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malcineurope

point cloud

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I am about to be sent a point cloud survey of a dock and ship within it. I am told that the file is 2.8GB so there must be a huge number of points. How can I go from this to a 3D model in FormZ I can actually use?

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Hi Malc,

 

That is a massive file that will probably be too big for formZ.  You should have them simplify / decimate the file first, and if possible, generate solid or surface data from the points before exporting to formZ...

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I understand but can FormZ deal with a point cloud and, if so what is likely to be the maximum usable number of points? Point clouds e.g. from Lidar data are becoming quite common, especially for terrain work and it would be useful to know what might be possible. At the moment I have an iMac with 16GB memory and a 3.4GHz I7 processor with an AMD Radeon HD6970M graphics card with 1024MB. If I were to upgrade the machine what would be the most effective thing to go for, faster processors, more memory, a better graphics card?

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In the above example I need to model the existing structure in order to fit new walkways and other structures within it and around and to the ship. I also need to be able to model the exterior of the ship so that I can work out weights etc for its support.  

In a wider context, I often use Lidar data with one or to million points to model terrain which I then use for cutting sections for landslide analysis. At the moment I use Mathematica for this. However, I would like to be able to use Formz so that I can model cut and fill operations and the placing of structures into this landscape.

Finally, the point cloud for the dock has arrived as a RCP and RCS file. Can this be imported into FormZ? My first attempts have failed :-(

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Malc,

 

You mentioned that the file might be 2.8Gb, which might easily contain tens of millions of points. The RCP and RCS files are proprietary to Autodesk, and are a relatively new format. It is likely you will need to get these files converted to a common point cloud format.

 

If you could get the data converted to a common format, there are very few applications that will read a file this large. If your client actually did the scanning themselves, they would probably also have the software to translate it to a different format, break it into smaller sections, or down sample the total number of points, so you could work with it.

 

If you will be handling more of these files in the future, you may need a dedicated point cloud surfacing application like Geomagic, RapidForm, Polyworks etc. There are a few applications that are architecture specific (I don't have any names off the top of my head) that will let you locate your data according to GPS or other coordinate systems.

 

Meshlab (free) can be useful for some point cloud related work, but I have found even the 64 bit version runs into some difficulty when there are millions of points.

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Hi ChrisD,

 

Nice first post (to the new forum)!  Yes, this is all correct and useful information for Malc, ;)

 

Malc,

 

Yes, as we mentioned previously, and as Chris confirms, you will need to have the client that did the scan reduce the complexity and preferably generate surface information before exporting in a common format that can be imported into formZ.

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