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As-b

built to BIM: De
etailed Reality
y Captu
ure for R
Revit
Scott Dia
az – kubit USA
A
Jörg Braunes – kubit GmbH, Germ
many

RC6768

This classs will review effective methods for mod deling point clo
oud data with hin Revit softw
ware. Learn h how
easy it is
s to explore annd manage point clouds withw ReCap so oftware and prrepare the da ata for work in
nside
Revit sofftware. In Revvit software yo
ou’ll discover various meth hods for extraacting intellige
ent 3D elemen nts
from billio
ons of points.. Demonstratiions will include effective p
practices you can use for d dealing with p
project
coordinaates, separatinng point cloudd regions, reppresenting thee data in varioous styles, annd extracting 3
3D
geometry y from the sca
an data. A ma ajor focus of the
t demonstra ation will be tthe generationn of new famiily
content (such
( as wind
dows or doors s) from laser scans.
s Learn effective pracctices for creaating various
shapes, as-built comp ponents, family objects, and more. This session will ffamiliarize you with the mo ost
compreh hensive point cloud and mo odeling metho ods in Revit s oftware, and you will learnn how to impro ove
your daily workflow with third-partyy software.

Learnin
ng Objectiv
ves
nd of this class, you will be able to:
At the en
 Unde
erstand the fu om field to BIM model
ull process, fro
 Learrn how to inse
ert, manage, and
a crop poin
nt clouds in Re
evit software
 Learrn how to crea
ate custom families and co
omponents fro
om scan data
 Learrn how to apply an effective
e workflow to create any s hape desired
d for building e
elements

About tthe Speake
er
Scott is director
d and owner
o of kubitt USA in Hous ston, Texas OOver the pastt 7 years Scottt has been
promotinng, developingg and teachin ng Autodesk based
b reality ccapture and rreality computing workflow ws
throughoout various ind
dustries. He anda his team have setup m major reseller relationshipss throughout thhe
US which h support kubbit’s efforts in offering Auto
oCAD and Re vit based pro oducts for as-b built capture a
and
design. Scott
S has a ba
ackground in business management an nd marketing with an MBA from Lamar
Universitty. He workedd previously asa technical marketing
m man nager for an AAutodesk 3rd party develop per
focused on industrial facility
f design n.
z@kubitusa.c
scott.diaz com

Jörg Braunes is produ uct manager at a kubit GmbH H in Dresden,, Germany. F For the past tw
wo years Jörg g has
managed d the develop pment of Reviit based realitty capture prooducts at kubiit in Dresden, Germany. Be efore
his activiities with kubiit, Jörg worke
ed as research h assistant att chair of com
mputer sciencee and architeccture
at Bauha aus-University y Weimar, Ge ermany. For over
o seven yeears he has ed ducated stude ents in realityy
capture techniques
t as
s well as conttributed in varrious researchh projects. Jö
örg holds a deegree in
Architectture from Bau uhaus-Univers sity Weimar with
w specializa ation in compputer-aided deesign and plan nning
methods s.
joerg.braaunes@kubit.de

.................. 4 Managing point clouds in Revit ................................................................................. 3 How does 3D–aser Scanning work?............. 1 About the Speaker ................................ 8 Behavour of point clouds in Revit .......................................................................................................... 16 2 ........................................................................................................................... 14 What can we expect in the future? ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7 The point cloud in Revit ..................................................................................................... 13 VirtuSurv with Revit link ............................................................................................................................................. 15 Pattern recognition of building elements.................................................................. 4 Registration ................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 11 Define additional sections and elevations for detailing ........... 15 Consideration of design conditions ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 5 Preparation of Scan data with Autodesk ReCap .................................................................................................... 6 Additional ReCap pro features ................................. 11 Modelling the overall geometry .................................................................. 7 Positioning options ........................................ 13 What can Revit not do with point clouds? .............................................................................................................. 9 Workflow: Scan to BIM ............................. As-built to BIM: Detailed Reality Capture for Revit Contents Learning Objectives ........... 10 Define vertical sections in the point cloud............................................................................................................... 1 Reality Computing – the process from field to BIM ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 10 Define levels for floor plans ............................................. 11 Creating new families and in-place components ................................................ 12 Enhanced Workflow using 3rd Party Applications ..........

