CadTools, free 3D and surface utility for AutoCad (and ZWCAD 2018)

Design your civil work in real 3D with this handy tool! Now with Vehicle Turning Simulations (Vehicle swept path)

Latest update:
2020-04-25 Build 736

CadTools (ToolBox) is developed for Civil Engineers using AutoCAD. There are a number of great software on the market supporting the design process of roads, rails etc. For minor design work CadTools can be very useful, it contains more than 50 commands mostly in real 3D to support your work.

By combining separate commands through the work process you can achieve almost anything you want. When I developed the commands I certainly had some situations in mind but every command can be used in a variety of situations not only in civil work design.
With CadTools you can create your own surface models based on objects in the drawing or import triangles from DWG (other civil software). You can create profiles and cross-sections of multiple surfaces, calculate volumes and plot contours.
It's easy and fun creating real 3D models with CadTools commands, some of these commands can only be found in software that you have to pay money for.
work as a civil designer at one of Sweden's leading consulting companies. My main tool for civil design is Bentley InRoads/RailTrack, one of the best software I've seen. Sometimes you need something less complicated so I started developing CadTools while traveling to work by train.

After more than five years and thousands of hours of developing this software now is a powerful tool way beyond my first intentions. Honestly I can't be without it, hope you will feel the same.

CadTools is an out of process software and supports AutoCAD versions: 2001-2021
. (vanilla and verticals i.e. Civil 3D). It also supports ZWCAD+ (2014-2015 and 2018-2019)

There are over 15 000 monthly users of CadTools! (unique users, 2017-11)

Major C
ommands in CadTools are listed below. CadTools has a complete helpfile with images of command results.

Insert or remove characters to single line text.
Align text to UCS and scale it.
Align Text to Left.
Send selected text to Excel

Line Aligned Text
Capitalize/Uncapitalize text

Area calculation of polylines based on color or layer. Results can be exported to Excel
Export polyline coordinates to Excel
Length calculate of polylines based on color or layer. Results can be exported to Excel
Reverse polyline
Point section and offset from polyline
Draw slopemarks from polylines

Offset 3DPolylines
Create cylinders (pipes) from polylines/lines.
Profile 3DPolyline
Create road signs and markings
Level out 3Dpolyline
Transverse 3D lines between 3D Polylines (3D Slope signs)

Join 3D Polylines
Draw Slope Arrows for 3Dpolylines (Ditch bottom slope direction)
Stationing Polyline
Line Aligned Text
Edit Polyline Elevation
and slope (In table)
Create 3D alignment from plan and profile
Best fit, 3D-polyline regression.
Simplify command for 3D-polylines
Set polyline elevation by nearest text, fixes contours with no elevation but text!

Lines/Polylines to EPANET INP-file

All layers on
All layers off but selected

All layers off but current
Layer off by object
Xref layer freeze by single object
Move to layer by object
Set current layer by object
Delete layer

Draw polylines, circles and blocks from coordinates. Paste from Excel to CadTools

Generate longitudinal features (ditch bottom, surface interception) with cut/fill tick marks.
Import Triangulated Surface from Graphic (from other software)
Triangle Volume and color cut/fill areas in plan.

Triangulate objects (create surface models)

Drape surface with objects and lines
Pick and annotate elevation from surface
Create wireframe surface
Cut & Fill areas in cross-sections
Create Surface Profiles
Create Surface Cross Section
View Surface Slope and Directio
View Perimeter for flat (or any slope interval) Surface Areas
Pick and annotate Slope vector from surface
Constrained triangulation (breaklines)
Surface Contours
Trickle, traces the path of a drop of water down a selected surface.
Volume by Elevation, triangle volumes at intervals
Trickle All, evaluate surface water paths.

Convert 3DPolylines to 2Dpolylines
Convert 3DFaces to 3Dpolylines
Convert arc to 3Dpolyline
Create coordinate grid
Place sloped text
Convert Circle to 3Dpolyline

Open Xref by Object
Detach Xref by Object
Save/Load Xref-settings to/from file

Edit block attribute text
Annotate block elevation
Drainage network evaluation, evaluation of block (manholes) and Lines (pipes). Result in Excel
Export block information to Excel (coordinates, attribute values)


Export Hatch area to Excel

Vehicle Turning Simulation (Vehicle Tracking)

Annotate Profiles/Cross sections

Vehicle Turning Simulation (Swept path analysis) You don't need to be a registered user to use this! It's totally free!
Configure vehicles of your own and do analysis in the drawing. Much faster design than using turning templates.



Create surface cross-sections as 2D or 3D. Display crossing reference lines


Surface Contours


View Surface slope and direction.
Easily detect flat areas.
Perimeter of areas with userdefined slopes.

Create real 3D cut and fill by applying end-conditions to 3Dpolylines.
Very simple and powerful step by step process.

Create Give Way

Create Chevrons


CadTools does not work with AutoCadLT
. Some features are limited for unregistered users.

Windows Vista users!
Problems running CadTools? Probably it's Vista's UAC dabbling, try to launch CadTools as an Administrator. Simply find the shortcut for CadTools, right click on it then in the Compatibility tab select the option that say: Run this program as an Administrator.

If you are using Bricscad you will find the Vehicle Turning in
BricsTurn. The Vehicle Turning is also available as a freeware for Microstation V8. MSTurn

Download (MSI-file, ca 7,2 Mb), Last updated 2020-04-25 Build 736
Alternative download (ca
13,5 Mb Zip-file containing complete installation and update plus reference manual)
Update for CadTools (ca
3,8 Mb), Last updated 2020-04-25 Build 736
Download update only. If you already installed CadTools and only need the update, use
this link.

Additional downloads

Reference Manual (ca 2,6 Mb) (PDF document, printed documentation 112 pages, updated 2014-06-20)
Video Samples (Collection of video demonstrations)
Default Vehicle library (metric) Vehicle samples in metric units
Default Vehicle library (imperial, 2013-05-13) Vehicle samples in imperial units

Portable version of Build 7
CadToolsPortable (ca 33 Mb) Run CadTools from a USB stick (Virtualized)

CadTools Forum

Online discussion site for CadTools.


If you find CadTools useful, why not donate and become a registered user
How much should I donate? There is no right answer to that, the result is always the same no matter how much or little you donate. Ask yourself how useful CadTools is and donate with your heart. Donations are important for me, they are confirmations of real users appreciating the developing of CadTools.

Please note that donation notifications are sent to me from PayPal by email and I manually send you a registration email as soon as possible. Generally I respond at least twice a day.
If you haven't recived a responding email in a couple of days, check your spam filter or post a message to me in CadTools forum.

Latest update (2020-04-25 Build 736)
New behavior of dialogs on multiple screens. All dialogs will open near CadTools and can be dragged to any screen. If minimized they will appear at same position before minimized. If closed they will appear near CadTools.

Revision History