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    By David Lewis

    I recently delivered a training course to a group of Landscape architects. A topic of interest was the interoperability between Revit and Civil 3D.

    During the course we looked at how to use BIM360 to transfer a Civil3D surface into Revit, however if BIM360 is not a tool currently available to you it is still possible to bring surfaces from Civil into Revit, by simplifying the civil topography to AutoCAD standard data and importing.

    Civil 3D Instructions:

    1. Export the Civil 3D drawing to standard AutoCAD format (Fig 1).
      a. Type “EXPORTTOAUTOCAD” and press enter.
      b. When the Export dialogue box pops up navigate to desired save location and press save.
           i. Note “ACAD-“has been placed as a prefix to the drawing name.


    After exporting the Civil 3D surface to a simplified AutoCAD format, the file can be imported into Revit and a surface can be created.

    Revit Instructions:

    1. Open Revit and link the .dwg file in revit.
      a. Insert tab > Link CAD > Link CAD Formats dialogue box opens (Fig 2).
      b. Remember to select the appropriate import units
      c. For positioning use Auto – Center to Center. (coordinates can be acquired from the linked file when the linked file is in Revit)
      d. It is likely you will not see the topography in your view – Navigate to site view
    2. Go to a 3d View and create the Toposurface from Import instance. (Fig 3)
      a. From the "Massing and Site" ribbon tab choose "Toposurface"
      b. From the "Modify | Edit Surface" ribbon tab choose "Create from Import > Select Import Instance"
      c. Now select the linked DWG file.
      d. When the layer list appears click on "Check None" then select only the layer(s) containing the toposurface you wish to import - Note that if you have multiple toposurfaces it is recommended to import one by one by repeating the process and choosing every time a single layer containing the surface
      e. Click OK when done then click on the "Finish Surface" button in the Edit Surface ribbon tab to complete the creation of your toposurface.

    For information about using the BIM360 workflow check out  Site collaboration between Revit 2019 and Civil 3D