A Point Cloud to BIM Story

Pooja resumed office after her maternity leave and what she had in store for her was a ‘Point cloud to BIM’ project.The process of converting 3D Laser scans of buildings to a BIM model is termed as ‘Point cloud to BIM’.Her company got their first ‘Point Cloud to BIM’ project from a long standing client who recently switched to laser scanning from manual survey.

The client had sent 300 odd images of a famous museum in USA which they had to restore. They wanted the BIM model in one weeks time.She had a team and a deadline but had no idea how to go about the task.

All the ‘BIM’ and ‘Point cloud’ experts who gave a demo in the office were themselves uninformed and were of no help. It seemed like one week would be required to research and learn how to do the project and another one week to complete the task. The company could not turn down the client.

This project was the stepping stone to the next level of BIM model and in completing the project, they could become part of a prestigious restoration project of international importance.

There was limited information available on the internet. Pooja had to take up the project and complete it. She lost her sleep over it. She was torn between her wailing 5 month old baby on one side and her nightmarish project on the other. Being a long serving employee who has also earned the reputation of being the most reliable and efficient,Pooja could not give up. She was determined to complete the task.

These were the many questions that were on the teams mind.

What is point cloud?
In Architecture, point cloud is the raw scan of a building exterior or interior created by 3D scanners. The scan would be a set of points on X,Y and Z axis.

What is RCS and RCP file?
Point cloud data file cannot be directly used in a 2D or 3D application.
Autodesk ReCap converts raw scan data to scan files (RCS files), and project files (RCP files) that reference multiple RCS files. Both these formats can be attached to an AutoCAD drawing or REVIT application.

What is the best point cloud to BIM software?
The process for creating a point cloud to BIM model is 3D SCAN?PROJECT FILES?AS BUILT BIM MODEL. There are many point cloud to BIM applications like REVIT, Trimble VDC Services to name a few.

REVIT application was already in use, so there was no searching needed for a new BIM application to model. But once the painstaking process of modeling in REVIT started, by measuring point to point distance on the point cloud file, some areas were not clearly captured by the scanner.

It started taking a toll on the health of the REVIT modelers. Some complained of watery eyes and headache. By the end of each working day, they were fatigued and unhappy with the results.

Meanwhile, the client was getting impatient. He had to commence work at his end with the finished as-built-model.

Then Pooja chanced upon the application called Scan to BIM™. This application automatically recognizes and places Architectural and MEP elements which eliminates the laborious task of measuring and modeling each and every element. Trial version of Scan to BIM helped Pooja and her team to model the as built museum model faster. They completed the project with minor errors which were fixed eventually. They missed the deadline by few days but the client accepted the work and was happy with the outcome.

Pooja and her team accomplished what they thought was impossible and that evening they went back home with a smile on their face and a sense of fulfillment.

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About the author
Resmi is a project manager at eLogicTech Solutions?—?a company that provides drafting services to the Architectural/Engineering/Construction community worldwide. The company specializes in Building Information Modelling,Technical Design and CAD solutions to every market segment which demands quality construction design and drafting services. Prior to joining eLogicTech, Resmi worked as a project manager in SMG DESIGN INC, Hyderabad and holds an M.Sc degree in Building Sciences from National University of Singapore with a Bachelors in Architecture from M.S.Ramaiah Institute Of Technology, Bangalore, India

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