National Surveyors Week – background and trivia

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NATIONAL SURVEYORS WEEK - BACKGROUND AND TRIVIA

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In the United States National Surveyors Week is celebrated every year starting on the third Sunday of March. The week is dedicated to surveyors and is intended to honor and educate the profession. While it started out in the US, National Surveyors Week is nowadays celebrated by many around the globe. This year, we like to honor the occasion by giving you a little background info and trivia.

Since the beginning of recorded history, surveyors have been instrumental in advancing society. The construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza in 2700 BC is one of the earliest examples in the history of land surveying. Surveying is also used in transportation, communications, mapping, and establishing legal boundaries for land ownership. Many scientific disciplines also use this important tool for research.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 54,800 surveyors in the United States. They have expertise in:

– Geometry / Trigonometry,
– Regression analysis
– Physics, Meteorology
– Engineering
– Programming languages
– Law

While the fundamentals of surveying have remained the same, the surveying instruments today are much more technologically advanced than in the past. Drones and lasers have now replaced most of the work done with a telescope on a tripod. Remote sensing and satellite imagery are becoming more accurate and affordable, so they are used more and more these days. Probably the most important new technology in recent years is three-dimensional scanning (3D laser scanning).

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History of National Surveyor Week

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The first National Surveyors Week was proclaimed on February 13, 1984 by the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). In addition, the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, signed a Presidential Proclamation urging citizens to recognize professional surveyors and their remarkable contributions. There are many famous land surveyors who have played a major role in the history of the settlement of North America. George Washington, the first recognized land surveyor, is probably the most famous of them all. 

Current use of laser scanning

Today, there are numerous industries that have discovered laser scanning for themselves. The advantages are obvious: laser scanning makes it possible to create a precise digital image of reality – the digital twin.  

This is why PointCab Origins is also used in various sectors. We have compiled a selection of industries in which laser scanning is used. Common areas of application are:

– Architecture
– Heritage
– Construction (As Built)
– Industrial plants
– Surveying
– Craftsmanship

 This is also how our PointCab Origins point cloud software is used in various fields.

Want to learn more? Then check out these links:

National Society of Professional Surveyors website:  https://www.nsps.us.com/
Washington as Public Land Surveyor: https://www.loc.gov/collections/george-washington-papers/articles-and-essays/george-washington-survey-and-mapmaker/washington-as-public-land-surveyor/

Initiative to win over young talent: https://www.getkidsintosurvey.com/

PointCab Origins trial version: https://pointcab-software.com/en/point-cloud-software/trial-version/ 

As-built – what does it mean?

As-built model

AS-BUILT – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

“As-built” – anyone involved in architecture and the construction industry will sooner or later come across this term. It is almost always linked with documentation. But what does as-built documentation actually comprise? How is it created and what is it needed for? There is no legal or regularitory definition of the term. Even within the industry, there may be different opinions when it comes to the definition and scope of a as-built documentation. Despite this, or rather precisely because of this, we will try to clarify all the questions surrounding as-built documentation in this article.

As-built documentation vs. construction drawing - what is the difference?

As-built documentation is documentation of the actual state of a building or construction project. A construction drawing, on the other hand, shows the planned state of a project. Anyone who has already been involved in a construction project knows that there can be considerable differences between the planning and the result. In order to obtain realistic documentation of the project, it is necessary to carry out as-built documentation in addition to the construction drawing. 

As-built model

Starting as early as possible: Documentation of construction progress

So does it make sense to simply create as-built documentation after the project is finished? Of course, the finished project should be fully documented. However, it is even better to start much earlier. Especially with larger projects, it is advisable to document the various stages of the construction progress. There are several reasons for this. On the one hand, it allows all those involved to be kept up to date on the progress of construction.

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Even more important, however, is the comparison with the construction drawing and the planning. This way, possible complications can be recognized at an early stage and dealt with accordingly. After each construction step, costs can be adjusted if necessary, new permits can be obtained, materials can be exchanged, the statics can be recalculated, and so on. This makes it easier to avoid unpleasant surprises and cost explosions.

