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(@dbussie)
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Hi, everyone.  I am turning to this forum again hoping for some direction.  My company is using a Trimble SX10 to do scans of gas/oil plants.  We have learned how to use Trimble Business to bring the data in and are providing a Navisworks file to our client.  The problem is that because the scan yields a 3d model consisting of points, the client and others who look at it think it is pixelated.

I have no idea where to head from here.  What we would like to do is smooth out the model so it looks like pipes and other objects are solid.  I just don't know which program to work with to achieve that effect.  We have the Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite which contains Navisworks, 3DS Max, Recap, Civil 3D and so forth.  We also have Trimble Business.  

I have tried using a point cloud from ReCAp to build a surface in Civil 3D but the surface looks flat.  It triangulates but does not have any actual rise to top of tanks and so forth.

If someone could recommend a software and point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate the help.  I am hoping to not have to spend a lot of time learning a program to find out that it isn't what I was needing.

Thanks in advance!

Desi Bussie

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twdotson
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I have tried using a point cloud from ReCAp to build a surface in Civil 3D but the surface looks flat.

Civil3D may be good for your ground surface, but maybe not so much for the pipes, tanks, etc.  Assuming your data is in the industry standard LAS (or LAZ) format, you can grab the freeware at this blog post:

Civil3D: Lidar Straight To TinSurface

Then specify the proper classification for your tanks (6=Buildings?).

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leegreen
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There is software to create 3d cad features from point cloud data. They are not cheap, are not 100% automation it is not a conversion, and all require formal training. TopoDOT is the most popular around here, but it only works with Microstation. I'm sure Trimble and AutoDesk have similar applications, but I don't use them.

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Thank you.  I've discovered how expensive those softwares are so I have been looking into the Autodesk options since we already have it and I am thinking we may be able to do the 3ds max.  Thanks again for the tip.

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Lee D
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If you have the full Civil suite then Plant 3D is your best bet for modeling piping, etc. Cloudworx or FARO's As-Built (formerly Kubit) would work too but you probably already have Plant 3D.

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Thank you!  That helps a lot.

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