Could we laser scan the world, make a big point cloud, and then import it into Revit?  Well, one day we might be able to accomplish that on a small scale (then again, maybe not).  In the meantime, try this process:

  1. Make the point cloud from existing geometry using this guide
  2. Use GreenSpider (more info at this link) to bring the points into Revit (and ‘maybe’ make a form using splines)

I’m sure results will vary… please comment if you try it out.

    Point clouds are getting a lot of “press” lately, and they can be very useful.  But let’s say, hypothetically, that you have a 3D model of a building or a component and you want to deconstruct it back into a point cloud –  Can this be done?  Yes, and quite easily…

    1. Open the 3D model in 3dsMax
    2. Export to STL
    3. Import the STL into MeshLab (File – Import Mesh)
    4. Export the mesh as an XYZ file (File – Export Mesh As…)
    5. This XYZ file can now be imported into Recap, or indexed by Revit into a PCG, or used in various other software tools

    Note:  You can also create STL files (steps 1 and 2) directly from Revit using the STL Exporter add-in.

    Some of these tools were discussed at:
    Free 3D PDF from Revit STL using Meshlab, MiKTeX and U3D-2-PDF

    Very cool tip from Ben Malone – he shows you how to use AdPointCloudIndexer.exe from a command line (outside of Revit) to prepare point clouds for practical use.  A typical 2013 location for this utility is:
    C:Program FilesAutodeskRevit Architecture 2013ProgramAdPointCloudIndexer.exe

    Image from BIMopedia

    Read the whole post at:
    Stand alone indexing of RAW point cloud data into .pcg files | BIMopedia

    If you want to know more about different point cloud formats / file extensions, there is some info on the wiki:

    • Point Cloud Projects (*.rcp): Pick an indexed point cloud project file with .rcp extension. An .rcp is an aggregation of multiple .rcs point cloud files.
    • Point Clouds (*.rcs): Pick an indexed point cloud file with .rcs extension.
    • Raw formats: Pick a file with an extension in the list to automatically launch an indexer application that will convert the raw file to an indexed file.
      After the indexed file is created, you must use the Point Cloud tool again to insert the file.
    • All Files: Pick a file with any extension.

     Inserting a Point Cloud File – WikiHelp