Of course, final as-built documentation should also be carried out after the project has been completed, and it is also worthwhile to acquire it for already existing structures. On the basis of the as-built documentation, subsequent conversion measures or installations can be planned and carried out. In addition, it provides important information for disaster control and rescue forces in case of an emergency.

How is as-built documentation created?

The purpose of as-built documentation is therefore clear. The question that arises next is how it should be carried out and what exactly it should contain. Regardless of whether the construction progress is to be documented or a project that has already been completed, the first thing to do is to create a accurate reality capture. Nowadays, depending on the size of the project, this is done by means of laser scanning and/or drone flights. If you work with a laser scanner, it generates a point cloud that must first be processed and evaluated with special software. Point clouds can also be generated from drone flights with special software such as Pix4D. With our Origins software for example, sections, floor plans and much more can be quickly created from the point cloud data. Data processed in this manner can then be imported into the CAD system, where a model of the project is created.


But a reality capture and a simple 3D model are often not sufficient for as-built documentation. Depending on the requirements, further information must be included in the documentation and there is also a lot to consider when creating the 3D model. 

For instance, the level of detail, or LOD for short, plays an important role in 3D modelling. For example, should the valves of water systems be modelled down to the smallest detail or is it sufficient to roughly represent them in the correct position and orientation? Such questions should already be clarified and discussed with the modeller before the documentation is created. The modeller can determine in a personal conversation which LOD level is required for your project. There is no industry standard for the accuracy of as-built documentation. This is not least due to the fact that a higher degree of accuracy is associated with additional costs, which of course one does not want to bear if it is not needed for the project in question.

Another point that must be taken into account is additional information. For example, should the material of the floor, doors, windows, etc. also be documented? Which window model is used? Should invoices and static certificates be stored? These questions must also be clarified and the scope must be determined before preparing as-built documentation.

LOD


Ultimately, the scope and accuracy of as-built documentation always depends on your individual requirements. In general, however, it can be said that at least a rough digital reality capture by means of laser scanning is always useful.This way, errors can be avoided in the construction phase and possible subsequent construction work can be implemented more easily.

Do you have any further questions about as-built documentation or point cloud evaluation? Then write to us or call us under: +4971539295930.

Our support team will be happy to advise you!

 

PointCab Mobile Mapping Weeks

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POINTCAB MOBILE MAPPING Weeks

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Learn how to harness the power of Origins with GeoSLAM, NavVis or Emesent.

Between  December 7th and 16th, we are hosting special webinars together with these 3 mobile mapping providers to show you the different mobile mapping workflows with Origins.

Register now!

 

EMESENT WEBINAR: FROM POINT CLOUDS TO CAD DRAWINGS

Dezember 7th, 9.30AM (CET)

Emesent’s Hovermap solution shows its strength when it comes to terrain that is difficult to access. Mounted on a drone, the intelligent mobile mapping solution autonomously scans the area using LIDAR. In this webinar, we will show you how to get the most out of Hovermap data with Origins.

 

NAVVIS WEBINAR: IMPROVING CAD WORKFLOWS WITH MOBILE MAPPING TECHNOLOGIES

Dezember 9th, 5.30PM (CET)

In this webinar, Pascal Groothedde explains how he, as a NavVis user, uses Origins in daily practice to transfer his data into the CAD system. He presents one of his projects and shows us how his workflow works. Martin Graner (PointCab) and Frieder Kirn (NavVis) will also be on hand to share tips and tricks on mobile mapping with Origins + NavVis.

 

GEOSLAM WEBINAR: MOBILE MAPPING - EASY, SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE SCAN TO CAD

Dezember 16th, 11.00AM (CET)

Our Origins solution is perfectly adapted to the workflow with GeoSLAM devices. So well, in fact, that Origins has been integrated with GeoSLAM as a OEM software under the name GeoSLAM Draw. In this webinar, our experts show you step by step how to transfer your GeoSLAM data into your CAD system and how Draw helps you with this.

Laser scanning technology helps preserve and repurpose a historic masonry building in Crete

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Laser scanning technology helps preserve and repurpose a historic masonry building in Crete

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Postgraduate students at the Technical University of Crete used a combination of a Trimble Laser Scanner, PointCab Origins Pro, and Autocad to obtain and document the exact geometry of a historic masonry structure with the purpose of its structural rehabilitation.

