Pocket 3D: Compare two surfaces to calculate volume

Create and compare two surfaces to calculate the volume of a stockpile in Pocket 3D

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Pocket 3D: Compare two surfaces to calculate volume

Data collection

Collect topo shots around the base of the pile and put them in their own layer. If you know the pile will change in volume over time, you can collect as many base points away from the pile as you need. This will not affect the calculation.

Collect topo shots on the pile to accurately represent the pile shape and size. The more topo shots, the more accurate the calculation will be. Place these points in a separate layer.

Create base surface

Turn off the layer containing the pile points, and select all of the base points.

From the Contextual menu, touch and hold the screen. In the pop-up window, select Calcs, then select Create TIN surface.

From the Data menu, select Calc Wizard, then select TIN surface from points/lines.

Click Next.


Preview what the surface will look like. Click Next.

Name the base surface

Give the base surface a name.

It is not necessary to select this as the active surface.

Click Finish.

Create pile surface

Turn the layer with the pile points back on.

Select the pile points AND the base points.

Repeat the process of creating a new layer.

Give the surface a name. You may want to include the date of the survey if you will need to compare changes in the pile over time.

Viewing the surface

If the Set as Current Surface option is checked when creating the pile surface, it will be visible on the screen.  If it does not appear, go in the Data menu to Surface > Options to turn on triangles, contours, and boundaries.

Compare two surfaces

From the Contextual menu, touch and hold the screen. In the pop-up window select Calcs, then select Compare surface.

From the Data menu, select Calc Wizard, then select Compare two surfaces.

Click Next.

Choose the two surfaces

The design surface will be the pile surface.

The existing surface will be the base surface.

Click Next.

Preview the surface

In the Preview window, click Report to view the volume calculation.

View the report

In this example, the stockpile volume is 362.003 cubic yards, with a base footprint of 3539.00 square feet.

Clicking the Save button will bring up a dialog box to save the report as a text file.