KTKArch

Point Cloud import is the future for As-built

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So I just returned from a demonstration of current high tech and its use in the future of home design.

I must say, Point Clouds from laser scans are the way to go.

Sure the high end is 1/4 million $ scanners and drones/aircraft. But even a $75K backpack scanner at the right resolution will take a 6-hour site measure and office drafting time down to a 30-minute walkthrough/around and 1 - 2 hours in the office for 3D overlay.

Can't put out $75K...hire it out and markup 3rd party's price for the walkthrough. You not only get the building but the topography as well. Fences, trees, and neighboring buildings will get picked up. Great for landscaping and the all-important tree schedule. You will be able to simply measure tree trunks at whatever height the local jurisdiction requires from the comfort of your desk.

If you find any boundary markers. Put a recognizable 3D item over them to locate them in the point cloud. Want to verify the scale of the point cloud? Measure one or more items that you can verify later and scale as needed. Better resolutions reduce and eliminate this but dramatically increase your file size.

So a good scan will be within a 1/2" of accuracy and you know those pesky double-thick interior walls you can't get to? Or that one that goes off at an angle or stairs that follow a curving wall. No guessing the radius or if there are multiple slopes on the roof. Its all in the point cloud at less than half the time and cost of hand measuring.

Still can't 'see' it? Watch when the countertop installer measures up the next kitchen with one. The countertop fits like a glove after a simple scan is fed into the CNC machine. If the countertop installer can make it work we can too. 

 

So Chief Architect, when are you going to simplify importing point clouds into CA?

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I am wondering....if you are scanning a house or office does it include every thing that is in the room in the scan  (such as a dresser or the homeowners cat)

How would these "point cloud" items get separated from the actual building.? Seems like you would need an empty building to get a useable As-built.

 

Thanks,

Eric

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I thought I could do this back in 2005 using Photogrammatic software

 

It just wasn't feasible then

 

maybe now ?

 

Lew

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17 hours ago, KTKArch said:

Watch when the countertop installer measures up the next kitchen with one. The countertop fits like a glove after a simple scan is fed into the CNC machine. If the countertop installer can make it work we can too.

Not the best example IMO. So far I've never had a counter guy using a computer and laser get it right when install came-never. The best templates I get are from the guy who shows up with sheets of foam core and a matte knife-perfect every time. But hey- I use a laser and laptop for field measures now and get it to work fine and fast.

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4 hours ago, architect said:

I am wondering....if you are scanning a house or office does it include every thing that is in the room in the scan  (such as a dresser or the homeowners cat)

How would these "point cloud" items get separated from the actual building.? Seems like you would need an empty building to get a useable As-built.

 

Thanks,

Eric

The example shown at the conference was of the entire railroad station complex for Pike's Peak. These were historical buildings and the system they used captured everything. All the as-built company needed was the building info so they could just put their Revit walls, floors, ceilings between the frames made by the points. Since an overlay photo was created with the point cloud scan it was easy to discern wall planes from 'clutter' but this is also possible without the photo. Then doors and windows can be made to look like the ones in the scan. Even historical moldings were captured and recreated by cutting the sections as needed. And everything in the point cloud is measurable at any view angle. The resolution of the scan showed the joint depths of the stone retaining walls. If you need to remove cats and desks just group select and delete. There is always enough wall left to define the as-built cad locations.

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3 hours ago, MarkMc said:

Not the best example IMO. So far I've never had a counter guy using a computer and laser get it right when install came-never. The best templates I get are from the guy who shows up with sheets of foam core and a matte knife-perfect every time. But hey- I use a laser and laptop for field measures now and get it to work fine and fast.

Resolution and accuracy is the key to point clouds. Those counter guys are skipping that part to keep files small or using inferior scanners.

Whether its a pencil or a computer/laser it's only as good as the operator. In I.T. we called this "PEBKAC" Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair.

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4 hours ago, lbuttery said:

I thought I could do this back in 2005 using Photogrammatic software

 

It just wasn't feasible then

 

maybe now ?

 

Lew

May 2019: The Pikes Peak Railroad Station complex was scanned in 3 days. CAD As-built was completed in about a week (two employees). It did take a quadcore computer at least 24 hours to compile the 600+ GB point cloud scan as there were a hundred plus scan locations. They now have a measurable photo record of these historical buildings. 1/2" max variance in accuracy. They hired the $250K scanner @ a "known friend's" deal of $2k per day, high cost, but you can't hand measure a 10+ acre site and multiple buildings in that time frame for that price. This final scan showed stone joints, sagged roofs, railroad tracks, trees, anything that was there at that time. In a photo-realistic file that looked much like a Chief 3D model. Just made up of billions of points where the 'paint' surface was on each object.

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feasible for large scale projects

 

but probably not for a residence or small commercial project

 

Lew

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1 hour ago, lbuttery said:

but probably not for a residence or small commercial project

I had to climb up into my clients attic last week :)

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11 minutes ago, Renerabbitt said:

I had to climb up into my clients attic last week :)

That made my day.