The island of Crete, Greece is known for its beautiful landscape and rich history. It’s the birthplace of the first European advanced civilization, the Minoans, and was shaped by the Mycenaeans, Romans, Osmans, and many more. The traces of these cultures can still be found all across the island in different archeological remains.

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One of them is a two-century-old residential masonry, built during the Osman rule. It has been abandoned for the last 70 years and is the former residence of the wealthy Seimeni family. As one of the few remaining buildings of that type of local architecture in the region, it bears great historic value. In order to preserve and repurpose the building, exact documentation of its geometry was required, among other factors, in order to assess its structural integrity and the degree of necessary strengthening interventions. The building is planned to be restored in the next years and to be used as a local folk art museum.

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Postgraduate student Eirini Chorianopoulou, supervised by Professors Maria Stavroulaki and Nikos Skoutelis decided to exploit the benefits of the latest laser scanning technology available. Since there were parts of the building that could not be approached and a distant measurement technique was needed, using simpler tools and techniques would not suffice. Therefore, an accurate digital representation of the building in its condition before the restoration could be captured. 

This will give future visitors the chance to understand and compare the prior and current state and appreciate the work that will be done in order to preserve the authenticity of the structure after its restoration. With the purpose to obtain the geometric properties of the structure, the Trimble X7 3D laser scanner was employed. A number of 25 scans were used to generate the point cloud. All the data was imported as e57 format files and edited in PointCab Origins Pro. Accurate plans, sections, and elevations of the structure were created at all necessary levels and were exported as .dwg files for further editing in Autocad. Postgraduate researcher Evangelos Nitadorakis, responsible for handling the point cloud evaluation, found himself satisfied with the results that the use of PointCab’s Origins software provided: 

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“The accuracy of the generated sections allowed the identification and quantification of pathology indicators such as wall inclinations not visible with the human eye and remote measurements in parts of the structure that are not easily accessible. In addition, the delta analysis tool helped to distinguish even the slightest deviations in vertical levels. Furthermore, with a proper combination of all the data from Origins, an exact 3D model of the structure was created in a FEM analysis software and structural and dynamic analysis were conducted in order to assess the fragility of the structure under various loading cases. Employing PointCab Origins, we appreciated the easy handling, the speed of data processing, and the quality of the outcomes.”

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Lidar Community mourns the death of Martin Isenburg

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LIDAR COMMUNITY MOURNS THE DEATH OF MARTIN ISENBURG

Martin Isenburg was an outstanding software developer, bright mind and pioneer in the field of lidar and topographic data processing. As the father of the .las/.laz format, he helped to simplify the exchange of point cloud data worldwide and thus leaves a great legacy. His LAStools have also been popularly and frequently used throughout the LIDAR sector and his open source LiDAR compressor LASzip has become the de facto industry standard for compressed LiDAR. 

Martin has always been willing to share openly with others and has been a promoter and driver of new innovations and ideas. Individual members of our team have also had frequent exchanges with Martin and will greatly miss the stimulating conversations we had together.

It was with great dismay that we learned that Martin succumbed to his battle with bipolar disorder and suicide last week. The world thus loses a great thought leader and an outstanding personality. We mourn together with his family, friends and loved ones.

We urgently appeal to all those who are themselves struggling with mental illness to overcome the social stigma around it and turn to specialised support services

PointCab signs Petition for Open Point Cloud Formats

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POINTCAB SIGNS PETITION FOR OPEN POINT CLOUD FORMATS

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The eternal problem with converting

When working with point cloud data, users still have to jump back and forth between different data formats. Using different software solutions or even sharing data often requires conversion to open formats such as .e57. The constant conversion of data consumes time, resources, and storage capacity. In addition, this process often leads to a loss of information. 

Although these problems are well known, the market has not yet reacted. Shouldn’t we be glad that open formats like .las, .laz, or .e57 exist at all? It is true that before these formats were published, there was practically no way to pass on point cloud data to other systems in a meaningful way. In the meantime, however, this solution is simply no longer practicable. 

