Point Clouds and Cutting Plane Views

This is a great example of the power of TBC for assisting contractors with real world problems.


I this case the contractor is a steel bridge fabricator. They are using traditional methods of measuring up steel bridges that are being refurbished. The SITECH dealer is working with them to show them how to use an SX12 Scanner to measure the bridge and then use TBC on the back end to extract some of the details required for the refabrication processes.

The bridge is covered in rivet heads. The contractor needs to know the \center of those rivet heads to within a working accuracy / tolerance.

In the SX12 Scans you have the point clouds but also the imagery captured by the camera of the instrument. When you work with the data in Station View - the imagery is fitted to the 3D point Cloud so that you have great imagery data and the point cloud to work with.

You can also use the Cutting Plane Manager to create a 3D plane using 3 3D points measured from the point cloud to define the plane of the plates covered in rivets. You can then use the cutting plane view and draw a circle of the diameter of the rivet heads (or slightly larger as needed). Once you have one circle drawn in the cutting plane, you can use the RPS Smart Copy command to copy the circle over all of the rivet head positions using a combination view of the Cutting Plane and Station Views to accurately locate the circles. Once you have created all of the circles you can use the Create Points from CAD command to create a 3D point in the center of all the circles - the points are computed in the XYZ of the project. You now have a point list of all the rivet head positions for the bridge - the deliverable requirement of the contractor.

SX12 is a phenomenal instrument for contractors - while not a full scanner - the fact that it can do the scans to high accuracy in real world coordinates and can be used as a reflectorless and robotic total station and that it captures 3D imagery that can be combined with the point cloud data to deliver quick and easy workflows to extract this type of data on demand is awesome. It sure beats scrambling over the bridge with a tape measure and prism trying to get the shots needed to do these computations - sit in a warm office with a cup of coffee and extract the data as you need it.