multi-view w photogramm metry or rangee cameras. As. Figure 1: Laser L s3D X (left) and scannerr FARO Focus d range camerra DotProduct DPI-7 Handhe eld 3D Imagerr (right) 3 . the metthods and the e results to ca apture and mo odel real world objects in a digital enviironment. Sta ate of the art methods m of re eality capture are terrestria al laser scanning.built to BIM: D Detailed Realitty Capture forr Revit Reality Computin ng – the prrocess from m field to BIM Reality Coomputing includes the proc cess.

TThis registere ed point cloud d is now ready y to use for ev valuating in AutoCAD. In a next step s each inddividual point cloud c is regis stered to each h other. As. a horizontall angle and a vertical v angle.built to BIM: D Detailed Realitty Capture forr Revit How does 3D–aser Sca anning work k? Figure 2: To T capture a single s 3D coorrdinate the las ser scanner m measures for each point the distance.. As a rresult of the rregistration process one o point cloud data set witthin one coorrdinate system m is created. A 4 . Every single scan creates c a sing gle 3D point ccloud. Registration During a complete c projject the laser scanner is us sually placed on multiple ppositions to ge et a complete documenttation from all sites.

corn ners. An alternaative to targetts is to use na atural objects (planes. Dep pending on the covered object o and the e needed preccision this is usually u done b by placed targgets. The targ gets need to b be placed onn site before th he scanning process p starts s so that theyy are part of th he point cloud d. etc.built to BIM: D Detailed Realitty Capture forr Revit 6 indiv vidual scans Registerred Point Clou ud   To registe er the individu ual scans toge ether identicaal objects in eaach scan are needed. As. Managiing point cclouds in R Revit A typical laser scanning process is divided d our main partss: into fo  Capturing C the data d on site  Registration R off each individuual scan into a common re eference coorrdinate system m  Cleaning C and filtering f the ra aw scan data  Evaluating andd modelling 5 .) witthin the scan a as reference objects fo or the registrattion process.

The program supports most major scanner manufacturer formats as well as many industry neutral/standard formats. Including support for both laser scanning and photogrammetry. the user must import all registered files to the Autodesk ReCap program file formats. Figure 3: Autodesk ReCap with imported point cloud and scan view Autodesk ReCap provides a powerful interface for managing reality capture projects throughout the Autodesk product portfolio. Besides the conversion from raw scan data to the RCP format. In the Autodesk world there is now a new product that is used to prepare the point cloud called Autodesk ReCap Pro. The ability to handle billions and billions of points at high resolution makes it the perfect interface for scan management and project planning. ReCap will convert all scan positions from the scanner manufacturer’s format to Autodesk’s native RCS formats. ReCap also produces the new standard point cloud formats for Autodesk products. As-built to BIM: Detailed Reality Capture for Revit Usually a pre-processing tool that is shipped with the scanner hardware is used for registration and filtering the scan data. ReCap can also be used to measure distances and angles between planes that are automatically recognized in the point cloud. ReCap is the starting place for projects involving existing conditions survey data. When conversion is complete. If the scanner manufacturer’s software is used for scan registration. the user should save the newly imported scans as a new RCP project file. Preparation of Scan data with Autodesk ReCap Autodesk ReCap is the company's latest tool for reality capture management. 6 . ReCap provides powerful tools for cropping parts of the point cloud and organizes these in named regions. These formats are the RCS (reality capture scans) for individual scan files and RCP (reality capture project) which references all RCS positions.