While the computing power for point cloud processing has increased significantly over the years, the volume of data has also grown considerably.  More and more points and additional information are being collected to produce more precise and reliable results. However, higher data volumes also mean a longer conversion times. Time that cloud surely be used more efficiently. In addition, the .e57 format – the industry standard – is compressed rather poorly and requires much more storage capacity than other formats. Heavy point cloud users will quickly run into a storage problem that will also put a strain on their wallets. Similar problems occur with data transfer. Downloading a point cloud project might take serval hours.

 

The solution

But what can be done in practice to combat these problems? The solution is actually fairly obvious. If all software on the market were able to read the native formats of the various laser scanners and software directly and, in the best case, also write them, the age of constant conversion would be a thing of the past. This would be technically possible without much hassle. So why is it not happening?

In order for a software to be able to read other point cloud formats, you need a so-called Software Development Kit (SDK) from the manufacturer. Some manufacturers, such as RIEGL, already make their SDK available to other applications.  Unfortunately, there are still many other manufacturers who do not yet provide SDKs and so the user is still forced to convert their data.

 

The petition

The petition for open point cloud formats therefore calls on manufacturers who have not yet made an SDK available to do so. This would not only be in the interest of the end user. Research and even the manufacturers themselves would also benefit. That is why we have signed the petition and plan to make an SDK for our own .lsd format available soon. 

If you also think that something has to change, then join us with your voice and sign the petition too.

 

What are point clouds?

Punktwolke point-cloud

WHAT ARE POINT CLOUDS?

Here’s an easy-to-understand introduction to the topic of point clouds. We answer the following questions:

Basics: What is a point cloud and how is it created?
What are point clouds used for?
How to work with point clouds? 

Punktwolke point-cloud

Basics: What is a point cloud and how is it created?

A point cloud can best be explained with the help of a gadget that reached the peak of its popularity in the 00s and is now primarily used for presentations: the laser pointer. The laser pointer can be used to illuminate a precise point in a straight line. If you know exactly where the laser pointer is located in the room, you can also exactly locate the point that is being illuminated. After all, the laser beam is straight as a die and thus makes it possible to calculate the exact position of the point in space in relation to the origin (the laser pointer). Geodetic points in surveying are also measured according to this basic principle, only it’s a little more complex. Instead of a laser pointer, special tachymeters are used for this purpose. 

And what does this have to do with point clouds? Quite simple. In addition to total stations, laser scanners have been used more and more frequently for surveying in recent years. These also work in the same way as our laser pointer, except that they can measure thousands or even millions of points simultaneously. Taken together, all the measured points constitue the point cloud. 

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What are point clouds used for?

Point clouds contain an incredible amount of information because every single point in the point cloud has its own X, Y, and Z coordinates. If we scan a staircase with a laser scanner, for example, we can use the resulting point cloud to determine exactly how straight the individual steps are, where the steps are worn and how high the deviation from the construction standard is. Accordingly, laser scanners and the point clouds they produce are always used when you want to document existing structures precisely, for example to digitise, measure or modify them. 

 

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For the design and optimization of production parts, for example in the automotive industry, very high-resolution hand-held scanners are usually used. They can capture even the smallest details and deviations. This allows a digital twin to be created on the PC. With the help of the twin, new prototypes can then be created and improvements digitally simulated and tested.

In the construction industry and as-built documentation of buildings, various scanners are used. Depending on the object, mostly terrestrial or mobile laser scanners, sometimes even drones. They are used to scan buildings for a variety of reasons, e.g. to plan an extension or renovation, to optimally position new equipment in production buildings, or to document the construction progress of various building projects. 

These are just a few examples of applications. Point clouds are used wherever objects need to be precisely captured and digitized. Depending on the area of application, different laser scanners are used. They can produce different accuracies and point cloud sizes. 

 

How to work with point clouds?

How to work with point clouds depends above all on what goal you are pursuing. As already mentioned, different laser scanners are used for different areas of application. The same applies to the software used to evaluate the point clouds. Our software solution, Origins (Pro), for example, is mainly used when existing buildings or landscape structures are to be digitally captured.

Regardless of which hardware and software solutions are used, there is an important step between the acquisition and the evaluation of the point cloud data: the registration.

