I’m not exactly sure why anyone would need to do this but I’ve seen it asked a couple of times in the last few weeks so I figured I would address it.  Perhaps some other pieces of software can only accept point files.  Whatever the reason, how do you extract the points from a surface to a point file?  Well, it turns out that it’s a four step process.  Display the points, extract the points, convert the points, export the points.

First, the surface needs to display points.  A c0ouple options, create a new style that displays the points or edit the style the surface is using to display the points then, when you are done, change it back.  In this example, I’m going to edit the style the surface is currently using.  Select the surface, on the ribbon, expand out the surface properties pulldown, and choose Edit Surface Style.  On the display tab of the surface style, toggle on the display of the points.  It doesn’t really matter how they are displayed, just as long as they are displayed.

Next step is to extract the points from the surface.  Again, use the ribbon.  Select the surface and then on the ribbon, choose Extract Objects.  Uncheck everything except the points and hit ok.  This will create an AutoCAD point at every surface point.  After you do this, you can change the style back to not displaying points if you want.

Now that there are AutoCAD points in the drawing, it’s time to convert them to Civil 3D points.  Before you do this, make sure you point settings are set appropriately so you don’t have to hit enter for a description or name after each point is created.  To speed things up, make sure your settings are as follows:  Point Names – None, Point Description – Automatic or Automatic Object, Elevation – Automatic.  On the Home tab, choose the points pulldown and then Convert AutoCAD Points.  You now have Civil 3D Points in your drawing.

The final step is to export the points out to a file.  If these are the only points in your file, you can export the All Points point group.  If you have other points in the drawing, create a point group for just these points.  Right click on the point group in the prospector and choose Export Points.  In the export points dialog box, choose the point format and the file name and you’re done.

Hopefully someone will find this helpful.

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