Millions of points

Point Cloud Received

Last week I received the registered point cloud from the very brilliant Farrimond MacManus LTD containing literally millions of digital points, each on an X Y Z axis in space. Point clouds are the outcome of a 3D laser scan and are used in the construction industry for planning construction and maintenance work with absolute precision.

3D site

View of the cottage and haggard (courtyard) – Autodesk ReCap

Designers can use the point cloud in place of an external reference, or in other words, an underlay in their design software showing the layout of the existing conditions of their site. By slicing up the cloud, sections of the building elements and terrain can be examined in detail.

It was amazing to find issues with the building that would have been very difficult to see without this technology. For example, we found a section of the wall, at the meeting of the main cottage with the back room, to have a joining wall of just a single layer of stones (just 150mm compared to the usual aprox. 600mm elsewhere!). These important details will be very significant in planning for moisture and damp aversion.

point cloud IV measure

The point cloud can also be used in place of return visits to site. Navigating through the points in Autodesk ReCap or other software, measurements or details that may have been missed on survey day can be checked, again, with astonishing accuracy. By mapping photographs, taken during the scanning process, onto the cloud we can get a photo realistic walk through and exploration of the buildings and surrounding area.

point cloud II

Coloured by Normals, Autodesk ReCap

pts file imported into revit

Point cloud with RGB photo mapping, Autodesk ReCap

The next step in the process will be to translate this cloud of unintelligent points, into a building information model (link), upon which semantic data can be associated to facilitate construction design and documentation. For the research I will be looking at the state of the art in automating this process using component recognition software as well as producing the BIM manually as is the usual practice in the industry at present.

point cloud III revit

Modelling over point cloud, Autodesk Revit


2 responses to “Millions of points”

  1. Artem Ustinov says :

    Just wow and wow! Great work Conor!
    Small question, what type of file this point cloud system uses and how difficult to transfer this model to the BIM software?


  2. Eoin Prunty says :

    Very cool. That’s a really good point about the thinner section of wall for accuracy of existing conditions. Good work!


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