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How can I create a 3D shapefile containing line features or point features? I have to extract the elevations from a DEM and then export a shapefile containing 3D features. I'm currently working with QGIS 2.8.4

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you can do it in different ways to create a 3D shape files (which have the 3D geometry, vertex coordinates of X, Y, Z): with DTM (DEM):

  1. to processing v.drape (GRASS GIS);
  2. using the plugin shp2D3 (https://plugins.qgis.org/plugins/shp2D3-master/)

v.drape Processing

shp2D3 plugin

  • is there any risk of losing the Z coordinate with usual commands/operations (e.g copy/paste 3D features, join CSV file by attribute...)? – Bryan Ciceri Jun 21 '16 at 9:25
  • the two methods described modifying the geometry and not the attributes; you can do all the operations, also joins. NOTE: To copy / paste is only valid on shapefile with 3D geometry. – pigreco Jun 21 '16 at 9:42

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