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TBC Does That: Projected Surfaces and Cut/Fill Maps

What TBC does

TBC helps you create projected surfaces along a vertical wall and perform earthwork analysis to detect and monitor the quantitative movement of the wall. Surveyors and construction engineers may also create cut/fill maps on 2.5D topographic surfaces to determine how much material needs to be cut or filled on a job site.

How this helps you

Generating cut/fill maps for projected surface allows you to perform change detection over time on structures such as a dam or a building wall. Measurements above or below maximum tolerances that could indicate movement are flagged for inspection.

If you work mostly with 2.5D topographic surfaces, you could use accurate cut/fill estimates to calculate what level of effort will be needed to complete the work. A good cost estimate must take into consideration the volume of earth to be moved and the necessary equipment, number of people and amount of time.

How it works

Using the Create Projected Surface command, define a custom plane with user coordinate system (UCS) and apply it to create the two projected surfaces that you want to compare. Then you are ready to run a Cut/Fill Map or an Earthwork Report to flag differences between the two surfaces. The Cut/Fill Map command results in a shade map and a label grid that show what area has moved and the magnitude of the movement, and the Earthwork Report provides a volume calculation for input into your cost estimate.


For more details about projected surfaces, watch this YouTube playlist: TBC Projected Surfaces.


The “TBC Does That” series, written by the Trimble Business Center (TBC) Team, focuses on the broad range of functionality that TBC delivers to you. Periodically we will release information to help you improve productivity by making the most of TBC’s built-in tools.