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50 minutes ago, Renerabbitt said:

I had to climb up into my clients attic last week :)

Good to know.  What do you charge to do that ? 

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1 minute ago, JJohnson said:

Good to know.  What do you charge to do that ? 

Depends on what I did to deserve to be up there.

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5 minutes ago, JJohnson said:

Good to know.  What do you charge to do that ? 

I just realized your local to me and that might've been a legitimate question, haha. That one was a throwaway but would typically incorporate it in as built drawings if required. Saved the client a ton as the structure confirmed my instinct. Simple point load from a California roof could be hung from a new beam with a short span to make a great room..also discovered a drop ceiling that was dropped for no reason.

No way a scanner is picking up details like that.

A scanner also can't point out possible dryrot or a door that's binding or a leaky faucet etc. So many reasons to get someone you trust with eyes on site measurements.

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45 minutes ago, Renerabbitt said:

...Saved the client a ton as the structure confirmed my instinct. Simple point load from a California roof could be hung from a new beam with a short span to make a great room..also discovered a drop ceiling that was dropped for no reason.

No way a scanner is picking up details like that.

A scanner also can't point out possible dryrot or a door that's binding or a leaky faucet etc. So many reasons to get someone you trust with eyes on site measurements.

You should have seen these files. The scan picked up failing/bowed rafters/trusses. It's all in where you take the scanner. An odd space like the dropped ceiling would be easily found and investigated with eyes focused on all the specific/various discrepancies showing up. It will also find walls out of square much faster than hand measuring with.

Until costs come down significantly we will always find a point where handwork will outperform technology. But that will diminish along with cost and familiarity.

As the scan is doing the measurements faster, you are left with more time for discovery.

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3 hours ago, lbuttery said:

feasible for large scale projects

 

but probably not for a residence or small commercial project

 

Lew

Hi Lew,

Another project they presented was of a church's education building that they wanted to alter a few classrooms to get a dropoff counter installed. In 35 minutes the 3rd party $75K backpack scanner they hired was walked through and around the building. They paid $80 for the point cloud file and the entire 3000 sf building was documented. A few more hours and the entire building as-built was done in 3D CAD (Revit). The presenter said he 'runs away' from scans that are 1 or more inches out of wack, so resolution and experience is a must when you have scanning done. But small projects can be cost-effective if you manage it right and have the right tools. A CAD program that can pull in point clouds is definitely one of the right tools.

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2 minutes ago, KTKArch said:

They paid $80 for the point cloud file and the entire 3000 sf building was documented. A few more hours and the entire building as-built was done in 3D CAD (Revit).

So here's my issue, that 3D CAD is still just vectors, it carries no information..its dumb, like a sculpture. I still have to go trace over it. Yes its amazing, yes I'm super impressed and it's got everyone pitching..but, Instead of looking at the scribble on my page that says 3068 I have to pull a 3d view and dimension tool to scale a 3' door opening, c'mon...that's not fast, I don't care who is telling me it is. Until the software can be node based so I drop a designation into geometry and have it generate an assembly...how the heck is it going to help me for a 2000 sq ft home that I'm adding 499 sq. ft to?(California anyone?)

 

Next part that they are forgetting to mention..the interstitial setup, calling a scanning contractor/renting the device, scheduling the contractor, coordinating with the client, having the scan processed on their servers, uploading to my software, interpreting the building...not to mention that their is time wasted when you have access to too much information...I'd venture a guess that 10's of 1000's of hours were wasted by drafters trying to figure out how to create prettier renders this last year with all the new PBR tools...myself included.

 

I can walk out of my office at 9 am to go measure/draft and have an as-built by mid afternoon. 4 walls is 4 mouse clicks, I'm drawing square rooms..even if the walls were out of plumb I wouldn't care unless it was a wall I was touching. County doesn't require you to have a 100% accurate home to illustrate an addition in the backyard....Can't remember the last time I saw an accurate as-built plan on record. It's just not necessary, in fact, I could probably get most of my plan-sets through on a blank piece of paper, honestly, I draft sometimes out of routine when I really could just walk into the counter and tell them I want to put some dropoff counters in this church I'm working with.

 

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45 minutes ago, Renerabbitt said:

So here's my issue, that 3D CAD is still just vectors, it carries no information..its dumb, like a sculpture. I still have to go trace over it. Yes its amazing, yes I'm super impressed and it's got everyone pitching..but, Instead of looking at the scribble on my page that says 3068 I have to pull a 3d view and dimension tool to scale a 3' door opening, c'mon...that's not fast, I don't care who is telling me it is. Until the software can be node based so I drop a designation into geometry and have it generate an assembly...how the heck is it going to help me for a 2000 sq ft home that I'm adding 499 sq. ft to?(California anyone?)

