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Leica BLK 360 - 3D Scanner

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Hi all


I am lucky enough to get a chance to try out the Leica BLK 360 3D scanner. Quite an expensive bit of kit - but a friend is loaning it to me for a few days.


My first venture into point clouds but am looking forward to giving it a try.  If it works well - it could be a massive game changer for me - just not sure how good it is going to be,


Does anyone on here have any experience with it already?


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Not getting very far with it.  No doubt it is a very clever bit of equipment, but.....


Seems to be very much tied to Autodesk Recap Pro - which runs on an iPad, but not a Mac.


I'd assumed I could export a Pointcloud file from Recap Pro on the iPad - but no.  It uses it's own format - developed by Autodesk - so not much use for us VWX users.


So I have to wait until my mate who lent it me - gets it back - then hope he can export it from Recap Pro into something not tied to Autodesk / Vectorworks friendly.

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There is a request running at autodesk to enable the program to operate on windows or android and not only on the ipad pro... Who buys that thing anyway? ^^

-> https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/recap-ideas/blk360-scanner-not-only-for-ipad-but-for-windows-mobile-and/idi-p/7424525


Hopefully Leica will also release a control software so we don't need the autodesk product and can just export the scan to a readable vwx format. 


Did you scan a big room? How was the result? Did the scan take long to complete?


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There are 3 things you need for point cloud modeling in VW

1. Laser Scanner

2. Registration - what this does is it connects the scanning worlds of different files into one. Essentially what it means is that every scan that you take /with or without targets gets saved as one scanning world. Your job afterwards is to combine them to get one giant scan of the entire facility. An entire facility can have as many as 20 - 100 scan worlds. Be ready for a heapload of memory (storage) use in order to register the information.

Recap isn't a very good program - simply because it is designed to register the files automatically and isn't very accurate. For your purposes you probably will need 1 / 16" or 1 /32" accuracy, and proper alignment is imperative.

I would recommend Leica Cyclone software, however this isn't a very cheap program in of itself. Registration can be done manually or automatically, and it tells you how precise your registration is based on the number of targets you aligned with every scan world. (you need at least 3 - 4 targets)

There are others, but cyclone is the only one I've used by far so far, and on a very very complicated project. Some other software include 

a. Recap

b. Pointools

c. Faro Scene

d. VisionLidar

e. 3dReshaper


3. Once you have assembled all of the scan worlds in one registration file (.pts, or .laz, or .las) you can import it into vectorworks.


There are a variety of methods how you can process the information once the point cloud is imported, however, workflow would depend on you, your computer power and your graphics card.


Hope this helps.

Edited by Samuel Derenboim
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The best option when working with a certain type of scanner is to use its own software to get good results and in order to avoid incompatibility errors between the equipment and the program. The problem is that usually such software costs money and, in the case of Leica, there is no trial version as far as I know. If you have the confidence that you will always work with this type of scanner, then I would advise investing in the purchase of this software. My personal experience is limited to using just a few programs, but I'm still trying to find the most suitable option for myself

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