 

Point Cloud Registration

During registration, individual scans or individual “sections” that were captured with the laser scanner are merged into a point cloud. If you want to register a complete building, for example, you often set up the laser scanner in the different rooms and scan them. Of course, in the end, you don’t only want to have individual scans of the different rooms. You prefer simply one large point cloud in which all the scans are available and linked together. To achieve this, you have to register the scans.

Behind the registration usually stands a rather complicated mathematical process. The accuracy of the data produced by the registration depends on how well the laser scanner captured the environment on site and how reliable the registration software used is. Fortunately, this process has become easier and easier in recent years. If you use a mobile laser scanner, for example, you often no longer have to make individual scans. You can simply walk through or around the object with the scanner. With this type of scanner, registration is also usually fully automatic and provided together with the hardware. The user does not need much know-how. The disadvantage here, however, is that mobile laser scanners are currently often not able to deliver as precise results as terrestrial laser scanners, i.e. scanners that are set up stationary and take individual scans one after the other.

 

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There are different methods to register a point cloud. The best known are cloud-to-cloud registration, target-based registration, or plane-to-plane registration. Which method to use depends on many different factors, e.g. the laser scanner used, the desired accuracy, or your own preferences. Especially for newcomers, it is, therefore, advisable to have the scanning and registration carried out by experts. They not only register the point cloud but also “clean” it in most cases during the registration process. This means, for example, that duplicate scans or “noisy” areas of the point cloud are removed or the point cloud is professionally “thinned out” to reduce the file size.

 

Importing, processing, and passing on point cloud data

If you receive registered point cloud data, there is usually one more stumbling block to overcome before you can take measurements and create digital 3D models from the data – importing the data. 

There is not just one file format for point clouds. In general, each laser scanner works with its own file format. Different software for processing are often using their own formats as well. As a result, there is hardly any software that can import all native file formats from the different laser scanners and processing software. We are very proud that our Origins (Pro) software can read and import over 25 different point cloud formats and export over 20 different formats (point cloud formats and others). However, even though we provide one of the greatest diversities on the market, it still doesn’t represent all native data formats. So what is the best way to deal with the different file formats?

Open exchange formats such as .las, .laz, .e57 or .xyz offer a solution to this problem. These file formats were developed by independent parties to solve the problem of data transfers. The .e57 format in particular has virtually become the industry standard. Almost all registration software of the laser scanner manufacturers can output the format and processing software for point clouds can also read the format. Therefore, in most cases, the surveyor will hand over the point cloud in .e57 format.

The disadvantage here is that the .e57 format, in contrast to the native formats, is less well compressed. Therefore it requires more storage capacity in comparison. However, the large amounts of data are normally no problem for point cloud software. After all, they were developed specifically for the processing and evaluation of point clouds. They can be used to carry out measurements and other evaluations. With Origins (Pro), for example, you can also create automatic floor plans that can be vectorized and much more

 

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However, if you want to create a 3D model from the point cloud, you need to employ a BIM or CAD software. These were not originally developed to handle point cloud data. Accordingly, many of these software still have major problems processing the data. Some CAD software, such as Autodesk Revit or AutoCAD, cannot read .e57 or other common point cloud formats. In order to use these software, the data must be converted again into the Autodesk formats .rcp or .rcs. Other CAD software cannot read point cloud data at all or can only import small amounts of data at once, which means that the point cloud has to be “split” again and imported in parts. These are all very tedious and time-consuming tasks.

To avoid this effort, the data is often first pre-processed in a point cloud software and then further processed in the CAD software. For example, Origins (Pro) can be used to create floor plans and vector lines, which can then be transferred to the CAD software in the correct position and with all the important 3D information in .dfx or .dwg format. These formats can be processed by almost any CAD software and require much less storage capacity than the entire point cloud. Of course, there are now also plugins for the most common CAD software that can transfer the 3D information from the point cloud software directly to the CAD software.

In conclusion, it can be seen that the acquisition and processing of point clouds, right up to the creation of a 3D model, still requires a great deal of expertise and know-how. Especially the amount of data and the data exchange between the different systems is still a challenge. Fortunately, a lot has already been done in recent years to simplify this process, also known as scan-to-BIM. We are also working every day to be able to import more data formats into our software and to simplify the handling so that even beginners can work with point clouds.

