Pointclouds in Rhino 6

Hi @solosails,

This was also reported here: PointGrid: defect
A YouTrack item was made: https://mcneel.myjetbrains.com/youtrack/issue/RH-41159

Meanwhile, I would really recommend trying out the Volvox plugin for Grasshopper by @MateuszZwierzycki and Henrik Evers*

*Full disclosure: They’re colleagues, so I might be biased, that said I always make sure to give them a hard time!


Hi David, thank you.

Hi Anders, This is a great addition to Grasshopper - thanks for alerting me to it!

1 Like


Can anyone recommend a good point cloud workflow in either Rhino 5 or 6.
Preferably one that does not require plug-ins.

I have a 3d scan of a room that I need to take from the scan file into Rhino and here recreate surfaces in nurbs to create an architectural 3d model.

I would like to know:

  1. Best file format to bring the scan into Rhino (E57, ASCII or other?)
  2. Best way to work with the scan in Rhino so I can isolate walls, pillars, ceiling etc. to model into Nurbs.
  3. Best way to convert the points into a mesh that can be rendered.

Thanks in advance.

1 Like

I tried doing what you want to do, but found it difficult.
I haven’t found any simple method for converting point clouds into meshes in Rhino5.
I tried learning Blender, CloudCompare and MeshLab, but they are too difficult to me to learn at this juncture.
Instead, I use the point cloud processing software that comes with the scanner to convert the point cloud into a mesh, then export it as an obj file for Rhino to import it.
The only exception is when I create a small point cloud with a CMM/digitizer.
Then, I process the points exclusively in Rhino5 with a few basic tools.
But, if the mesh it too large, Rhino5 will choke on it.
I haven’t found good enough instructions on what tools in Rhino5 to use to expedite mesh editing.
So I’ve been working between the scanner’s native app, David3D/HP, MeshLab and CloudCompare.
It sucks, but that’s what I’ve been doing.
Thing about it is you have to have experience to know what software to use for what problems.
Otherwise, it can be very time consuming.
I didn’t buy any of the available modeling software b/c it’s too expensive for the amount of work I’ll do with them, for example:
Geomagic Design-X = $20k
Polyworks = $25k
DezignWorks = $14k
Creaform VXmodel = $6k
SpaceClaim = $5k
Including subscription only (= extortion slavery) vs. perpetual license issues.
I’ve tried using Mesh2Surface, and it works great, but lacks some tools I’d need to expedite processing meshes into surfaces. It’s under $1k, which is more in line with what these mesh processing software programs are worth.
One more thing:
Except for the very expensive programs, I found that nearly all the point cloud and mesh processing programs work ONLY with the hardware that does the scanning.
So basically, you’re forced by the criminal syndicate to “pay to play”.
Hopefully someone will introduce a new level of competition for these greedy thieves so they will drop their prices to a level that is more commensurate with the functions they provide, instead of the extortion that’s become the norm among these exploiters of the working class.
That’s my opinion for what it’s worth.
Cheers …

Wow! Now tell us what you really think.
Not saying you’re wrong, though.

1 Like

Someone who provides a simpler solution at a cost is per definition not a thief. You can learn coding and start making a free software your self, and be the good samaritan for those who follow you. There are free solutions out there and if they are too difficult for you then you need to hire a more skilled worker for the job. That’s just how it goes, or you need to step up your game and learn the skills required for the job if you want it. Ranting here will do no good.

1 Like

I’m curious:
What do you know about me that gives you the knowledge to judge me in order to defend criminals and their syndicates?
What kind of man are you that you would defend criminals and their syndicates?
What world nation do you live in?
Cheers … Chris

Keep a lid on it…

1 Like

Easy there buddy…
There IS free stuff available that lots of professionals use and they are not that hard to use. I speak of experience. But this thread is about Pointclouds in Rhino 6 and wishes regarding the development, not ranting about other software being too expensive. So let’s move on and get back to work.

1 Like

I’m looking for what works for a reasonable price.
What do the pro’s use that’s free that has a streamlined learning path?
Incidentally, what would you people recommend to mortenengl (I noticed nobody responded to his inquiry).
Cheers … Chris

Hi Chris, it would help if you define “reasonable”, as you have figured out: “free that has a streamlined learning path” is a rare combination. You have done the research and Cloudcompare and MeshLab is top of the line free stuff. Recap is a simple to use solution that might do what you need at a low monthly fee. You can also test VR-Mesh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=X1170OkA0Zw to see if that fits your bills.

We use pix4D to turn drone photos to mesh, it’s easy to use, reliable and also has a monthly fee so we use it when we need it. pix4D model is enough to just give a mesh, if you need a pointcloud then the bim version is required (but you can extract the vertices from the mesh into a pointcloud in Rhino.

For simple stuff i select points in the pointcloud in Rhino and then use meshfrompoints, it requires a bit of trail and error, but might be a good enough solution for you.

Thanx Holo.
I know about VRmesh.
I didn’t consider it b/c it’s seemed to be used for architectural instead of mechanical.
I know about Recap too.
Same with it (which Autodesk agrees with).
Pix4D looks interesting, but same thing.
This is all for architectural and AEC work, not machinery and such.
Yes, I’ve tried MeshFromPoints but it takes too much time.
Apparently, all the freeware and the lower priced ‘solutions’ are only for people who play with it and aren’t heavy into the daily grind of demanding RE work.

Ah, yes architecture and landscape are the only thing I have used pointclouds and meshes for.
This might be of interest for you though: https://www.slideshare.net/PetteriTeikariPhD/indoor-point-cloud-processing

1 Like

While it doesn’t do ball pivot meshing, it does do voxelization (and is intended specifically for architectural workflows). Depending on your point cloud, you might also have luck with Dave Reeves’ Ball Pivot component.

Thanx Anders,
Here’s what I found that explains BallPivoting very nicely using graphics:

If I had time, like when I was young, I would delve into all of this.
But I don’t have the time.

That’s why I wish I had the coins to just buy a very expensive program to do the work I need to get done.
But I don’t.

Still looking for the holy grail, I guess!

Then it’s handy that Dave already implemented it in the (free) Grasshopper plugin (provided in the link above, where he references the same paper) :wink:

1 Like

Just update a link that at the moment of writing this comment wasn’t easy to find:

Hi There
My name is Sheyla. I am working with pointools doing 3d modelling. Recently I got a new computer and I installed Rhino 5 32bit and installed pointools plug-in and by using toolbar I open its tools however, I am having a problem to make this run.

The message is Error loading\PointoolsVortexAPI.dll

Please someone can help me with it