A closer look at Mesh, Point Cloud, and CAD

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

Nowadays, an increasing number of users will need to deal with point clouds arriving from laser scanning or renovation techniques. This includes areas such as reverse engineering, plant maintenance, cartography and GIS, metrology, physiological simulations, etc. At times, a point cloud has been switched to a mesh or even to CAD geometry. Nevertheless, in many applications, point clouds are visualized directly, using various point features coming out of your laser scanner and an optional camera.

Also, Point clouds are very commonplace throughout the AEC industry as a fast and accurate way to collect data about present site requirements. Here is a look at point clouds that are altering the way we design projects.

What Are Point Clouds?

Point clouds are all made from laser scans of buildings or even a construction site. Each time that the laser hits a surface, a point using 3D coordinates is created. Of the points from a site constitute the point cloud, which -- in nature -- becomes the most digital twin of t

he site. The point cloud is pixel-based, Like a JPG, Within this first stage of the data set. However, with the ideal instruments, a mesh (or many meshes) can be produced from the point cloud and also utilized to create geometric model data.

Advantages of Point Clouds for the AEC Industry

Any info that could be gotten in the early design phases helps ensure that the design is accurate and reduces the odds of difficulties during construction. Point clouds help this by providing surveys of physical areas, such as the existing site. Not only are point clouds accurate and faster than surveys, but laser scanning can often survey areas that would typically be inaccessible to get a survey at a cost-effective method. Having a point cloud of the site can help designers visualize the ground conditions and structures to be taken into consideration throughout the design.

They also allow architects and civil engineers to align their digital models using a current area. Thus, there are crashes between existing and proposed features in the design and less risk through construction.

Point clouds can also be helpful during building, where progress can be checked against the design. The two interiors and exteriors can be scanned to make a point cloud during construction or upon conclusion. A point cloud of a structure is a cost-effective way of collecting data to get an as-built model, possibly for facilities management or renovations. Similarly, during refurbishment or renovation functions, a point cloud of this area that was revived can be used to update a current model to get a full and accurate record of this construction.

Conversion to 3D Surfaces

While point clouds Scrutinized and rendered, point clouds are converted into polygon mesh or triangle mesh models, NURBS surface models, or Even CAD models via a process referred to as surface reconstruction.

One answer would be to turn the point clouds into a 3D mesh. A point cloud stores the location for countless millions of points, a mesh converts those points into triangles. Though these triangles still store the location, RGB, and intensity values of the original points, they are smaller, lighter, and faster.

Numerous techniques exist to convert a point cloud to a 3D surface. Some strategies, such as Delaunay triangulation, alpha shapes, and ball pivoting, build a triangle network over the point cloud's existing vertices. Simultaneously, other methods convert the point cloud to a volumetric distance field and reconstruct the implicit surface so characterized by an algorithm of marching cubes.

In geographical information systems, point clouds are among the sources used to make a digital elevation model of the terrain. They are used to create 3D models of urban surroundings. Drones are utilized to accumulate a set of RGB images, which may be later processed on a Computer Vision Algorithm platform like on AgiSoft Photoscan or Pix4D or even Drone Deploy to create RGB point clouds in wherever both distances along with volumetric estimations could be made.

Point Cloud in CAD

Point Cloud is an AutoCAD application designed for 3D point cloud visualization and work. Historical buildings and landmarks, manufacturing plants, and others can be recorded with the degree of detail required. Other documents (e.g., images, floor plans, or other CAD elements) can be combined with the processing point cloud. Millions of points obtained with a 3D laser scanner can be used easily where all the modeling tools –Using the AutoCAD functionality. Using the "Object Snap" feature of AutoCAD, the user can access every single point and its 3D coordinates. Consequently, all AutoCAD commands – and even the features of third-party applications –understand the scanned object's precise geometry.

For More information and a consultation session with our engineers contact us at info@geotech3d.com

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