My wish is for point clouds to be visible in drawing layouts, so that they may be used as base as-built drawings without having to take the effort to approximate what's there by modeling the as-built condition in BIM, painstakingly traced over the point cloud. On a renovation job, it would be more accurate, and less work, to just show the existing-to-remain point cloud on the drawing, along with cuts of any modified or added portions, which would be modeled in BIM. Breaking up the point cloud into regions and removing points to be demolished could happen in Recap or some other point-cloud-specific software. It would be ideal if we could follow the workflow described in this link for our renovation jobs, but in Archicad instead of Revit:
There is an existing work-around for Archicad, detailed in a video from 2015 or 2016, but it results in a not-to-scale, low-res raster image on the drawing sheet and would not allow this workflow. For this to work, point clouds need to show up in plan, section, and elevation layouts on sheets. Their visibility/characteristics should be adjustable (e.g. apparent point size, whether the point color is based on intensity, RGB, etc), so that points visually become lines.
If most of the scanned elements are to remain, it seems a waste to model them, as the existing condition has already been described by the point cloud, in a much more accurate and detailed way than tracing over the point cloud could do. The same goes for portions or components of a building to be demolished. If the purpose of modeling something to be demolished is only so it shows up in a demo drawing, wouldn't it be better to just put a hatch over that portion of the point cloud and have that show up in the drawing?
Thanks for the suggestion. I've tried using CloudCompare to trace slices of point clouds, which at least results in a .dxf file that's to scale, which I can import into drawings. But it's an approximation of the information that's there in the point cloud already. If the point cloud were visible and to scale in 2D layouts, that would eliminate both the time it takes to approximate, and the error introduced by the approximation. Even if this were in a raster format, as long as it were high enough resolution, and to scale, with dimensions snapped to the point cloud itself, it seems like this would greatly increase the usefulness of point clouds in Archicad.
I agree this is an absolutely essential feature for everybody working with heritage buildings, or just working with renovations. It is very common to show the existing elevations and sections with the cloud visible that act as the correct graphic representation of the existing status. Any mesh workaround does make little sense, given that the clouds already look as a surface, and may be huge files needing hours of computing doing the extra step.