u users can eassily “Unload” a and “Reload” the point p cloud in the ”Manage e Links” Dialog. the po oint cloud is no ot saved toge ether with the Revit projectt. but ttargets are sttill supported to improve point p cloud ac ccuracy. The e only way to work with smmaller parts off the point cloud in Revit is to export the e cropped parts p into new w RCS files that can be inse erted into Revvit. To T hide/unhid de all point clo ouds in all vie ews at once. It pro ct and seamle ess workflow from raw sca an data. This s way. alignned and desig gn ready poin nt clouds usable within varrious Autodes sk products.built to BIM: D Detailed Realitty Capture forr Revit Unfortunaately at the mo oment it is no ot possible to get access to o the named rregions once the RCP projject is inserted in nto Revit. thuss creating one e consistent ppoint cloud off an object sca anned from multiple m positio ons. 7 . Unlike traditional scann ning and regisstration. The pointt cloud in Rev vit After prep paring the point cloud data in ReCap it iss possible to insert the RC CP project or tthe single RC CS scans into o Revit as a linked file. As. Additiona al ReCap Pro features In addition n to the free ReCap R feature es for import//conversion/sccan manipula ation. Auto odesk ReCap Pro does nott require physsical targets in n the ovides a direc field. to reggistered. the pro version also supports the t registratio on of raw scann data. There aree no targets rrequired. RReCap Pro usses so-called cloud to clou ud or scan to sc can registratio on to align the e scans to each other.

As A a result. Positionin ng options Various option are avaailable in the “link point clou uds” dialog op ptions regardiing how the p point cloud sh hould d in the projec be placed ct:  Origin O to Origin n Revit R places thhe point cloud d's world origin. i. The best way w to work with w real world d coordinates s is the option n “by shared ccoordinates” a after defining such a shared system. p  Center C to Centter Revit R places thhe center of th he point cloud d bounding bo ox at the centter of the bounding box of the model. If using u the “Cennter to Centerr” option userrs will lose the e reference to o survey coordinate e system.. This option bec comes enable ed after one point p cloud is inserted. The ppoint cloud wiill be orriented so thaat the north diirection in the e cloud file (0.  Origin O to last placed p Revit R places thhe next importted point clou ud consistentlly with the pre eviously impoorted point clo oud. m  Shared Coordiinates Revit R assumes s that the coordinates in the point cloud file are speciified in the sh hared coordinate sy ystem used in n the model. As. gly recommen It is strong nded not to us se “Center to Center!” Poin nt clouds are measuremen nts in a define ed coordinate e system.e. Perform th he point cloud d registration with real-worrld coordinate es in the prefe erred pre- processing tool 8 . (0. ReCap as s desktop app plication is not necessary but b it is stronggly recommennd because ussers have bettter control ov ver resulting point p clouds as a well as addditional croppi ng and mana agement capa abilities. at the Revit projectt origin that ca an be se een as a proje ect base poin nt in the site plan.0)) point.0. In th hat case a hiddden ReCap sta arts in the background to index the raw scan data. 1. s Use U the follow wing workflow w to define a shared s coordi nate system: 1. th he point cloud d origin will be e placed at the origin of thee sh hared coordin nates that cann be accessed d through the e Survey Base e Point. T The resulting R RCP can then n insert into R Revit.built to BIM: D Detailed Realitty Capture forr Revit Next to the RCP/RCS insert it is also possible to choose differrent raw data formats.0) will be m mapped to thee True North o of the Revit R model.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work with linked point clouds directly. Create a simple CAD file with the same coordinates (e. As-built to BIM: Detailed Reality Capture for Revit 2. This macro source code can be found in the additional class materials. But it is possible to use a simple Revit Macro to acquire coordinates from point clouds. In the Revit Manage Ribbon choose Project Location  Aquire Coordinates and select the linked CAD file. Now move and/or rotate the CAD file so that the project north is aligned to the building outline 5.g. The presentation of the point cloud is view dependent. The following different color options are available for point clouds:  RGB … the point clouds is presented with the colors taken from the scanner camera  Single Color  Intensity … the intensity from the reflected laser beam  Elevation … color coded elevation of each point cloud point  Normals … normal are calculated during the indexing process in ReCap. Link this CAD file into Revit with the “Center to Center” option 4. Each normal color represents a different planar orientation of a point cloud region. move. Now the shared coordinate system is aligned to the internal coordinate system of the CAD file 6. That means users can adjust the presentation in each single view with the “View  Visibility/Graphics” command. Behavior of point clouds in Revit Point Clouds in Revit behave as any other model element. rotate and even mirror (do this only if needed) point clouds. in AutoCAD with the loaded point cloud to the WCS) 3. Insert the point cloud with the “by Shared Coordinates” option. “Acquire Coordinates” is a nice feature to set up the shared coordinate system based on a linked file. If working with ReCap project files (RCP) it is possible to control the visibility of each single scan. 9 . Users can select.

