TIN command

Creates a TIN Surface.



A TIN Surface is a three-dimensional geometric representation of a terrain or a civil feature, which also includes its representation with triangles, contours, slopes and elevation ranges.

The algorithm connects the nearest lying points into triangles that form a Triangular Irregular Network (TIN), using the Delaunay triangulation method.

You can affect the way points are connected by adding boundaries and breaklines to the TIN Surface. Triangles always follow specified boundaries and breaklines and never intersect them. You can also edit the TIN Surface with other options available in the TINEDIT command.

A TIN Surface is dynamically linked to its input data, while other Civil entities such as Gradings, Alignments and Corridors are dynamically linked to the TIN Surface.


You can create a TIN Surface from different type of input data:

  • From CAD elements (points and linear entities) and Civil points.
  • From imported point files.
  • From Civil points, for which the position and elevation is specified in the drawing.
  • From 3D Face elements.
  • From Point Cloud element.
  • From a specified point group.

Select a set of points, polylines, 3D faces or a point cloud in the drawing to create a TIN Surface. Points are added to the surface as TIN points, 3D polylines are added to the surface as breaklines. Linear entities can be added to the TIN Surface as breaklines, edges or points.

Options within the command

Import from file
Creates a TIN surface from an imported points file in text file format (.txt), comma-delimited file format (.csv) and other text formats where the XYZ coordinates in the input file are separated by any delimiter. The Select surface file dialog box opens to select the file name and point file format.
place Points
Creates a TIN surface from picked points.
create from Faces
Creates a TIN Surface by selecting 3D faces. You can choose to add edges of 3D faces as breaklines (Y) or to create TIN Surface only with points of 3D Faces (N).
create from Point Cloud
Creates a TIN Surface from a Point Cloud.
create from Point Groups
Creates a TIN Surface from a Point Groups.
cLip polygon
Creates a TIN Surface only in the area defined by the CLIP polygon (a closed polyline).
Note: An option exists to remove the crossed breaklines, if any.
Simplify the TIN surface?
Yes: the TIN Surface created from an imported points file is simplified, and from a Point Cloud by reducing the points density. The surface simplification process is defined by setting values for the radius or simplification step, and for elevation difference.
No:: a TIN Surface is created from all points in the input point file or in Point Cloud.
Note: After the first iteration of the simplification, a report on the command line displays, stating the number of points before simplification, the number of removed points and the number of points after simplification. In the next step, you can choose between the options Simplify again or Create TIN Surface.
Create TIN surface
Creates the TIN Surface.
Densify TIN surface

Yes: after the TIN Surface is simplified, the maximum elevation difference between the simplified TIN Surface and the excluded input points on a specified area in a TIN Surface is specified. All input points with a greater elevation difference than specified are added back to the simplified TIN Surface.

No: the TIN surface is created according to the specified parameters for simplification.
Enter for entire TIN surface
Applies the densify process for the entire TIN Surface.
Select polygons
Applies the densify process for the selected polygons.
Draw polygon
Applies the densification for a polygon, specified in a drawing.
Note: The parameters for TIN Simplify and TIN Densify processes can be subsequently edited using the appropriate definition for creating a TIN surface in Civil Explorer.