Is it possible to create a hollow 3D line feature in ArcGIS Pro? Something like a CAD "SOLIDEDIT" operation (I know next to nothing about CAD). I have a 3D Model of a large-diameter water line that was created using ESRI's Buffer-3D tool and would like to hollow it out to simulate a tube. For visual, here is a sample 3D line, plus a real-life pipe break that is in the news lately (source: MSN.com Article)

3D Line in ArcPro plus a news snippet of a water main break in Calgary

2 Answers 2


I was able to achieve what you desired following this workflow:

  1. Create a PolylineZ feature and ensure z values were set


  1. Create a 3D buffer, in my example I had set diameter to 50m.

3d buffer

  1. Create another 3d buffer which had a diameter of 49m, I don't show this as it is within the first buffer.

  2. Run the Difference 3d tool, the subtract feature being the 49m diameter buffer. This creates a hollow tube as can be seen by turning on the basemap.


The end of the tube has a strange tearing affect, may be playing around with the buffer parameters may remove that?


The green check goes to @Hornbydd. It seems the tearing affect is avoided by extending the inner pipe out of the outer pipe before running the difference tool. Here is how I extended the inner, followed by the final product. Thanks, Hornbydd!

Simple Edit how-to

final hollow pipe output

  • 1
    Nice! Never thought to extend the inner buffer. Team work!
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Jun 22 at 18:28

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