Do you have any further questions about point clouds or would you like to test our software yourself? Feel free to send us an e-mail to: support@pointcab-software.com. We would be happy to advise you in a personal meeting without obligation.

As-built documentation of a planetarium

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Using LIDAR technology for as-built documentation of a planetarium

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Thanks to the use of laser scanning and PointCab Origins Pro, placing new projectors is no longer a problem

The precise placement of projectors in specially designed theatre rooms within planetariums is no easy task. Just measuring these rooms, which have sloping floors and domes, is a challenge. In addition, the measurement results and the design proposals derived from them must be communicated clearly and concisely to all project participants.

In the USA, the professionals from Seiler Instrument, more precisely Seiler’s Planetarium Division, are often called in for such jobs. Seiler employee Howard George used to use a combination of manual measurements and a total station for this task- a very time-consuming process. To speed up and simplify the process, laser scanning and PointCab’s point cloud software were therefore used for the first time.

The first step was to employ a handheld GeoSLAM ZEB Revo RT LiDAR scanner that creates 3D point clouds literally in minutes. Then the challenge was to efficiently extract the geometry and features to create BIM models of the spaces and better communicate the design intent to project stakeholders. To achieve this, Howard was provided with a trial version of PointCab 3D Pro (now Origins Pro). This is an easy-to-use point cloud editing and sharing software that was recommended by the Design Solutions team at Seiler. Howard comments, “In non-orthogonal areas like planetariums, PointCab allows me to freely tilt, rotate and magnify data points and orient perspectives. ” Thanks to the PointCab and Revit support, as well as online resources, Howard was able to start modelling from the point cloud within a few days, even as a novice, thanks to PointCab`s 4Revit plugin. This allowed him to simulate the placement of the projectors as-is and quickly create vectorised CAD schematics of the space and installation details. He was thrilled: “PointCab’s software exports 2D images of 3D spaces, but screen sharing the software via Zoom or simply forwarding my results with PointCab Share allows me to walk anyone through my process and show them whatever they want to see.” 

Verschiedene Evaluationen in Origins Pro

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The powerful combination of LiDAR scanning technology and PointCab Origins Pro has had a profound impact on the schedule and customer experience for these complex projector installations. Howard says: “I’m given metric spherical coordinates from ZEISS  to place projectors in relation to the dome. In PointCab, I export Cartesian imperial coordinates to place the projector stands on the floor.  Then the PointCab software exports 2D images of 3D spaces to me. Sharing data via PointCab Share (freeware) or screen sharing via Zoom allows me to share each step of the process with everyone and show in detail what is of interest.” In just one week, essential but very time-consuming tasks were thus radically reduced and changed for the better for everyone involved in the project. Once tested, the Seiler Planetarium Division would like to continue to rely on the combination of laser scanning and the PointCab software in the future.

Point Cloud Processing on macOS

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Point Cloud Processing on macOS

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Apple has become a synonym for good design. So it’s no wonder that Apple’s devices are in high demand among designers and architects. However, especially in the LIDAR sector, where more and more designers, architects, and real estate companies are entering the field, the predominant operating system is still Windows. As Apple has integrated a lidar sensor in their latest device it can be expected that Apple will be part of capturing the world in 3D in the coming years. To keep up with the expected demand, we at PointCab decided to take the lead and release the first commercial software for comprehensive LIDAR point cloud processing on macOS. While software like Arena 4D Studio Professional already offer point cloud visualization, they do not provide the manipulation capabilities that our Origins software  offers. 

Our Origins software for macOS works almost identically to its Windows counterpart. It can read all open laser scanning formats and its results are compatible with all prevalent CAD software. However, since some hardware and software providers do not supply their own macOS solutions yet, they also don’t have a SDK readily available to allow Origins to read their native formats.

 

Nevertheless, our CEO and co-founder Dr. Richard Steffen is confident some of the industry will follow soon: “For quite some time now we’ve been playing with the idea to make Origins available for macOS. We’ve seen CloudCompare doing a great job with their open-source software for macOS and expected commercial hardware and software manufacturers to follow soon. Since our software is known for its great inter-compatibility, we hoped for other manufacturers to take the lead and then port their format SDK to macOS. After we renewed the whole structure of our software with our Origins 4.0 version we thought there’s no better time to work on a macOS version.”

