Pointclouds in Rhino 6

Having used Rhino years ago as a frontend for a Faro Template Arm and modeling from the digitized curves, then mesh conversion into AutoCAD and 3DSMax, I just upgraded to Rhino6. I’m now immersed in the world of pointclouds. In deciding this upgrade, I read some things on the Rhino website that were both exciting and horribly outdated (and probably should be removed). I’d like some knowledgeable peers to give me the skinny on the current state of affairs with PC’s in R6. Thank you for any replies in advance.

If you go to the Rhino website and search pointclouds, the top item touts a capability that does not exist anymore (maintain your website and keep it relevant!). It talks about Point Clouds for Rhino (V3 & V4 only). Wrapping and draping meshes onto pointclouds. The thing mentioned that I would like to do the most is placing a mesh under a terrain scan, then drape a planar mesh up from the bottom. That would generate a topographic profile mesh using the lowest points in a scan (where the laser reached the surface through foliage). I know that company was bought ages ago by Autodesk as they had a 3DSMax plugin as well, and that they killed that company. You know, as the big fish do to the little fish, shafting us minnows.

I had another reason to get Rhino, to open a Rhino filed supplied by a client that had a scan already in it. While upgrading and serving that need, I was hoping the mesh draping was now part of the Rhino core. Autodesk has done nothing with pointclouds in Max and AutoCAD since it’s first introduction years ago. I was hoping McNeel was more active in this area.

In general, what is the process for getting scans in Rhino? The file I was given was interior and exterior scans as two separate blocks. I needed to get it into AutoCAD for my client. First I figured out I needed to explode the blocks. Curiously, that made the R6 file twice as large. I would think the sheer number of points in the scans dictated the file size. Why does making the scans blocks make the file smaller? Pointclouds in Autodesk are XREFs. Pointclouds in Rhino seem to be embedded in the file. After exploding, I could export, import into ReCap, then get them into Autodesk products.

So what can I do with pointclouds in Rhino? Any cool features? How about via plugins, scripts? What’s with the block thing? Any awesome editing tools? Snappy renders? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again.

Hi @subs,

Can you please tell me specifically the URL of the links you found that are outdated? I agree with you that it’s important to get rid of (or clearly mark as obsolete) information that is obsolete.

As for reverse engineering, Rhino 6 is not particularly good at it. However, now that you have Rhino 6, you can use the Rhino 7 WIP, and check out the Quad Remeshing tools - they’re incredible (if you can get from a point cloud to a mesh - that step we still don’t do well). There’s a workflow that lets you remesh an existing mesh into a quad mesh, then convert to SubDs, then to NURBS.

There are some third-party point cloud processing tools on Food4Rhino:

For some details, see Rhino 7 Feature: QuadRemesh