Define ve ertical section ns in the poinnt cloud If starting with a stan ndard Revit teemplate prede efined levels are already eestablished. 10 . UUsers may ad dapt these levvels to the poiint cloud data a or create neew levels if ne eeded. The be est way of doing this is tot start with a new section through the p point cloud. As. but in n principle the e process is a always the same. This workflow shhould be adapted to each project. Workflow: Scan tto BIM For each as-built project in Revit users will follow w several step ps to prepare the data befoore modelling can begin. Define vertical v Define levels Modelling overall Define a aligned Families and in- sections geometry g elevattions p place compon nents Most actio ons in Revit are a based on a planar view w (plan view. L Limit the view range ofo the section line in the ma anner that soo the elevation n of each leveel is easy to recognize in the resulting section view. ssection or elevation).built to BIM: D Detailed Realitty Capture forr Revit The visibility of the poin nt cloud can be b adjusted with w the view rrange of clipp ping box properties. Thesse views mustt be setup befo ore modellingg can commen nce.

o but only o on the ac ctive work plan ne. Tyype a name foor the referenc ce plane in the properties p palette. start wwith a referennce plane. This will make walls w more dis stinguishable. Revvit provides twwo different snnapping typess: point snaap and planar snap. Modelling g the overall geometry or plan view users In the floo u can eassily start to tra ace over the wwall. The firrst snaps dire ctly to a singlle point cloudd point. To create e aligned elevaations to partts of the pointt cloud. Define addditional secttions and elev vations for deetailing To inserrt all other buiilding element it is essentiaal to define addditional secttions and interior elevations. Revit use es the planarr snap optionss automaticallly if it finds a pla ane. Both B options work w only on the active woork plane! In a floor plan view this is typ pically the leve el for which w that the e view is base ed on. but userss can also togggle between these option s with the [tab b] key.built to BIM: D Detailed Realitty Capture forr Revit Define lev vels for floor plans In the section s view begin b adaptin ng the predefi ned levels annd move them m to the point cloud. 11 . As. As A a modellin ng assist. columnss and other ve ertical ascending geometry. No ow add a new w elevation. This is important to o attach the elevation to the referennce plane. Set a small s offset to o the bottom range r to hide all point cloud points on th he floor. The second options o searchhes for a poin nt on an avera age plane in tthe point cloud d which is perpendic cular to the active work pla ane. If work king in a 3d vie ew it is also p possible to usse the snappin ng options. If choosing the option “Attacch to Grid” the e elevation will snap to th he named refference plane e. Go G to a floor plan p where the e part of interrest is visible and draw a re eference plan ne which is s aligned to the point cloud points (don’tt forget to use e point cloud ssnapping). The view range shhould also be e adapted in tthe floor plan view. or create new w levels.

. With seveeral aligned elevations it is easy to crea te in-place coomponents. Th he roof was then modelled d as an in-plac ce mass with several s profile es. Creating n new families and in‐place e componentss g with point clo If working ouds from old may be requirred to create many individual d buildings it m building elements e and new families which are no ot already in th he existing R Revit databasee. Have a look to the follo owing pictures s. W With the “Far CClip Offset” prroperty (foundd in the prope erties palette o of the elevatioon view) userrs can adjust tthe thicknesss of the slice through the pooint cloud tha at seen in the elevation view w. the design starte ed with severa al reference planes and aligned a elevattions: The “Far Clip C Offset” was w set to only y a few centimmetres to get thin slices. As. After finish hing the masss element the e roof could b be created eassily with the “R Roof by Face” tool. To create the roof of the e awning. 12 .built to BIM: D Detailed Realitty Capture forr Revit Create aligned elevatio ons as often as a possible to o get planar viiews to everyy needed part of the point cloud. In the t sections and a elevation views tracingg directly overr geometry is simple while using point ccloud snapping.

