Geo Week News

May 28, 2010

kubit's PointCloud 6: billions of points for AutoCAD users

Nearly thirty years ago, Autodesk led the charge to bring CAD to the masses, winning over millions of users. Some of the company’s success is attributable to engaging the hearts and minds of entrepreneurial, third-party developers who built software businesses on top of the AutoCAD development platform. Today Autodesk is poised to open up the point cloud market for millions of its users with its point cloud engine. 

This time, the opportunity is potentially larger as the need for point cloud computing extends far beyond design to construction, manufacturing, asset management and asset operations. kubit is the first company out of the gate with a product on Autodesk’s new point cloud engine.

Two billion points in a single DWG file

Earlier this month I interviewed kubit USA‘s Scott Diaz about the company’s release of PointCloud 6. Diaz says the new product is the first offering from the Autodesk developer community to take full advantage of Autodesk’s new, internally developed PCG (point cloud) engine. Compatible with AutoCAD 2011, PointCloud 6 allows users to handle up to two billion points in a single DWG file.

The release also includes the new easy-to-use PhoToPlan 3D product which allows users to orient images for use with the scan data within CAD or monoplot (3D Draw) from two oriented photos if no scan data is available. See the screen shot below of a digital photograph of the Dresden train station overlying a laser scan of the same scene, inside AutoCAD 2011. Users can fit lines, polygons and planes; slice and section the data as well as fit cylinders and pipe centerlines.

What do we mean by a model anyway?

PointCloud 6 and a handful of other innovative products challenge what we mean by a model. Yesterday’s model was a CAD file, a collection of vectors with some metadata that represents a nominal view of what a designer would like the world to be. Today’s models are much more; they’re hybrid, georeferenced aggregates of field-validated laser scan data, digital photographs and CAD vectors too. What kubit has built on top of the new AutoCAD point cloud engine allows designers unfettered access to the field conditions that rightfully constrain and inform a new design. This has been a long time coming for AutoCAD users but the wait appears to be over. Hallelujah!

Common file format import capabilities

The new AutoCAD engine allows users to import FLS, FWS and LAS files; kubit will provide a free import solution for other common file formats. Users of the freeware can import ASCII/PTS, Leica PTZ, and Reigl (RSP) files directly into AutoCAD which will convert them to the new AutoCAD PCG format. Kubit will also provide a PTC to PCG conversion for former kubit PointCloud clients wishing to take advantage of the new engine with their classic kubit PTC files.

Free is good

PlanarView: kubit is also providing a free viewer for high resolution panoramic scan viewing outside of AutoCAD. This freeware program can also be connected directly to AutoCAD/PointCloud so that the users can “Draw2CAD” from the high resolution view. PlanarView also gives the user the ability to write customized macros which can run AutoCAD commands from outside of CAD that are simultaneously transferred into AutoCAD. We understand PointCloud 6 is available for a free trial period by contacting your local kubit representative or by visiting (North America) or (world site) for more information. The Free Edition for importing is due to release next week.

Upcoming webinar

kubit will host two webinars on PointCloud 6 – Billions of Points in AutoCAD on June 9, 2010. Visit or to get more info. A sign up link will be available next week.

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