ISA Interchange

Welcome to the official blog of the International Society of Automation (ISA).

This blog covers numerous topics on industrial automation such as operations & management, continuous & batch processing, connectivity, manufacturing & machine control, and Industry 4.0.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. ISA blog posts may be authored by ISA staff and guest authors from the automation community. Views and opinions expressed by a guest author are solely their own, and do not necessarily represent those of ISA. Posts made by guest authors have been subject to peer review.

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3 Ways to Increase Profitability with Point Cloud-to-3D Model Software

We often talk about how point cloud to mesh software makes life easier for construction stakeholders looking to create as-built models of buildings and spaces as part of a Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow. This blog focuses on the financial benefits that good 3D modeling software can deliver to the construction industry. Having a sound financial strategy in today’s challenging times can not only keep you one step ahead of your competition, but it can also keep you afloat.

Here are three ways point cloud computer-aided design (CAD) software can contribute to the bottom line.

1. Democratization of the Point Cloud

A point cloud is a powerful beast, but it can also be quite wild and unwieldy. Left to its own devices, it is known to break servers—and the will of CAD and BIM operators. That’s why it often sits in a silo, unloved and barely used. That’s a great shame, because the information it contains is incredibly useful to stakeholders across the industry.

Taming the beast—by transforming it from a jumble of seemingly disparate points into a lean, streamlined 3D mesh model—means architects, builders, facilities managers, and health and safety professionals can all use it to work faster and better. What’s more, with everyone working on a single model, you reduce costly errors. All this adds up to a much faster return on investment.

2. Savings Through Automation

I can’t emphasize enough how incredibly complex and time-consuming it is to process a point cloud manually. It’s not impossible, but it’s a job for fully trained BIM experts and even then, it’s not for the faint-hearted. Point cloud conversion software takes nearly all the heavy lifting out of the process, reducing the time it takes from weeks to days, potentially hours, and file sizes from tens or hundreds of gigabytes to tens or hundreds of megabytes.

Point cloud CAD software integrates seamlessly with Autodesk BIM 360, Procore, and many other space management software solutions. That’s when the power of the 3D mesh model really comes into its own, with users able to switch layers on and off, allowing them to zoom in on their area of interest with a spectacular level of detail. Also, it can all be done on a standard desktop PC.

The time savings you can achieve by automating this step of the point cloud-to-BIM process can have a direct financial impact, but you also benefit from faster model delivery, which allows more time for decision-making—and ultimately better, less risky decisions.

3. Optimized Clash Detection

A clash occurs when objects that should be separate or at a minimum distance from each other are competing for the same space. This might sound like a rare event, but a typical building project might throw up 5,000 to 6,000 clashes and the sheer number can disincentivize people to take thorough remedial action. They might, instead, prefer to just deal with the showstoppers and handle the rest once they cause an issue—a costly and potentially risky way to approach the problem.

Good mesh modeling software can help by identifying clashes and classifying them into certain types for stakeholders to deal with, according to their area of expertise. For example, a plumber could look at pipework clashes and deal with those, an electrician could take care of the electrical ducting, and so on.

By making it easier to deal with clashes, you introduce efficiencies into the building/renovation process and reduce the need for costly remedial works.

Invest Early for Maximum Benefit

Whether companies invest early or in an emergency, what you won’t hear anyone say is that they preferred it the old way! Investing in point cloud to CAD/BIM and space management software is a defining step that opens up an array of exciting opportunities for your buildings, your people, and your finances.

Mark Senior
Mark Senior
Mark Senior is a business director of PointFuse which specializes in the point cloud to mesh and as built software. He has been involved with PointFuse since its conception, shaping its development from bleeding-edge technology to the successful commercial solution it is today.

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