loadable families from point cloud data. Revit cannot load point clouds into the family editor. The previous topic illustrates a 13 . A scan view provides often a more intuitive and easier navigation compared to a complete point cloud  No point cloud support in the family editor While working in as-built projects much time will be spent modelling new. Revit is not able to insert point cloud data directly into the family editor. Users must first define a plane before snapping directly to the point cloud  No scan view available A scan view is the presentation of all points that one scan has captured in a photo-like representation. Now save this group: in the project browser open the “Groups  Model” entry and click on the group name with right mouse button  “Save Group”. As-built to BIM: Detailed Reality Capture for Revit If users need to create new. custom families. Enhanced Workflow using 3rd Party Applications What can Revit not do with point clouds? The previous topics illustrate the basic functionalities on how to model from point clouds in Revit. however. Besides these great capabilities Revit also has limits:  No real 3d snapping to point clouds The point cloud snapping works only on the active work plane. a similar workaround in Revit is needed. it is possible to start with an in-place family. This group will be saved as a RFA file that will open as a loadable family or insert in a loadable family template. Model some elements needed for the family and create a group from these elements (it is important to create this group within the in-place family editor). Unfortunately.

VirtuSurv is a standalone application that works only with scan views. VirtuSurv with Revit link VirtuSurv is one example of 3rd party software which can eliminate all of these limitations in Revit. Beyond this. beams or columns with a few clicks in the scan view. it is also possible to import point clouds regions directly into the family editor to use it as a modelling reference. Figure 4: How VirtuSurv with Revit link works: Sending of coordinates and commands directly to a Revit addin Besides the building elements users may also create modelling guides (model lines. construction points or free work planes) for easily detailing a Revit model. The Revit link connects these scan views to Revit and gives users the possibility to create major architectural elements like walls. As-built to BIM: Detailed Reality Capture for Revit workflow to create loadable families via grouping of in-placed family objects. The guides are drawn in 3D so it is not necessary to first define a work plane. doors. Clicking within the VirtuSurv scan view sends 3d model lines and work planes to the Revit family template. but this method is awkward. Modelling guides can also be used directly inside the family editor. 14 .

but unfortunately rather unrealistic. 15 . locate all of the elements. As-built to BIM: Detailed Reality Capture for Revit Figure 5: Modelling of a window family with loaded point cloud regions into the family editor What can we expect in the future? Pattern recognition of building elements The paramount wish on the software developer is no doubt for fully-automatic and flawless pattern recognition of building elements: the software should analyze the whole point cloud. recognize their type and fit the position and parameters optimally onto the observed data. This is a rather appealing notion.

Optimized workflows are therefore required. As-built to BIM: Detailed Reality Capture for Revit However an implementable solution would offer semi-automatic pattern recognition. Consideration of design conditions Scan-to-BIM means more than the precise positioning of the right building elements and types. Happy scanning! 16 . Even architectural components possess. through their diversity. a large number of parameters which results in a very time consuming optimization process. For example:  Orthogonal wall axes  Minimal number of different building element types  Compliance of wall alignment Under these conditions it will be the tasks for the future to find workflows to get the precise shape of all building elements with little manual effort and with consideration of design conditions at the same time. The resulting BIM-model has to follow typical design conditions that are imposed by a design software like Revit. The amount of user input is reduced to a minimum. size and/or type of the building element to be recognized by the system would be predefined by the user. The function of the system is to minimize the distance between the surface of the object and the point cloud by adjusting the object’s parameters. but at the same time the object should be recognized quickly and robustly by the software. The industry and the kubit team on the way to find the solution. where the specific acceptance of the position.