InSite SiteWork - PAPER-LESS CAD Take-off

Go from a CAD file:

Commercial Project CAD File

to this earthwork take-off:

Finished Site Take-Off

in minutes, without owning a CAD program.

Fast Take-off from CAD files. InSite SiteWork includes a CAD import tool called Paperless Take-off. We’ve taken the headaches out of CAD import. Follow along as we take you through the step by step process. If you haven't gone through the steps on a image (PDF, TIF, JPG, etc.) do that first (click here)

Existing, Proposed, Soil Borings, Stripping and Subgrades can be imported from any AutoCAD DWG files or DXF files.

A complete “paperless take-off” (no digitizing) can be accomplished. Follow the example below.

CAD Basics.  If you are unfamiliar with CAD terminology, click here first. To give you an idea of the time savings a CAD Take-off provides, we've listed the time it took to complete the following import.

Note: images were reduced to fit into the website. InSite SiteWork and the CAD Paperless Take-Off tool support any Windows resolution.

00:00:00 Step 1  Set up a new Job.  Click on the CAD Import Icon. Cad Icon

Click the File Icon00:00:20 Step 2  Open the file you wish to import.


00:00:30 Step 3  Investigate the Layers. After the File is opened, use the layer management tools to investigate the layers. 

Select the Layers

Object PropertiesYou can click an individual feature (contour, building, etc.) to find which layer it is on.  If the drawing is only 2 dimensional (the contours do not have elevations) pick change to assign the elevation to each contour line.  There are tools to make this easier if it is necessary.

00:01:50 Step 4.  Select the Layers to Import.  After you have determined which layers contain Existing,  Proposed, Subgrade outlines, etc., by clicking on each type and finding the layer names, turn on the layers that contain the feature you want to import. 

Select Existing Grades

We'll import the Existing grades first.  You can choose multiple layers if the grades are on different layers.  The layer EX-CONTOUR and EX-CONTOUR_5 are selected.

00:02:30 Step 5.  Begin the Import.  Choose the import Icon and select paperless take-off. 

* CAD files can be imported into to an image or paper take-off.  If a portion of the plan is to be entered from a image (PDF, TIF,JPG, etc.) file follow the alignment procedure.  A point is picked on the image (mouse)  and then a point is chosen from the CAD file.  This is done for two common points on both the plan and CAD file.  Once the CAD file and image file are aligned, the steps for import are the same as follows.

Choose the CAD Import Options00:02:45 Step 6. The grades are transferred into InSite SiteWork.  Choose Existing Grades and choose Import Now. 

 InSite's Patented Total Site Triangulation creates an existing surface model (The portion shown is partially zoomed).

The Imported Existing Grades with TIN shown.

00:03:10 Step 7Repeat the procedure for Proposed grades.  As each feature is imported, the thumbnail in the lower left of the screen is updated to show the take-off progress.

*Cut and Fill could be calculated at this point.  This would give you the volume comparing the difference between existing and proposed.  If there is topsoil stripping and/or demolition, or subgrades (parking lots or building pads, etc.) they need to be imported

00:05:30 Step 8Add the Subgrades.  InSite's QuickStack™ Subgrades offer a tremendous advantage in taming really complex sites.  For a review of InSite Subgrade feature, click here.  (Use your browsers back button to return). 

To begin the Subgrade take-off from a CAD file, click the Import Icon.  Choose Subgrades.

Add a Subgrade NumberEnter in a Subgrade number.  Display the layers with the building footprints. 

Select the footprint of the building.  If you hold down the CTRL key while clicking a line, the whole perimeter is selected. Using this technique, we selected the first building with one click. 

Select the Perimeter

Enter the Subgrade DataEnter the Subgrade Data. Close up the area by clicking on the close icon, and fill out the subgrade details.  A subgrade pad elevation of 364.5 and Base and Concrete thicknesses of .5 feet is entered.  Using this same technique, we enter in all of the buildings.  In the next illustration, notice the picture of the building subgrade in the lower left corner of the screen.

To take-off more complicated shapes like the island shown below, InSite SiteWork has special commands that allow arcs and lines to be selected quickly, allowing the fastest possible take-off. 

Trace Complex Shapes in seconds

The selection of the Island in the following illustration was done in seconds. Here is the result of all the completed subgrade take-off:

The Completed Subgrade Import

00:21:30 Step 9. If soil borings are included with the CAD file, they can be entered. The procedure is similar to PDF take-off. The Soil boring data is entered, and then the soil boring locations are clicked.

Add Boring Data and Locate the Borings

00:23:25 Step 10Trace the Site Boundary. The Site Boundary daylights proposed to existing, and prevents unwanted calculations outside the perimeter.  After closing the CAD import screen, choose Enter Map, Site boundary.  The View menu is used to display the existing and proposed layers and the Site Boundary is traced.

00:25:25 Step 11.  Add Stripping.  For a review of the Stripping feature, click here.  Use your browsers back button to return.

Most CAD plans will not have an indicated stripping area unless there is demolition of previous site development.  If the CAD file contains demolition details, take-off of these items is exactly like the subgrade feature.  In this example the site was undeveloped, so topsoil stripping was the only adjustment.  Since we put the boring details in, we used the Strata method to strip the topsoil.

00:26:30 Step 12.  Calculate Cut and Fill!  Once you have completed all of the subgrades, Close the CAD import utility and calculate the completed take-off. 

Calculate the Cut and Fill! Finished Site Take-Off




In less than a half an hour, we went from a CAD file to a complete take-off with just a few easy steps.  And without the complexities of a CAD program!

Previous Next - Field Data Import