Architectural scan from Scene into Rhino7

I am looking to buy FARO scanner to be able to go on site and scan project before remodeling/building. Rhino 7 has the QuadMesh to SubD to NURBS and that looks great for organic objects. What would be the workflow to convert scan of a building into NURBS…meaning I need planes to model the walls. Do I still use the same approach or do I use something like PointCloudSection? Also is it better to create mesh in Scene or just export point cloud (I am worried about the file size a little bit)? I was hoping not to buy additional program to be able to do that. Thanks a lot for any advice. Tereza

How accurate do you need to be?

Typically a scan is going to be rather fuzzy (depending on tolerances) and will require substantial clean up before meshing or sectioning. I like CloudCompare to clean and get things registered before bring into rhino in manageable chunks.

This recent rhino plugin has some great tools.

and example files

What will the Rhino model be used for? What level of accuracy will be needed? Renderings? General design? Design of specific parts? Design of parts which fit exactly match the pre-existing building?

Hi Rickson:)

I suspect that processing the scan is where the work is. How does your program compare to Scene…can I do the same clean up work in Scene? As far as accuracy I am not sure…I would like to get like about 0.25inch on the building interiors, which might be crazy amount of points. I will need to upgrade my computer, too. T

Hi David,

the model will be used for general design mostly. If I need to build something accurately I think I would go back and rescan just the part of the room I need. Faro recommends 1/4 resolution and 4x quality for scanning buildings, so I will start with that. What settings do you recommend? T

What data formats can your Faro use for cloud export?

The largest single cloud that can currently be displayed in Rhino is about 200Mpts for a GPU with 11 GB VRAM. Proportionally less with smaller VRAM. How big are your clouds?

For reference, my computer has 128GB DRAM, 1TB pcie3.0 M.2 “disk”, 18-cores at 4GHz and Nvidia GTX 1080 ti GPU and works well with 200Mpts clouds. If I use multiple clouds (1 per scan) then I can load 300Mpts total and still get good performance.


For things like cleanup or subsampling and cropping I still do in Faro Scene, it runs on C++ GPU. Then for smaller clouds you can use third party softwares such as CloudCompare, or Volvox, Cockroach and etc.

Still it will involve normal modelling procedures even if you apply basic cloud clustering or ransac.

Hi Terry,

Scene will export CPE, DXF, E57, IGES, POD, PTC, PTX, RCS, VRML, XYZ. I was told from the support that it can export meshes into stl file, which I thought would work with Rhino. I don’t know the size of the files, because I havn’t bought he scanner yet. Yes, I definitely need to upgrade my computer. I got gaming laptop, but not enough…core i7, 16GB RAM and the card is Nvidia Gforce 970.