# Calculating Cut And Fill Volumes

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I've got a project where we are going to be building a 100' +/- retaining wall off the back of a house in order to back fill the yard to create a level pad for the client to play soccer on. I currently have a pretty accurate 3D model of the existing terrain that I got using a normal rotary laser and flags placed on the ground in a 5'x5' grid in order to gather around 100 elevation points at the flag locations. This worked well. My question now is can chief some how tell me the fill volume of the back yard if I go out level from the house say 15-20'? It seems like maybe one could convert the as-built terrain into a p-solid, then create another p-solid over that terrain and use the subtraction tool to remove the existing terrain from the new p-solid. This would then in theory leave you with a p-solid that represents the negative of the existing terrain/ or in other words....the fill volume. I'm not 100% sure how to go about this and was wondering if anyone here as done something similar or sees a reason why this would not work in chief.

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Seems very doable as you are suggesting but a bit of work.

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Seems like it. I just watch this video from a user here on the forums which was helpful in telling me what I need to do. Basically I need to convert my terrain into a p-solid and then into a plan solid in order to do the 3D subtraction correctly. Does anyone know how to convert your terrain w/ elevation information into a p-solid and then into a solid?

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So I'm working on this and was able to export my terrain as a .dae file and then convert it to a .obj file which then got me a symbol of my terrain in chief architect. But now i'm back to square one with trying to convert a symbol into a p-solid.

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No way that I know of to convert a symbol to a solid.

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This seems like a very simple feature that chief is purposefully keeps us from being able to use...at least the ability to convert a terrain to a solid would be reasonable.

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Did something similar about six years ago with X4.

Made a YouTube video at that time which might give you some ideas,

no longer need to use solids because polylines now have a volume attribute.

no need to use reference macros as polylines now have a label field.

Still need to ID each slice as the objects in Chief STILL do not have a ID -- so i used the pattern_angle field to ID the slices from 1-20.

Still tedious to do but may give you some ideas.

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Gary,

Thank you for your video! That is definitely a work around, however tedious it may be, still very clever. Still seems like Chief would be able to add a function to the program that could easily accomplish what we are after. I'll let you know if I ever come up with another work around. Cheers!

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Thanks Gerry, I'm not adept enough with macros to create one that computes the total but after watching another great video from Michael I started experimenting with the material lists and the result seems promising.

Polyline solids show up under Exterior Trim so I isolated the categories to only show these in the material list. Fill and cut polyline slices have their own materials so to be able to differentiate each. Again I'm not knowledgeable enough to use a macros so utilised the cost column to total these which meant adding 1 to the default formula to give a positive value (Fill) and -1.0 for the cut value then chief just does the rest.