Point cloud is a set of data points within a coordinate system. The points defined by x, y and z coordinates in 3D space, represent the outer surface of an object. These points are plotted using a 3D scanning process.
The Point Cloud Data collected via 3D laser scanning technique can be imported in Revit and used for BIM.
Some hi-end scanners collect photo-metric images along with Point Cloud Data for a building. These photographs play an important role in review and identification of building components.
Converting Point Cloud replicas into 3D Models:
Point Cloud Data can be inspected and rendered and it aids the creation of 3D models but it is not a substitute for a 3D model.
To make scanned data BIM worthy, it is first indexed and further surfaces are generated. This process is known as surface reconstruction where scanned and indexed data is converted into a triangle mesh, polygon mesh or a NURBS surface model.
Software tools like Leica CloudWorx for Autodesk Revit Architecture can directly transform Point Cloud data into a partial BIM model, however, it takes a great deal of experience and expertise to convert Point Cloud into 3D models.
The best format to import point clouds into Revit is *.pcg , however files in several other formats can also be used. Before working on Point Cloud models, it is helpful to remodel and reset the points in Revit.
With Point Cloud Survey Data can be collected faster and in great detail. Additionally, the 3D replica (Point Cloud generated from laser scanning) makes it easy to visualize complex structures.
Setting up sections, elevations and levels from a Point Cloud model, assists in capturing all the details within a Point Cloud for building information modeling.
Point Cloud for Revit BIM is particularly beneficial in restoration of heritage sites and retrofit work for big scale AEC projects.
Image Credit: http://revitturkiye.blogspot.com/2011/03/autodesk-revit-architecture-2012.html