Surfacing a point cloud wall - No luck


We have a laser scanned wall that requires an accurate surface (mesh, nurbs, anything). It’s a high resolution scan (34m points) imported into Rhino. There’s surface irregularities we need to capture and every method of generating a usable mesh has failed. Tried Shrink wrap in R8, tried Patch, Mesh to Points, nothing has worked. Either the detail is too sparse or the PC crashes after trying to calculate. I have exhausted all options I know of.

We need a single surface, not a watertight solid. I’ve seen programs like GeoMagic do wonders but it’s not in our arsenal of tools. Would be grateful for any solutions, shy of spending $$$ on more software and plug-ins. We have Rhino 7 and am trying Rhino 8 for the shrink wrap function. No usable results yet. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Can you elaborate on what “surface irregularities” you’re looking to capture?

Have you tried any of the Cockroach tools?

Generally its best to pre-process in cloud compare to get the areas of interest isolated.

Hi Sky G.

It’s poured concrete with “jaggy” seams that jog suddenly, plus waterproofing that overlaps to form thicker strips at the overlap. If it were a smooth natural undulation then Patch might be useful. No love in this case for capturing small detail in the mesh.

Can you share a pic of the actual wall?

It’s 300’ long, next to a ramp. The area to surface has been isolated as a separate point cloud object to help with processing. Bumps and surface jogs aren’t visible in the image. Thanks.

I’ve seen this plug-in listed on Food4Rhino. Will try. Thank you.

There’s no “button click” solution to this - the best way to approach it is to start with each section that forms a continuous planar surface (or near planar), and to explicitly model that section. This can be as simple as using Surface-Corner Points, and creating patches for the sections. Once you have those big planar surfaces blocked out, you can add details as needed. If say, that pattern I see that’s on a 45 degree rotation, is a repeating piece of geometry, you could model it once, and then copy and paste it into position.

I routinely create meshes from point clouds with 35 million or more points in Metashape. Although Metashape is primarily photogrammetry software it does allow points clouds to be imported, meshed and the resulting mesh decimated. (Meshes are referred to as “models” in Metashape.) Export the mesh/model in .obj format and it can be imported into Rhino. The standard version of Metashape is $179.

@davidcockey I have tried Metashape for meshing laser scan point clouds but cannot disable Interpolation (even though it is unchecked). The interpolated mesh result pretty much kills its usefulness for me because it fills in holes or gaps in scan data that should not be filled. I have asked on the forum over there but never received a reply.