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7.02 Importing a point cloud

Point clouds are big data. To prevent Archicad from overloading its RAM, BIMmTool applies an intelligent method to only display in Archicad what's necessary, ensuring comfort in modeling and reviewing your project.


To start the import, choose the Point cloud import command in the BIMmTool Menu,

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or click the corresponding icon on the BIMmTool Palette.


Note

You'll be prompted to save your Archicad project file when initiating the import with a new project.

When importing a point cloud, BIMmTool generates a set of folders for the point cloud components. The libraries are created in the folder where your actual Archicad project is saved. 

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During the import process, it transforms the .e57 file into Archicad objects. It creates one .gsm file by camera position and up to eight different point cloud representations. The .gsm files are stored in the Point Cloud Library of Archicad, and the .gspc files take place in the BIMmTool Data/Point Cloud Data folder.

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Import a structured point cloud

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The point cloud folders

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The BIMmNavigator displays the point cloud in full resolution. It stores the corresponding data in the Navigator Point Cloud library, linked to the project automatically but without loading Archicad memory.

Archicad displays .gsm files that are saved in the Point Cloud Library.

You can change the path to the Point cloud folders in BIMmTool general Settings.


Object name

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BIMmTool automatically takes over the object name according to the location designations. If you wish to use a particular naming convention for the scans, you enter them in the import dialog.

Note: 
It is always possible to change the name of the scanner positions after the import in the scan position list of the BIMmNavigator.


Positioning the point cloud

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The imported point cloud origin will be placed on the project origin by default. If you want to manually set the point cloud location, select the radio button for Specify Point Cloud Origin location.


An Archicad camera has no floor assignment. Therefore, you must select the appropriate home story for the import.



Locking the point cloud

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After importing the point clouds, you may consider locking the point cloud objects and the placed cameras to avoid deleting or moving elements "by mistake".


Note: 
To unlock scan positions in Archicad, select them and go to Edit » Locking » Unlock.


Select layer

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You can also specify the layer to receive the scan data.



Once you have reviewed the options, hit Open to start the import process.


Import an unstructured point cloud


When importing a non-structured point cloud, you'll proceed in two steps. In addition to the previous method, it is necessary to specify some additional options.


Import the Preview

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Activate this checkbox to allow the import of unstructured files.

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Select Preview to allow BIMmTool to analyze the size of the unstructured file.


Hit Open to start the analysis.

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Complete the import

Once the point cloud preview is imported, launch the BIMmTool menu > Import Point Cloud command again and select the same .e57 file. BIMmTool recognizes it and unlocks additional parameters.

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Select this checkbox to divide the point cloud into blocks for easier processing.

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Review the size of these blocks. The number of scans will be adjusted.


Hit Open again to complete the point cloud import.