your surface. It will stay in your Power InRoads .dgn as a graphical representation even if the surface is not open and active.

    We transfer XML surface files to TBC on a weekly basis.  Its a 2 step process (maybe 3 with a tricky surface) 1)export landxml.  2)importlandxml  Done.  That is how it should be, not this convoluted cluster of a process.

    MISSING RESOURCE: VerifiedBy MikeH 

Reply
  • My tech put this together. He gets all the credit, not me. 

    How to Create a Surface in Power InRoads
    (Microstation)
    1. Create a surface in Civil 3D.
    a. Create a surface that meets <insert ageny here> CAD standards.
    b. Do all clean up in CAD. Add breaklines, flip faces, delete lines.
    c. Export .xml file from Civil 3D.
    2. Create/Open your .dgn file in Power InRoads.
    a. If you need to create a file start with the STND_SEED3D.dgn file. Located under: Workspace – ITD SS4 – Microstation – Seed within Projectwise.
    b. Select the “Civil Tools” tab on the “Tasks” pane
    c. Select the “Terrain Model” tab
    d. Pick “Create From File”
    a. Navigate to where you saved the .xml that was exported from CAD
    b. Select the .xml and this will open the “Import Terrain Models” box
    3. Link to Screencap: Screenshots: Import Terrain Models Box 1
    4. Link to Screencap: Screenshots: Import Terrain Models Box 2
    5. Press the box on the toolbar labeled ## and rename your Terrain accordingly.
    6. Feature Definition;
    a. Under “Feature Definition” click the drop-down and set it to;
    a. Terrain Display – Existing Triangles
    b. Under “Import Options” click the drop-down and set it to;
    a. Import Both
    c. Make sure “Include Spot Features” is checked.
    7. Land XML;
    a. Under “Build Terrain From” click the drop-down and set it to;
    a. Source and Definition
    8. Geographical Coordinate Systems;
    a. Under “Source” click the three dots in the drop-down bar
    a. Navigate to the proper projected system for your project
    1. ID83-WF (NAD 83 Idaho State Planes, West Zone, US Ft)
    b. Under “Target” leave this set to “None”
    9. Click “Import” this will bring your .xml file into Power InRoads as a Terrain Model.
    a. The terrain model will be one entity and you can select it and toggle on and off the various layers contained in it.
    b. You will also see that it contains the extra “Triangles” that were already deleted in CAD, you clean them up again later.
    10.Now you need to “Drop” your terrain to a “Mesh”.
    a. Switch back to the standard “Tasks” pane.
    b. From the top “Toolbar” select Tools – Manipulate – Drop (W) – Drop Element (1)
    c. Link to Screencap: Screenshots: Drop Element 1
    d. Once you have selected “Drop Element” a Drop Element tool pane will open.
    a. Place a √ in all the boxes
    b. Link to Screencap: Screenshots: Drop Element 2
    c. Identify the Element to Drop
    1. Select anywhere in the “Triangles” from the terrain.
    2. Process happens quickly, look on the bottom bar and you will see “Element Dropped”
    e. You now have a “Mesh” in your drawing instead of a “terrain” and you will only have two used layers relating to the “mesh”
    a. MODEL_Boundary_Existing
    b. MODEL_Triangles_Existing
    11. Create a new surface; Screenshots: Create New Surface 1, Screenshots: Create New Surface 2.
    a. Once your new surface is created right click it and set it active. Screenshots: Surface Set Active
    b. Then from the menu bar select:
    a. File – Import – Surface, Screenshots: File-Import-Surface
    b. This will open the Import Surface box, this is where you will add the “Mesh” triangles as graphical break lines for the .dtm surface.
    c. In the Import Surface Box make sure you set it to match the following, Screenshots: Import Surface Box 1
    a. Surface drop down select your current active surface.
    b. Load From drop down “Single Element”
    c. Level is greyed out and should say “Default”
    d. Elevations drop down “Use Element Elevations”
    e. Seed Name, type in a seed name i.e. “MESH”
    f. Feature style drop down “Default”
    g. Point Type drop down “Breakline”
    d. With the Import Surface Box still open in the map view pick the element selection tool (the arrow with the #1 under where it says Tasks), in the map view pick the Mesh triangles (make sure level MODEL_Triangles_Existing is turned on)
    e. Hit apply and select OK to use the elements contained in your selection set.
    f. Check the results to make sure that your surface has data in it now, points and lines.
    12. Populate the surface with Triangles.
    a. Right click the surface name and click “Triangulate” Screenshots: Triangulate Surface.
    a. This will happen in the background and nothing will be displayed.
    b. From the menu bar select Surface – View Surface – Triangles Screenshots: View Surface Triangles 1
    c. This will open a new box View Triangles, Screenshots: View Triangles
    a. Make sure that your active surface is selected in the Surface drop-down bar.
    b. Under Preferences make sure that ITD-Default is selected
    c. Make sure that the Symbology is Object = Triangles, Name = DES_SURFACE_Triangles (this is controlled by the ITD-Default preferences)
    d. Hit Apply and it will process, and the Triangles will display in the map view.
    d. Save your surface. The first time you save your surface you will have to set the pathing for where you want it to save. Make sure to save it to your working directory for your drawing. Name it and give it a description. Screenshots: Save Surface
    e. Once you have saved the surface the first time save your surface often while making any edits, right click the surface name and select “Save”. Don’t click anything else in the drawing while it is saving, sometimes very quick sometimes very slow and appears it is not responding just wait for it.