 

“We finally decided to take matters into our own hands and not to wait around any more. We’ve reached out to other manufacturers to make their format SDKs available and were mostly received in kind. RIEGL for example was one of the first to respond and is in contact with our developers as we speak. It seems like the compatibility with macOS is in the back of everyone’s minds but since most other players in the industry rely on Windows it never makes top priority. Honestly, it was very much the same for us and if we hadn’t released our Windows 4.0 version, we still might not have a macOS version. As a software provider that relies on compatibility with other manufacturers, it’s a gamble to put our resources towards a less prevalent operating system. Only the future can tell if we’ve made the right bet covering this niche market. So far, we’ve received a lot of interest, especially from CAD users that work on macOS. We hope that us making the first move as a commercial provider will inspire others to do the same.”

So far, our Origins software has been tested successfully on macOS Big Sur 11, Catalina 10.15, and Mojave 10.14. In terms of hardware, it works on any Apple computer with an Intel-based processor (x64). We’re also confident that the compatibility for the latest Apple M1 ARM-based Chip will follow with the next updates.

As with our Windows version, the Origins software does not require high-performance hardware components to run smoothly. As demonstrated in our preview webinar on May 27th a Mini Mac with 8GB RAM already does the trick. 


Point Clouds in BricsCAD

BricsCAD point cloud punktwolken plugin

EASY POINT CLOUD MODELING IN BRICSCAD

Point clouds in BricsCAD? Easy as can be with our new 4Brics plugin.

BricsCAD point cloud punktwolken plugin

PointCab 4Brics - Why a BricsCAD point cloud plugin?

As you may know, we already developed point cloud plugins for Revit and Archicad. Now, we are happy to announce that we have also developed a plugin that will simplify the modeling of point clouds in BricsCAD. The decision to develop a BricsCAD plugin was an easy one. For months, more and more customers approached us and asked for us to develop a BricsCAD solution. Those who know our team know that we always try to implement customer requests as quickly as possible and try to respond to all requests. So it’s not surprising that we got to work right after the first requests came in.

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How was the plugin developed?

We are developers and point cloud professionals. We are not BricsCAD experts and we openly admit to that. This is the reason why, when developing our BricsCAD plugin, we did what we always do in such cases – consult the expertise of our customers. Therefore we spent months studying the BricsCAD software and the workflow of our BricsCAD users. Special mention must be made here of Sebastian Zell, who has been massively involved in all stages of development, from conception to beta testing. The result is a plugin that perfectly matches the workflow of our BricsCAD customers and the architecture of the BricsCAD software.

What can the plugin do and how are point clouds modeled in BricsCAD with it?

Our 4Brics plugin helps you to transfer 3D information from Origins to BricsCAD in the correct position and in real-time. This way you don’t have to export the entire point cloud or individual orthophotos first and then import them into BricsCAD. As already mentioned, we have adapted our plugin to the architecture and structure of the BricsCAD software. That is why there is the function to fix axes. In principle, single or multiple axes can be fixed, depending on what is needed at the moment.  For example, the x and y-axis can be fixed if heights are to be determined. Measurements are generally made with the 3D point tool in Origins. No matter whether lines, surfaces, or individual objects from your own templates are to be transferred – simply click on the desired element in Origins and it will be transferred to BricsCAD in the correct position. As usual, the 3D point tool can be used in the standard views, layouts & sections, or panoramic views. No matter which view you use, the information from the point cloud is always transferred correctly to BricsCAD. In addition to the transfer of 3D point cloud data, we have also implemented other functions that make your work in BricsCAD easier. For example, our multilines tool allows you to create several individual lines one after the other without interruption. Preparing your data for other CAD software is also done with just a few clicks. For example, you can transfer the data from your user coordinate system to the world coordinate system or flatten the heights. This way the data can also be read into CAD software like Revit or ArchiCAD. 

If you want to learn more, take a look at our overview video or visit our online shop.

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