Earthwork Construction Plan in Civil 3D

January 15, 2020 Brian Johnson

To create an earthwork construction plan in Autodesk Civil 3D, use the Earthwork Plan Production feature found on the Analyze tab of the ribbon and on the Volume and Materials panel. This tool uses two TIN surfaces to calculate the volume, then inserts a grid with labels and a corresponding table.


The Create Earthwork Construction Plan dialog box is displayed:


  1. Select the existing ground surface.
  2. Select the finished ground surface.
  3. Option: Identify a grid point to determine the position of the grid lines. This point must be within the boundary of the specified surfaces and will locate one of the grid intersection points.
  4. Option: a 2D polyline can be used as a boundary.
  5. Grid Line parameters:
    • Horizontal Interval: sets a horizontal length of the grid cells.
    • Vertical Interval: sets a vertical length of the grid cells.
    • Rotation Angle: sets a rotation angle for the grid cells.
  6. Component Visibility parameters:
    • Statistical table: a table that shows cut, fill, and total volume for the site.
    • Distance Label: a label that shows the interval spacing for the grid.
    • Grid Line: controls the display of the grid lines.
    • 03
  7. Algorithm – volume calculation methods:
    • Accuracy Method – Uses a TIN Volume surface created by comparing two TIN surfaces to calculate the volume. Used when grids are cut to irregular shapes at the surface boundary.
    • Triangular Prism Method – The area is divided into triangular prisms, volume is calculated for each triangular prism and then summed. Should not be used when Horizontal and Vertical Intervals are set to different values.
    • Cuboid Prism Method – The area is divided into cuboid prisms, volume is calculated for each cuboid prism and then summed.
  8. Display:
    • Select the Settings cell and click on the three ellipses button to open the Display Settings dialog.
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    • Each component has parameters to specify layer, color, text, and location settings.
    • The Volume Text Boundary draws a boundary around the volume label text.
    • Irregular Cell Label Options are used when a boundary is selected on the first dialog.
    • Boundary Volume sets the volume label location when the shape of a cell is irregular.


Should you need to create an Earthwork Construction Plan, the Earthwork Plan Production tool in Autodesk Civil 3D is a great feature and worth getting familiar with.

About the Author

Brian Johnson

Civil Applications Expert

With extensive experience in both engineering and IT, Brian helps organizations make the most of their design technology. Whether it’s through a custom setup, training, implementation, or creation of organization-specific templates and styles, Brian helps both users and managers understand the best methods and processes to get the most from their chosen solutions.

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