How to add heights & levels in point cloud-based floor plans using Undet software tools
Floor plans are the most important drawings for architects, engineers and designers, providing a two-dimensional view of spaces. Although very useful, traditional two-dimensional floor plans are not detailed enough to show the vertical dimensions of a building. For architects and designers to be able to understand the spatial dimensions of a building fully, floor plans must include elevations and levels.
The use of 3D laser scanning technology has revolutionized the capture of the environment, leading to a workflow for extracting floor plans from 3D scan data (point clouds). Using point cloud data to create accurate floor plans involves an integral process, especially when it is not enough to show the section line, but it is also necessary to visualize heights and levels. In this article, we will explore the steps and methods used to visualize heights and levels in point cloud-based floor plans.
Methods of adding height and level annotations
When adding height and level annotations to floor plans that are generated using point clouds, several techniques and instruments can be used to represent a building’s vertical dimensions accurately. Here are some commonly used methods, ranging from the very simple to the fastest and most advanced:
- Measurements in a 3D Point Cloud
- Measurements in Point Cloud Viewers
- Insert of dynamic level blocks by snapping to Point Cloud
- Inserting and adjusting advanced-level blocks with height values
- Scripting and automating annotation insertion
The best and fastest method for adding height and level annotations to floor plans depends on the needs of the project and the software being used, so let’s discuss all of them to simplify the choice:
Measurements in a 3D Point Cloud
A point cloud is a set of 3D points, and each point has coordinates. We can use measurement tools to measure these coordinates or the distances between points and insert the annotation values as a text object.
In ARES Commander, to get 3D point loud coordinates (levels), we can use the ID (GETXY) command with activated snapping to point cloud points. To get Heights (for example, Room Height or Door Height), we can use the Clip by Line tool with automatic view orientation and DI (GETDISTANCE) command to measure vertical distance.
Measurements in Point Cloud Viewers
Undet Browser is a specialized viewer that can display structured point clouds as panoramic 360-degree images. These types of applications often come with additional distance measurement tools that can help speed up the process of adding height and level annotations to drawings. They can also provide more information for simpler navigation of complex 3D data. The measurements obtained can then be easily copied as a text object into the drawing, making the process more efficient.
Insert dynamic level blocks by snapping them to Point Cloud
Using dynamic level blocks, it is possible to annotate floor plans created from point clouds quickly and easily with height and level annotations. This method uses dynamic blocks that can be easily snapped to the point cloud, ensuring accurate height values are displayed promptly. These blocks can have annotations for floor levels, ceiling levels, door head levels, and more, and they can be customized to fit various stylistic needs.
Inserting and adjusting advanced-level blocks with height values
Advanced-level blocks with specific height values can be inserted and adjusted to create more complex height annotations. This method provides a high level of customization and control over the representation of vertical dimensions. These blocks differ from regular dynamic blocks because they can show vertical distance values by adjusting vertical grips. With these blocks, we can create annotations for various vertical dimensions, such as the floor level and height of the room, the height of the door, or the distance from the floor to the window sill and from the window sill to the top of the window.
Scripting and automation using Undet Browser
The Undet Browser scripting feature enables you to automate your drawing annotation workflow by writing custom scripts or using pre-existing ones. With just a few clicks on the 360 panoramic views, you can add any annotation to your drawing, which will be inserted seamlessly. This method is suitable for adding height levels, room-door heights, mixed annotations (level + height), etc.
Software used in the video content:
- ARES Commander CAD software 2024 and Undet point cloud plugin for ARES Commander
- Point cloud viewer Undet Browser.
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