Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Few Million Points: Scan to BIM Getting Started with Revit 2011 Part 2

Scan to BIM is a product from IMAGINiT/Avatech Solutions with a fully functional 30 day free trial that you can use with Revit 2011 (Revit Architecture, Revit Structure and Revit MEP). Details for the monthly public webcast on Scan to BIM can be found here.

Getting started, if you have downloaded the Scan to BIM product (either free trial or purchased, in which case we say thanks!!!!) the first step is to Import your point cloud using the Scan to BIM Administrator (step by step details here).  With that done you are now ready to make use of Point Clouds inside of Revit. Let's use a video to walk through the concepts and details written out below:

Video Step by step:

Step by step:
  1. With Revit 2011 Open, go to the Add-ins tab and look for the section called Scan to BIM. We first need to tell Revit which Point Cloud we want to use in the project, to do this select the Setup button.
  2. Next, select your project and cloud from the list and choose OK
    1. Note: We are now ready to start working with the point cloud, at this point it will not be screen. We also may not be sure of the orientation, if this is the first time you are working with the point cloud follow along the next steps, if you have already done the setup and worked with it before you can skip ahead and start working like you were when you left off.
  3. From the Tools pulldown, choose Outline PointCloud. This will place a "box" around the extents of the point cloud using model lines. From this we can get a sense of where this is placed (based on the point cloud orientation and the Revit model). Choose OK, from the pop-up.
  4. Next from the Tool pulldown, choose Create Sections. This will prompt you for the number to place along the X and Y axis, as well as the depth of the section cut.  This helps us to understand the Z heights and how this relates to the current levels. Choose Ok.
  5. Select one of the Section Views that were just created to open
    1. If the level lines are not shown or off the screen, you may need to open an elevation view to extend the level lines to run through the box created in Step #3 above.
  6. With the Section View open, select the Update View button and set the decimation to the lower end (to the left) and choose update. This will take a brief moment and update to show the point clouds in the Section View.  
This gives us enough detail to understand where the Point Cloud is placed in relation to the X, Y & Z offset and compare to the Revit level lines. From here you can decide whether the levels need to match the point cloud (which you can use the reference tools to adjust the levels to match the model) or measure and within the Scan to BIM Administrator override the offset values (that is move the X, Y and/or Z value as well as the rotation of the point cloud) for a permanent change. 

Following along with the video we are using the Reference Point tool to pick a point through the point cloud and using the built-in modification tool ALIGN to match the level lines to the locations within the point cloud based on interacting with the points. 

This initial time it takes to go through the 6 steps above, typically only has to occur the first time you are working with the data as you get oriented with the point cloud. After this, you can just use the setup button and then update your working views and move on with the reference tools and geometry recognition for your Scan to BIM conversions. 

Feedback is great and if you have a specific workflow or Scan To BIM question take a moment to share in the comments. 



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