DroneDeploy 3D into AutoCAD without using the App

Has anyone been consistently converting their missions into AutoCAD? I got the .xyz file to import but its just a point file. I’m looking for the real 3D model that I can insert into site plans, etc. Any tips?

I would recommend exporting the OBJ file.


We utilize the XYZ point cloud to create a triangulated mesh. This would require a Civil engineering version of AutoCAD or other processing software. We use Carlson Precision 3D and Carlson Civil.

I use McNeel’s Rhino program to import the OBJ file and then I can make 3D elevation, 3D slope and 3D contour maps and even automatically identify trees and their types (evergreen or deciduous). I created a GUI in Python to enable easy selection of map type, data range and coloring options.

Rhino Python Drone Maps GUI > Click on picture to see details.

3D Elevation Map Click on Map to see details.

3D Slope Map Notice the driveway has 2% slope (1/4" per foot) as designed. Click on Map to see details.

3D Contour Map 1’ = Grey, 5’ = Red, 10’ = Orange, 25’ = Yellow, 50’ = Green, 100’ = Blue
The 1’ line below each 5’ line is black to help indicate the downhill direction in flat areas.
Lots of trees in the map. Click on Map to see details.

The code is about 3800 lines of Python which I wrote. If you like programming and want to give Rhino a try, I will send you the code for your use, modification and to give away as you like. I am retired and not looking to provide significant support but I am happy to share what I have. Rhino 6 is just coming out and is a fraction of the price of many other programs (under 1k). But it only works if you like programming. I am very happy with the results I am getting. Much better than I ever expected when I started 3 months ago with DroneDeploy. Double-click on my S circle and look at my Top Topics for other posts with more details.


Wow, that is amazing! I will have to check that out. We currently just use GIS/AutoCAD Civil 3D but maybe some of the engineers would want a challange. This is fantastic! I work on a lot of landfills and quarries so the 3D Contours would be great.

Ok great. We have Civil 3D AutoCAD. I had spoken with the Autodesk people at DJI Enterprise about it and they said something similar but we haven’t figured out how to created the triangulated mesh. Maybe I just didn’t use the right phrase when talking with the engineers. Thank you!

You’ll want to bring the point cloud into Civil 3D via ReCap, and create a TIN surface from the imported RCP file.

You might also try the Agtek export app in the market. It uses an algorithm to down-sample the point cloud to a more manageable size for software that was not designed to handle large point clouds.

Also, you might have already found this or know it…