The Cut/Fill tool allows you to quickly perform both large and small-scale volumetric measurements of your earthwork's datasets. Cut/Fill maps helps to monitor earthworks changes, and quantify those changes on a site over time, or against a planned design. Several outputs are produced when utilizing this tool:

  • Cut/Fill visual map - Visually know where changes happened!
  • Cut/Fill values as total units - Quantify your data with exact measurements!

The resulting map is available as a Cut/Fill item in the Project View. You can find the Cut/Fill tool in the Volumes group of the TOOLS for Boundary tab when a boundary is selected.

Quick Usage Guide

  1. Begin on the Terrain State where you want to create a cut/fill map.
  2. Create a Boundary around the area and select it.
  3. In the TOOLS for Boundary tab, navigate to the Volumes group and set the Reference Type to Terrain State.
    1. 3D Surface, Flat minimum, or Flat can also be used when monitoring a site with minimal terrain variation.
  4. Click on the Cut/Fill button to initiate the calculation.
  5. A progress bar in the bottom left displays and the Cut/Fill map is created in the Viewport.
  6. Quantities are available in the Information box.

Where to Use the Cut/Fill Tool

Earthworks, mining, and construction monitoring can be challenging as you deal with large sites, significant changes, and other in-the-field challenges. Drone data combined with proper software has opened the ability to monitor your sites efficiently.

The Cut/Fill tool allows you to create a Cut/Fill maps that visualize your site and where changes have taken place. Quantified numeric information is also displayed in the Information box to the bottom left of the software.

It is typical to perform a Cut/Fill calculation between two drone surveys acquired on two separate dates. In these cases, you are assessing the work that has been accomplished during that specific period of time.

If you want to determine the remaining earthwork or compare it to a design, you need to import the design surface into Virtual Surveyor.

  1. Create a new Terrain State and drop the design CAD file in the Project View.
  2. Make sure to select the design surface and click on the Modify Terrain button available in the TOOLS for Surface tab.
  3. Switch to the current terrain state and select the design terrain state as a reference before launching the Cut/Fill calculation.
  4. You can then measure the dirt to be moved using the same process as the quick steps, except you're comparing it to the design surface.

Cut areas appear in warm colors (yellow to red) and fill areas appear in cool colors (cyan to blue). A binary color scheme of blue (fill) and red (cut) can also be set by selecting the Cut/Fill item and changing the Colors.

Tips & Tricks

  • You can easily "clean" your terrain states to remove construction equipment using the Replace Terrain and Remove Object.
    • These tools remove objects from the terrain so they are not included on the map or volume calculations.
  • Highlight significant earthwork areas and enhance the color appearance by fine-tuning the Cut/Fill map settings available in the TOOLS for Cut/Fill tab.
  • You can go deeper into the Cut/Fill analysis by breaking down the Cut/Fill map into a separate area. 
    • This allows you to deliver more detailed quantity reports. Use the Extract Cut/Fill Area tool to achieve this.
  • Use Cut/Fill annotations to create a spot map showing sections of Cut/Fill. You can see an example of an annotated spot map in our Earthworks Monitoring article, along with how to create one.
  • When the Cut/Fill map is enabled, the Cut or Fill and Z elevations of the different Terrain States will show at your mouse location.