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Lidar Room Scans..coming soon

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So it looks like the apple API provides 3d geometry in USD format


I don't know anything about USD format (had to google it) but it seems like it allows objects (and surfaces?) to be defined as certain object types.


So it can create a file that knows that this is a wall, this is a door, this is a table, etc.


Presumably to get it into VW in a "parametric" form, VW needs to take eg each wall object, and convert it to a VW parametric wall object with accurate/useful attributes.


In theory that would be very useful for architectural surveys as long as

(a) the scanning bit is clever enough to accurately scan and understand multiple rooms, with walls (and floors) in between them

(b) what it outputs is reasonably accurate

(c) it can actually get transformed into sensible VW parametric objects where appropriate


(c) presumably would rely on some work at the VW end.


My experience of VW importing other file formats, so far, is pretty bad, usually ending up with a giant mess of non parametric meshes.


Has, for example, REVIT import got any better recently? My experience trying it some time ago was that stuff didn't generally get converted to useful parametric objects. If that's still the case, then I suspect the ability to do a lidar scan and have computers do all the tedious work of converting the survey info into a useful model is still some way off.

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I recently tried nomad’s LiDAR scan, which I presume uses Apple’s Tool kit.  It makes a nice point cloud, but doesn’t hold up against Scaniverse, the latter having the ability to export a variety of formats, including OBJ and USDZ.


USDZ is an incredibly useful format that Vectorworks needs to import/export to get with the AR/VR train.  It seems all is provided by Apple, developers just need to use the tool kits (pure speculation on my part).  The beautiful part of USDZ, they are easily viewed in Apple’s preview, on the iPhone, iPad, or Desktop.  This is great during zoom meetings or client review… easy for the non techie person to interact with.

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USD is a relatively new open 3D Exchange Format from Pixar.

Looks like it will soon get the standard for exchange between 3D Apps,

like IFC is for Building CAD Apps.


There was photogrammetry and Lidar Scans since a few years.

Which always only produced Point Clouds or complicated Mesh Networks.


What I really like about RoomPlan is that the AI will give you still a Mesh Format

but in an idealized and simplified way - like our architectural Models.

Each Wall is a Cube, each furniture object is a separate cube with its dimensions

from its bounding box.

So you will get low file size 3D Model similar to our CAD Volume Modeling.


But we will see what iOS developers will do with that API.

Probably recognize chairs and table models and replace in scan by downloading

related 3D Models from the IKEA store and offering alternatives .....



Yes, VW should also support USD import/export ASAP

Edited by zoomer
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1 hour ago, zoomer said:


What I really like about RoomPlan is that the AI will give you still a Mesh Format

but in an idealized and simplified way - like our architectural Models.

Each Wall is a Cube, each furniture object is a separate cube with its dimensions

from its bounding box.



I wonder what it does when the walls aren't flat, or vertical, as is often the case in old buildings?


My human-generated surveys will often record these things but my human brain will then decide whether it matters that the model includes them. Sometimes there's a good reason to pretend a wall is straight ... sometimes it's important that the model shows it's not.

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I personally prefer the reduced Model.

I would be more interested if it will also even the numbers of the dimensions.


If imperfections are important, it is of course better to use the Mesh or

Point Cloud options. But I would expect that the App would recognize if a Wal

is not 90° in XY or even in slanted in Z (?)

But if highest accuracy is needed, a Leica Scanner will be of course more

trustworthy than an iPhone or iPad Camera or Lidar.


But this is the first App that I see that does an idealization.


My Bricscad uses machine learning to create Faces or now even Walls from

Point Clouds. This is great. But even more exciting for me is Bricscad's option

to close gaps between lines or straighten lines or solids to selected tolerances

in angles and or dimensions.


This is where it needs either human interaction or machine learning.

Just reading and documenting the existing chaos is much easier and

already broadly available.

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19 hours ago, fabrica said:

this looks interesting : https://developer.apple.com/videos/play/wwdc2022/10127/ 

parametric file seems to be brought straight into Blender.


On another note, scaniverse on app store is excellent (and free!) , and the point clouds import nicely into vectorworks. 

Scaniverse is also my absolute favourite after have tested several similar programs. Scaniverse works very well with VW in several file formats. Using a points style format works best for terrain models. I mostly use OBJ for textured models though. 

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