 

Next part that they are forgetting to mention..the interstitial setup, calling a scanning contractor/renting the device, scheduling the contractor, coordinating with the client, having the scan processed on their servers, uploading to my software, interpreting the building...not to mention that their is time wasted when you have access to too much information...I'd venture a guess that 10's of 1000's of hours were wasted by drafters trying to figure out how to create prettier renders this last year with all the new PBR tools...myself included.

 

I can walk out of my office at 9 am to go measure/draft and have an as-built by mid afternoon. 4 walls is 4 mouse clicks, I'm drawing square rooms..even if the walls were out of plumb I wouldn't care unless it was a wall I was touching. County doesn't require you to have a 100% accurate home to illustrate an addition in the backyard....Can't remember the last time I saw an accurate as-built plan on record. It's just not necessary, in fact, I could probably get most of my plan-sets through on a blank piece of paper, honestly, I draft sometimes out of routine when I really could just walk into the counter and tell them I want to put some dropoff counters in this church I'm working with.

 


Amen brotha!

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So, how would CA show a sagging roof or a wonky wall where the thickness is variable depending on what mood the plasterer was in?

 

It's a problem. CAD is great at new, prefectly straight or perfectly curved things, less good at 400 year old houses where every. single. thing. is out of whack. A point cloud would pick that up for sure, but how is that going to be translated into CA? I'm guessing this is a similar problem to computer generated music, where quantise levels can be set to bring something robotically 'perfect' into something humanly 'musical' or 'real'.

 

My poor head, this might be something I leave for the next generation of whizz-kids unless they can make it really simple for me...

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Is this what you are looking for?

Goodbye, Tape Measures.
Hello, Accuracy in 3D.

HOVER transforms smartphone photos into beautifully rendered and fully measured 3D models of any home.

 

https://hover.to/

 

 

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6 hours ago, Sydney23 said:

So, how would CA show a sagging roof or a wonky wall where the thickness is variable depending on what mood the plasterer was in?

 

It's a problem. CAD is great at new, prefectly straight or perfectly curved things, less good at 400 year old houses where every. single. thing. is out of whack. A point cloud would pick that up for sure, but how is that going to be translated into CA? ...

 

 

You call out an interesting issue. The Point Cloud will definitely show the items that are out of whack. Your as-built will have to have some kind of key that describes how you are going to show what and where the wonky issues are. Until we get spline-based and out of plumb walls. But what you really have uncovered is where the issues are and how big a problem they might pose to your client. This way the client isn't 'surprised' by the contractor's change order because something isn't as assumed because the as-built was 'drawn w/ perfect walls'.

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1 hour ago, parkwest said:

Is this what you are looking for?

Goodbye, Tape Measures.
Hello, Accuracy in 3D.

HOVER transforms smartphone photos into beautifully rendered and fully measured 3D models of any home.

 

https://hover.to/

 

 

Hover is a good start point for an as-built.  It is a true cad model and not a point cloud of course. It doesn't include any topography or landscaping.

 

It offers little for interior remodel needs at this point. It also requires your time to go out and get the pictures unless your client can do it for you.

 

I'm asking for the ability to pull a 3rd party point cloud file into CA so that a drafter can 'trace' in 3D using CA. And a true point cloud is measurable. Each and every point has an x,y,z coordinate so pulling a dimension from one point to another is as accurate as the service you hired. This will make 'tracing' very simple, swift and accurate.

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Just now, KTKArch said:

 

I'm asking for the ability to pull a 3rd party point cloud file into CA so that a drafter can 'trace' in 3D using CA. And a true point cloud is measurable. Each and every point has an x,y,z coordinate so pulling a dimension from one point to another is as accurate as the service you hired. This will make 'tracing' very simple, swift and accurate.

 

If you hire a scanning firm, you can bill them out with mark-up, make a profit and still be working on other projects while the whole house scan is being done. The same goes for the draftsperson/service you hire to 'trace' the point cloud into CA. So the scan and trace take minimal time from you for coordination of the team. Your client gets a thorough scan and as-built of their complete house for less than you can personally do in the same amount of time. And you complete more work in office raising your productivity on other projects as well.

 

Is this more than you need to get the project drawings done? Very likely. Have you overperformed for your client at a lower cost? Most likely. Has it slowed you down or distracted you from your office's total production. Less than likely.

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What about inside measurements, I need that on every project I do? Sorry It doesn't work for  me.

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1 hour ago, DRAWZILLA said:

What about inside measurements, I need that on every project I do? Sorry It doesn't work for  me.

Hover doesn't appear to do inside dimensions.

 

A point cloud file is measurable between any of its millions of points. And these measurements can be taken while in any "2D" or "3D" view because each point has x,y,z coordinate values. So the accuracy of your scanner contractor is important. Scans at inaccuracies greater than +/-1/2" will not be a good value.

 

If the point scanner 'saw' the interior items you wish to measure, you can. And even answer esoteric things like: how far the bed is from a dresser or window... That chandelier hangs how far from the cathedral ceiling... The fence was how far from the corner of the house... the tree's caliper size, height, dripline... Was it a 3-3/4" crown molding or a 5" and what was its profile? How big was that owner's cat...

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