Posted by: Dan Cutler | February 15, 2012

Point Clouds for Everyone

You’ll notice that last time I didn’t commit to anything as foolish as a post each week, phew!
Already we find ourselves in a freezing February, eagerly awaiting springtime wondering what happened to January (I overheard someone wishing a friend happy new year on February 1st, totally missed that boat).

As the year progresses and Pointools gets used to our new home in the City of London (marvel at sunset picture) I am also learning more about the big Bentley point cloud plan. I sat in on a demonstration of Descartes SS3 point cloud capability by Benoit Frederique which, to me, made the world of point clouds seem a little brighter.

Bentley’s commitment to point cloud integration is equalled by Benoit’s enthusiasm and it is not unfounded. The Descartes team have developed some great tools to aid the scan to model workflow; the flashlight for example allows the user to work in a 3D view and snap accurately in the knowledge that they have the correct point, every time. Another tool that grabbed my attention was the drape tool; draw a line in plan view and with one button press you can drape it across the point cloud making a section in seconds.

These tools might seem superficial to you, but when combined with the other point cloud tools and traditional 2D + 3D drawing + modelling tools at the user’s disposal, the stakes are being raised and the future direction of ‘scan to model’ becomes a little clearer.

So that is a bit about Bentley, but AutoDesk and any other CAD software company you care to think of are jumping on the point-cloud-train too. It will be interesting to see what rises from the ashes of Alice Labs and if they had enough time to get it into AutoCAD 2013…

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