Thursday, August 25, 2011

FARO Point Cloud Indexing

Note to self: Remember to install the 32bit version of the FARO SDK (software developer kit) so that indexing a .fls point cloud source file will work.

When AutoCAD 2012 shipped (it ships a little earlier than Revit does each year) it apparently used a slightly older version of the FARO SDK so when I tried to use it to index some .fls files it failed with a somewhat useless message. Turns out that I installed the 64bit version of the SDK and it's the 32bit version that is needed and works. Once I installed that one it worked as expected. Revit supposedly doesn't suffer from this issue (the timing of the version used) but it too failed with an error message until I installed the 32bit SDK. If you see failure indexing in Revit, trying downloading and installing the 32bit version and see if it sets you right?

Download the SDK from FARO.
Download the SDK from Autodesk.

Btw, indexing in Revit "arbitrarily" places the cloud according to "center to center" (X,Y AND Zed), not origin. I believe this occurs because of the intention to keep the "model" near the Revit project origin. Once the first indexed file is loaded other files are supposed to use the same positioning so that they align properly (using the Import option: Same as Last Placed. The end result is point cloud data that is rather difficult to position correctly so that it will align with other software and data. Ugh...


simonbjork said...

Thank You!!! This information was crucial for me getting on whith my project. Building an 'as is' BIM-model for a property manager. Collaboration is still in 'beta'. Common objective is to create a showcase exploring the BIM-process in property management. I will come back to Your blog for more guidance.

Richard Hill said...

There is also a Scale Factor issue when the data has been correctly indexed into Revit 2012 using Revit to do the indexing. To avoid this use AutoCAD 2012 to index the FLS files and then bring the PCG files into Revit.