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Scan To BIM : Insert and Index Point Clouds in Revit


First of all, you have to get the point cloud or laser scans into Revit has changed slightly, here are the steps you need to prepare them.


Then, these are the steps To Consider before Importing into Revit:


  • Review whether you need to break the scans/point cloud up or partition them off in a meaningful way. Ex. By Floor, By Wing, By Key Sections
  • Resolutions - Consider a hi-res and a low-res version of the same scan (higher vs. lower decimation).
  • Makes for working in Revit faster when higher resolution data is not really needed.
  • What kind of modeling accuracy are you attempting to get.
  • Geometry - Profile Walls (will these all be 90 degrees and test that deviation is "not too far off".
  • Geometry - Create walls with slope to match the point cloud.
  • There are many more items to consider based on your specific needs but these are a few of the more general items to consider and think about.
  • To get these models into Revit, you will typically generate or receive one of the raw point cloud formats, these include: 3dd, .asc, .d3, .dr, .e57, .fls, .fws, .ixf, .las, .las84, .mpc, .obj, .ptx, Start by selecting Insert Point Cloud from within Revit.


Browse to your Point Cloud file (assuming you only have the raw format type as shown above) and choose RAW formats from the file type dropdown.


After picking your RAW format, you will be promted with a pop-up called Point Cloud File Indexing. Adjust any settings needed (ex. Import Units, File Location, etc...) when ready pick the "Start Indexing" button.


This dialog will continue to run as it converts the Raw Format to a binary indexed file (usually a smaller file size that is quicker for Revit to use) of a .rcp (project, all scans together) and/or .rcs (individual scans where applicable).


Note: This will take some time to convert, from minutes to hours depending on the file size. In the meantime you can continue to work within Revit until this is ready to insert. When complete we can insert this into Revit, using the Insert Point Cloud button:


When inserting the first point cloud, you have three options for positioning placement:


  • Auto - Center to Center.
  • Auto - Origin to Origin.
  • Auto - By Shared Coordinates.
  • Typically you will use Center to Center. Review based on your specific needs for correct insertion/adjustiment as needed.
  • After you place the first point cloud, if you have another to insert you will be given a fourth option "Auto - Origin to Last Placed".
  • Using this, as the name implies, will insert the Point Cloud based on the insertion placement of the last point cloud. This is useful as long as your point clouds are all using a common origin point, if they are not you may need to manually adjust the placement


This short video shows IMAGINiT's Scan to BIM in use checking modeled pipes in Revit against a point cloud.



Insert and Index Point Clouds in Revit