PointCloud Pro


Fast access to billions of points in AutoCAD: PointCloud supports the visualisation and analysis of millions of 3D points within AutoCAD. When used within AutoCAD 2011, this is expanded up to 2 Billion points with the AutoCAD PCG format.

As the use of 3D Laser Scanners for recording industrial structures, historic buildings and sculptures increase, there is a need to be able to combine the resultant point cloud with other information such as photographs and vector data to produce complete records and possibly CAD drawings.

Running within the latest versions of AutoCAD, PointCloud reads most common data formats (see page 2). The Free Edition for AutoCAD 2011 imports these formats to AutoCAD PCG allowing any AutoCAD user to view their data within AutoCAD.


PointCloud and AutoCAD manage the number of points displayed on the screen to ensure optiimum display and making it easier for the operator to work with the cloud.

The number of displayed points is reduced during pan and orbit commands to ensure a swift transition between views.

PointCloud includes a “section manager” enabling the operator to divide the cloud into manageable portions for processing or visualisation. Single or multiple slices may be created with ease. Complex polygons may also be defined.

With oriented images loaded, the operator may use high resolution imagery to locate and trace details whilst PointCloud provides the full 3D location from the cloud data.


Any of the points within the cloud may be picked during AutoCAD drawing commands via the “Node” snap. However due to the nature of pointcloud data, it is usually best to use some form of “fitting” to create drawings and models.

Planes may be fitted to whole sections of the cloud. By applying a UCS, the operator may create an ortho view or “trace” on this plane within the cloud. Plane intersections may be calculated allowing corners to be found quickly.

For creating plans and elevations, lines or polylines may be “best fitted” to the displayed cloud section.

Pipework may be modelled quickly with cylinders being “best fitted” to the cloud and centre lines of adjacent cylinders connected automatically. Diameters of pipework may be edited and the endpoints stretched to allow pipes to be joined using either diameter reducers or elbows.


The native file format of PointCloud is the PTC file. Alternatively the software may use the AutoCAD PCG format allow- ing much larger clouds to be used.

Manufacturers that currently export PTC files directly:

  • FaroScene (FARO)
  • Ilris3D-Parser (Optech)
  • Polyworks (Inovmetric)
  • Reconstructor (JRC/Topotek)
  • RealWorksSurvey (Trimble)

Orthophotos that have been created using the following systems may be imported;

  • RealWorks Survey (Trimble)
  • Reconstructor (JRC/Topotek)
  • RiScanPro (Riegl LMS)

Oriented images (scanposimages, un- distorted images) created in the follow- ing systems may be imported;

  • RiScanPro (Riegl LMS)
  • Reconstructor (JRC/Topotek)
  • PointCloud can also orientate images internally

Multiple images may also be used to infill areas where the point cloud data is incomplete.


The Free Edition of PointCloud is provided to allow AutoCAD 2011 users to be able to import any of the supported formats into AutoCAD.

Whilst AutoCAD 2011 supports point cloud data with it’s own PCG format, the number of formats that may be imported without additional software is limited to LAS, and Faro formats.

The PointCloud Free Edition expands this to allow the user to import any of the formats supported by PointCloud (see right) to create a PCG. (PTC files are not supported).

The Free Edition may be upgraded easily to the Basic or Pro editions adding the sectioning, modelling and image commands.

  • File Import (to PTC / PCG):
  • Load ASCII (includes XYZ, PTS)
  • Load Leica PTZ
  • Load orientated image**
  • RiScanPro (Riegl LMS)

Cloud Sectioning:

  • Slicing; single, multiple and shift
  • Bounding boxes
  • Polygons; include or exclude
  • Sections along a curve
  • Export Section to PTC


  • All points “Node” Snap
  • Fit outline plan **
  • Fit polygon **
  • Fit plane **
  • UCS from plane **
  • Extend planes **
  • Intersection of planes **
  • Cylinder fitting **
  • 3D Arcs and Circles
  • Clash detection (Cloud to 3D Solid)**

Modelling with Images

  • Orientate Image **
  • Set view to image **
  • Intersect point from 2 images **
  • 3D Drawing on Image **

** Pro Version only.


Download a trial.

July 17, 2011 | Comments Closed