Civil 3D Corridor Solids in Revit

With an ever increasing interest in collaboration and sharing of data, a lot of questions have been asked about how architects and engineers can share data between Civil 3D and Revit. 

Civil 3D surface information can be shared quickly using the Shared Coordinates Utility and Publish surfaces command in BIM360 Docs.  One limitation, however, is the level of detail that published surfaces provide for roadway and curb features.

When we import an object like a curb island into Revit through a published corridor surface, we end up with a single object.  This allows a single render material for display, making it difficult to distinguish the different individual components that make up the island.

Revit Model with Linked Topography Curb Island

Zooming in further also shows that the geometry of the curb and gutter have been rounded based on the detail that can be exported through the use of the Publish Surface command.

Close-Up View of Curb Island Topography in Revit

To work around this and include an extra level of detail to the data that is accessible in Revit, we can leverage some additional functionality that is available for Civil 3D corridors.  The Extract Corridor Solids option allows us to generate AutoCAD solids from Corridor geometry that can then be linked in Revit as a CAD file.  Although it does add an extra step the process, exporting corridor solids also provides separate objects for each component, allowing different styles to be assigned to differentiate the pieces that make up the corridor.

Extract Corridor Solids (Corridor Contextual Ribbon Tab)

Corridor solids can be extracted to the current drawing, to an existing drawing, or to a new drawing.  Since the file will be used as a Linked CAD file in Revit, the ability to extract to an existing file does make it easier to update if changes occur after the initial link is established.

Extracted AutoCAD Solids from Corridor Geometry

The extracted solids are generated per subassembly shape, providing the ability to set a different material or style to each piece.  This also transfers into Revit when the Link CAD option is used, providing a more detailed representation of the curb island inside of the Revit model.

Linked CAD file of Corridor Solids in Revit

A combination of published surfaces and linked CAD files containing extracted corridor solids provides both surface information and detailed geometry.  Modifying the view style to add transparency to the linked topography surface also allows the corridor solids to stand out in the model while still providing access to the surface in Revit.  In the screenshot below, I have both the toposurface and linked cad file displayed, but the toposurface has been set to 85% transparency using the Override Graphics in View option.