Extract Topo Points and Contour Lines

Topography in Revit can be tricky to manage for a number of reasons, but I would say the most limiting factor is that you can only input points (meaning, you cannot input contour lines or a mesh). If you do use a mesh or 3D lines to create a Topo, Revit simply takes the points from those elements and gives you no control in the generated mesh and contours.

This can be fairly frustrating, particularly if you are accustomed to Civil 3D, where you have control over these elements. Unfortunately, this is an issue that is hard-coded into Revit Topos, so until Autodesk decides to fix the Revit surface engine there isn’t much you can do (besides use other elements, which can be a partial solution).

Once the Topo is generated, you can extract the contour lines and underlying mesh elements by exporting a 3D view to dwg. And with Dynamo, you can extract all three Topo elements (points, contour lines, and mesh) entirely within Revit.

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Topo By Lines

If you’ve ever used Harry Mattison’s (Boost Your BIM) Revit add-in Topo From Lines, you might have noticed that it hasn’t been updated to either 2015 or 2016. But now you can do the same thing in Dynamo, and I have even created a custom node for this in the Landform package.

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Site Settings and Custom Contour Lines

It can be easy to overlook most of the site tools because, quite frankly, they don’t do much. And it can be even easier to forget about the additional Site Settings, because they are hidden away under the Model Site section on the Massing and Site tab.

site settings_ribbon

This little dialogue is also doubly tricky, since it has some settings that you might expect to find elsewhere. But if you ever need to adjust the contour line intervals, Topo section cut graphics, or Property Line units, this is where you need to go.

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Cleaning Up Topo Edges

When creating Topo in Revit, you will almost always have a few places along the edge of the Topo where the contours start to connect in some funny ways. Frequently, the contours will create a steep slope that does not exist. While this can usually be ignored since it occurs at the Topo edge, it can also be fixed with a relatively simple solution. Continue reading