A conventional 2D drawing can be generated from the 3D scanning data for detail surveys and as build models. These drawings are of much higher quality than the one obtained with conventional methods but they don’t unlock the full potential of the scan data. Here is what can be delivered, depending on the application:


A point cloud is the basic deliverable for 3D scanning. It is a set of data points in which each point carry only the information about its position in space (x,y,z values) and potentially the color information (r,g,b values). Due to the high number of points that usually form a point cloud, the rendered model looks almost solid and easy to interpret by the eye. The main limitation is that the point cloud doesn’t carry any additional information, for instance a group of points that belong on the same wall (or plane) are not interpreted as a single entity by the software, which therefor is not capable of extracting features from the point cloud. Different software have different tools and handle the point cloud differently, but generally speaking the extraction of feature and generation of 2D drawings and 3D model requires significant user input.

Nevertheless, point clouds remain a superior visualization tool and the base for any future measure and modelling. Furthermore, point clouds are great for archival purposes as they contain a complete snapshot of the area, allowing for future modelling and analysis.

The main parameter of a point cloud is the resolution, which is the distance between two adjacent points, this defines the level of detail that can be extracted from it. Here is an example of the same point cloud at 3 different resolutions (3mm, 10mm and 25mm)

3D scanning - pointcloud resolution

A better resolution means a bigger file and the point clouds become more resource intensive (depending on the software used).

The most common point cloud format that Geosurv can deliver are:

  • Recap file .rcp (native Autodesk point cloud)
  • ASCII formats (.pts .txt .asc .xyz)
  • .e57


TruView is a panoramic Point Cloud viewer that lets you view, pan, zoom measure and mark-up Point Cloud data on the web. The advantage of using TruView, is that you do not need to utilise CAD software. It simply opens in your web browser with a plugin. This will allow anybody in your team to view the data quickly and easily.

Some examples can be found here (http://hds.leica-geosystems.com/en/Leica-TruView_63960.htm)


The 3D model is by far the most useful tool in the design process. Our dedicated 3D Modelling Engineers will create a 3D solid model of the area using the Point Cloud in a software environment specifically designed to generate models from 3D scan data. The CAD model produced is recognized by virtually any CAD software on the market and is interpreted as solid entities. It is also easy to extract features like planes, surfaces, lines and edges.  Here is an interactive example:


The simplicity of the model allows for more efficient and creative design than any other deliverable available. At the same time, the 3D information save time and do not require further remodelling and interpretation as an “as built” 2D drawing would.

Landscape, buildings, infrastructures, ground and road surfaces can be model. The model can be delivered in many formats including  .DWG, .DXF, .SAT, .STP, .IGS.