Wednesday, January 16, 2008


AutoCAD terrain modelling for free

Not only architects and surveyors need to create digital terrain models (DTM). The CAD users I take care of had many times a list of 3D points or contours and they needed to make a 3D model (a surface) from these. Of course there are special tools like Civil 3D or AutoCAD Architecture which can do this or special add-on applications, but sometimes you just need a quick and dirty way to get a 3D model.
There is a new free tool by CAD Studio which could help in such situations. Their DTM utility makes 3D terrain models from 3D points and blocks you have in your drawing. Except flowlines, it lacks any advanced functions you will find in the above mentioned applications but as a quick and free tool, it is perfect. You can render the terrain and calculate its volume - that's all you need in most cases (if you - like me - are not a DTM specialist).

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