    13. Edit the surface to cleanup those extra tin lines.
    a. You can x-ref in your CAD drawing, so you can see which lines to delete.
    b. Prior to the next step you may want to create a drawing the only contains the surface and nothing else and then you want to make sure that the layers you want to see are turned on and visible in the C3D .dwg before you save it. When you open through Microstation Connect in the next step only what was displayed when the drawing was last saved will be visible.
    c. To be able to do this navigate to where the CAD topo drawing is saved and right click on it, use Open With – Microstation Connect Edition. This will open the .dwg file in Microstation connect and allow you to save it as a .dgn file that can be x-ref’d into your Power InRoads .dgn. Civil 3D 2018 has a function to export a .dgn but it does not view correctly in Power InRoads and the 2018 version of C3D .dwg is not an allowable reference type in Power InRoads.
    d. Attach your reference to your Power InRoads .dgn. You will have to set the scale of the Master to be 1.000002 : 1.000000 this will accommodate for the slight difference in International feet and US feet. Click accept on the units error message that will come up. Now your TIN lines from C3D will be visible behind the Triangles in your drawing and you can start editing.
    e. To edit the surface, from the menu bar select Surface – Edit Surface – Delete Triangles, Screenshots: Edit Surface 1, a new Delete Triangles box will appear, Screenshots: Edit Surface Delete Triangles. Click apply and carefully delete the extra triangles, you can toggle on and off the triangles layer to more clearly see the referenced C3D TIN lines. If you have areas of the surface that are not supposed to be triangulated you must leave a couple triangles that bridge that gap, if you don’t then when you create your perimeter in the next step it will only go around the last section of the surface that you cleaned up and separated from the previous section of the surface. This is common when crossing intersections where no road data was acquired. If you delete triangles you did not want to delete you have to re-triangulate and start all over. Save often as you are editing the surface.
    f. Once you have finished deleting all the triangles that you wish to remove you can create a perimeter around the new surface area.
    a. From the menu bar select Surface – View Surface – Perimeter, Screenshots: Surface Perimeter 1, this will open up the View Perimeter box, Screenshots: Surface Perimeter 2, in the Preferences tab make sure that ITD-Default is selected and then click apply. This will draw a perimeter around your surface.
    14. Add an exterior boundary to your surface.
    a. Now you will add the surface perimeter as an exterior boundary to your surface, this will constrain the surface to this boundary so that should you have to re-triangulate then it will all happen within the boundary and you will not have to delete the extra triangles again.
    b. From the menu bar select File – Import – Surface, Screenshots: Import Surface Perimeter, this will open the Import Surface box. Screenshots: Import Surface Perimeter 2
    a. Surface drop-down select your active surface
    b. Load From drop-down Single Element
    c. Level greyed out should be Default
    d. Elevations drop-down Use Element Elevations
    e. Intercept Surface greyed out should be default
    f. Seed Name type in a seed name i.e. (Exterior Perimeter)
    g. Feature Style drop-down DES_SURF_Perimeter
    h. Point Type drop-down Exterior
    i. Make sure to √ Exclude from Triangulation
    c. With the Import Surface box still open use the Element Selection tool in the Map View to select perimeter that was created from the Surface, toggle off and on any levels necessary to see it.
    d. Click Apply in the Import Surface box and say OK to use the elements contained in your selection set.
    e. Check the results to make sure that the border has points and lines.
    15. Now you can re-triangulate your surface. Right click on your active surface and select Triangulate.
    a. Once it finishes processing you will have to re-draw your triangles. From the menu bar select Surface – View Surface – Triangles this will open the View Triangles box and you can then hit apply for it to re-draw the triangles. Should be constrained the exterior boundary you just finished creating.
    16. You should not have to change any triangle edges as they should match what was done in C3D. If you need to change any triangles from the menu bar select Surface – Edit Surface – Change Triangle Edge this will open a Change Triangle Edge box clip apply and very carefully change the edges that you need to, once you have changed edges you can save and re-draw triangles but if you re-triangulate your surface all changed edges will be lost. It is best to make sure that your surface is clean and ready to go without need for changes when it is exported from C3D.
    17. Once you are done with the edits you can display the contours. From the menu bar select Surface – View Surface – Contours this will open the View Contours box Screenshots: View Contours.
    a. Make sure your active surface is selected and that under Preferences ITD-Default is selected. Click apply and your contours will be drawn.
    18. Save and close your surface. It will stay in your Power InRoads .dgn as a graphical representation even if the surface is not open and active.

    We transfer XML surface files to TBC on a weekly basis.  Its a 2 step process (maybe 3 with a tricky surface) 1)export landxml.  2)importlandxml  Done.  That is how it should be, not this convoluted cluster of a process.

    MISSING RESOURCE: VerifiedBy MikeH 

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