Navigation: <Root level>

Using CAD





TPC isn't a CAD program, but, when you need to interface with CAD, TPC has tools to help.

Learning Using CAD

Drawing in TPC

Most TPC users do all their drawings right inside TPC - with no CAD program involved.  See Drawings.

They still export their drawings to CAD files when a job requires CAD deliverables (one of the workflows we cover here), but that's about the extent of their CAD interaction.


TPC is not a CAD program, which is one of the main reasons TPC users love it so much.  If you jump into TPC expecting it to work like CAD, you'll fail. 

TPC isn't CAD for some very good reasons, like our Quick View™ technology.  So take your CAD hat off and learn why we call it The NO CAD Zone.

Using CAD

Having said all that, CAD files are the defacto standard for AEC (Architectural, Engineering and Construction) projects.  So, TPC includes all the tools to streamline your CAD related workflows.  That's what we cover in the Using CAD topics.

When to Use the CAD View

TPC's CAD View is a native CAD file viewer with some very useful tools to help you use that CAD data in your surveys.  It is NOT a full blown CAD program will all the CAD commands.  Remember, TPC is not CAD.

You will want to use the CAD View for

Modifying an existing CAD file

Converting one type of CAD file (like a DXF) to another type, like a DWG

Selecting specific entities from a CAD file that you want in your TPC drawing

Converting entities from a CAD file into survey points

When to Use the Drawing View with CAD

The Drawing View can use CAD files directly.

You will want to use the Drawing View for

Creating one-off (new) CAD drawings you plan on delivering to the client

Importing an existing drawing file as an XReference so you can use its drawing entities as if you had created them in your TPC drawing


Historically, TPC has imported CAD files directly into a drawing, but now the preferred method is to insert those files as XReferences or transfer selected objects from the CAD View.

XReferences in TPC have the advantage of

not increasing the survey file size because all the data remains in the XReference file

updating the drawing dynamically as the XReference file gets updated, as it can in an ongoing project

retaining all the XReference layers so you can isolate the entire XReference or any of its individual layers


See CAD Workflows to further help determine when to use XReferences.

CAD Files

TPC reads and writes dozens of CAD file types and versions via both the CAD View and the Drawing View.

Calibrating CAD Files

Often times the final drawings provided in a CAD file are not on the same grid as your survey.  This happens when working with architects that like scales in feet / in, light plans for your State Plane project that come back at 0,0 coordinate grid and of course all the grid to ground scenarios.

TPC make it easy to reconcile the CAD files with your survey via Calibrations.  See Calibrating CAD Files.

CAD Workflows

The CAD workflow you choose can vary greatly, depending on the project. 

In the CAD Workflow topics, we discuss which CAD tools to use when, in order to streamline your workflows.

See CAD Export Workflows.

See CAD Import Workflows.

Related Topics

Using the CAD View
Using the Drawing View
Using CAD Files
Recorded Demos


Personal, Premium, Professional




Copyright © 2024 Traverse PC, Inc.