Thinkbox Software has announced the public release of their standalone point mesher software, Sequoia. The application converts point cloud data into a mesh—a file that depicts spatial information using geometry rather than points. It uses technology developed for efficient computing of visual effects in the film industry and applies them to the AEC space for faster processing of point clouds.
As of December 2015, the software is available on their website at an introductory price under $3000, including one workstation license and two network compute licenses.
When SPAR spoke with Thinkbox director of development Ian Fraser earlier this year, he explained that a mesh has many advantages over a point cloud. This includes a lower resolution and size, which makes the mesh faster to move around and less work to compute. A mesh may also be easier for many novices to understand than a point cloud, since it is constructed of geometric surfaces rather than floating points.
These advantages make the technology useful for creating virtual environments and flythroughs. “That can be from the artistic all the way to the industrial,” Fraser said, “from being able to do a training video on an oil rig to making an artistic environment to put people in for an installation.”
In beta testing, Sequoia has also been widely used to convert point clouds into watertight models for 3D printing applications.
Beta tester Larry Kleinkemper, CTO and Lead Modeler of Lanmar Services explained in a statement that “Sequoia reduced the time it takes to get a model out of a point cloud. Plus, it handled overhangs with no problem, whereas they are too complicated with other auto-extraction programs and we have no choice but to go in and model them manually.”
As Chris Bond, founder of Thinkbox Software, said in a prepared statement, “The reception to Sequoia since we started previewing the technology last year has been tremendous. Our beta testers have been using it in exciting ways we’ve never dreamed, which has pushed us to make Sequoia even better.”