Points are integral to civil design. While exchange formats like LandXML exist and are certainly the preferred way to transfer points between platforms, getting such a file is not always an option. Sometimes we get whatever is sent to us, and we’re forced to figure out some way to use it for our own design purposes.
The Issue With AutoCAD Blocks
In the context of points, it’s not uncommon for this scenario to play out when not everyone on the team is using Civil 3D. Third-party civil applications will often place points as standard AutoCAD blocks.
While Civil 3D does include a command to convert Softdesk Point Blocks to Civil 3D COGO Points, the command does not work on standard AutoCAD blocks. Unfortunately, Civil 3D does not provide a direct workflow to convert standard AutoCAD Blocks into Civil 3D COGO Points.
Although no direct workflow exists, an indirect one does.
Finding a Civil 3D Solution
The secret rests in converting the standard AutoCAD Blocks into a block Civil 3D will recognize as a Softdesk Point Block. If we can establish a single instance of a block Civil 3D will recognize as a Softdesk Point Block, we can then trick Civil 3D into thinking other (standard) AutoCAD Blocks are Softdesk Point Blocks.
The above video demonstrates the click-by-click process, but the high-level workflow to accomplish this is as follows:
- Create a single (dummy) COGO point in your Civil 3D drawing. I used Points > Create Points – Miscellaneous > Manual in the video.
- Use the Create Blocks from COGO Points command to generate a Softdesk Point Block of your dummy COGO point. Civil 3D places a block atop the COGO point already in your drawing. Take note of the name – POINT in my video.
- Start the Replace Block command on the Blocks panel of the Express Tools Ribbon tab. Start by selecting the standard AutoCAD block that represents the points you want to convert in your drawing, and then choose the dummy Softdesk Point Block created in the steps above. The Replace Block command replaces the original block with the Softdesk Point Block.
- Choose the Points > Replace Softdesk Block Points command from the Create Surface Data panel of the Home Ribbon tab. Select the newly converted blocks in your drawing, and specify a numbering convention for the selected blocks. Once complete, you’ll have Civil 3D COGO points derived from the standard AutoCAD blocks you started with.
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