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When is PointFuse the right reality capture solution?

Do you work with reality capture workflows? Are you looking for a better way to deliver reality capture to your clients?

Reality capture is a powerful surveying technique which captures everything that is scanned and presents in a digital data format that  can be examined at every stage of the design, planning, build, maintain and operate process.

Reality capture often produces very large amounts of data and the challenge with such data sets is how can the data be accurately prepared, easily understood and shared, to be an integral  part of the project teams’ decision-making process. With PointFuse this process is fast, simple and easy.

Do you struggle with using and delivering point cloud data or having difficulty coordinating against your point cloud?

Although Point clouds are just dots in space they represent everything that has been scanned: walls, doors, pipework, ground surfaces and so much more. As they graphically and geometrically  represent millions of individual pieces of information often at high levels of resolution the file sizes can be enormous and difficult to work with.

PointFuse changes all of this, automatically converting points to surfaces reducing file sizes through the scan-to-mesh and publish features, allowing you to share, view, comment and collaborate on your reality capture information quickly and easily.

These intelligent meshes and connections to downstream modelling and project management software are what makes PointFuse the leading digital construction middleware software for the AEC industry.

Start using Reality Capture in your workflow processes with PointFuse today.

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Reality capture for the built asset lifecycle

The lifecycle of a built asset can be subdivided into the following five segments: design, build, operate, renovate and demolition – which segment do you work in? As a leading AEC software, PointFuse can support you at each of these lifecycle stages and provide critical, detailed information needed to make the best and informed decisions on your projects.

Built asset lifecycle

Built Asset Lifecycle


The Design segment can be divided into two phases: Conceptual Design and Detailed Design.

A project generally starts with the conceptual design process, the purpose of this early step is to engage stakeholders in the project and form the basis upon which planning is submitted and contractor selection is performed.

The conceptual stage is followed by a detailed design process, one which brings all aspects of the build together and is the basis upon which subcontractor selection is made and financed planned and executed.

This is the process in which a federated BIM design model is produced, combining the design models of each of the supply chain members into one complete model. It is this model that is used to execute the build and used as reference material for project management and scheduling and well as hand-over and asset lifecycle management.

Typically on a new build project, the site conditions are surveyed with surveying equipment and a high level design model is either drawn or modelled in 3D design software such as Revit – some planning authorities however request 2D drawings as part of a planning process. The use of reality capture becomes particularly pertinent when there are other buildings in close proximity to the planned new build. Being able to visualize the new design in context, allow for overhangs and possible conflicts with the new build and model right of light of existing and new are information requirements that are required as part of the conceptual design process.

It is less likely that reality capture technology will be used at this detailed design stage other than to give context to the detailed design. It is more likely that the 3D models are assimilated from CAD models such as Revit and Archicad.

When renovating or refurbishing an asset, this is the scenario in which reality capture technology has the most relevance in the conceptual design process. Rather than model the entire site conditions as part of the new design process, point cloud data captured in the reality capture survey process is an invaluable time saving and risk mitigation process.

As in the conceptual design process, reality capture will be used in the detailed design, but at a higher level of detail, reality capture technology will be used as the base model for the new design.

Advantages of PointFuse for Design

The output from a reality capture device is a point cloud, this is a high-density mist of points representing the scene that has been scanned. Modern day technology produces high quality but large in size, files from the scanning process which are often difficult to interpret and share, particularly in the on-line collaboration platforms such as Unity, Procore BIM and Autodesk construction cloud.

PointFuse is a pioneering Reality capture software solution, which significantly reduces file sizes, making it easier to manage and share. When using PointFuse Revue for example to visualise the scene as part of stakeholder engagement, or when using our Revit plug in to generate a 3D model, the source point cloud data is converted into segmented mesh models and becomes the starting point for comprehensive design deliverables.


Find out how DPR Construction, a self-performing general contractor and construction management firm, used PointFuse to aid design processes with very little training!


Significant time and cost savings can be realised through the use of PointFuse software during the build. This is becoming even more relevant as offsite modular construction techniques are introduced to either replace or complement traditional building method.

The AEC industry accepts that what is built often differs from the original design due to unforeseen developments during the build in terms of tenant requirements, scheduling, availability of labour and materials or uncontrollable environmental factors. As a result, every contract has a contingency built into the pricing and build schedules to fund these factors which can cascade down from the client through to sub-contractor level.

Unforeseen rework can account for as much as 17% of the contracted build and as such there is a financial obligation for all parties to mitigate these unforeseen costs, which a robust implementation of reality capture workflows will address. Getting the right information to decision makers is key in ensuring efficiency savings are made in minimising risk of overspend and re-work.

Advantages of PointFuse for Build

When comparing what should be built with what has been built can be problematic. Particularly when comparing a 3D CAD design model with a high-density point cloud – the incidence of false positives often renders the comparison process laborious and irrelevant to a robust decision-making process.

The ability to classify the as built resultant meshed surfaces from the pointcloud to the same framework as the design model through PointFuse makes this process intuitive and easy to use.

Stakeholder engagement and dynamic progress management is significantly enhanced through the production of high-quality textured 3D models of as built conditions at every stage of the build. This then leads to an accurate Digital Twin representation of what is actually built rather than what was planned. The costs and time savings yielded from an integrated reality capture process with PointFuse generates a comprehensive digital twin of the completed build effectively for free.

PointFuse also produces real world textures that are optimal for virtual reality. This means all stakeholders can view and understand the space they are looking at in a virtual environment before it is complete, allowing for virtual training and planning, in addition to virtual site visits which is particularly helpful in high risk, difficult to access sites.


Take a look here to see how PointFuse helped Ontario engineering firm Hatch create a full, as-built plan of their offices.

See how Aveco de Bondt used PointFuse as a key tool in the refurbishment of a social housing complex in The Netherlands.


At this segment of the asset lifecycle, we witness the most diverse application of reality capture technology in planning change, simulating updates before work has been commissioned and maintenance, particularly where the site access is remote, regulated or difficult to achieve.

It is estimated that it costs $0.20 (US dollar) per square foot per annum just to locate items for maintenance. Given that the economic life of most buildings is 25-50 years between major works this is a hidden cost of up to $10 (US dollar) per square foot.

To ensure good economic health of the build, the first thing that you need is an up-to-date 3D model of the building itself. A combination of an accurate 3D digital twin combined with Internet of Things sensors is the next evolution in building operation and maintenance. Most buildings have out of date 2D floorplans at best and most services that are relevant tend to be in complex mechanical rooms or behind drywalls in the floor or ceiling. There is pending regulation that will require a digital twin of every high-rise building (over 51 feet) which is an industry disruptive opportunity to yield the long-term benefits of reality capture technology in the build and operate stages.

PointFuse segmented mesh models support all industry standard file formats, maintaining the classifications and in some cases textures and 360° imagery to produce digital twin outputs.

Advantages of PointFuse for Operate

The PointFuse segmented mesh model is the optimal solution to generate an up-to-date digital twin and for inserting data into the asset management, project management and visualization workflows.

PointFuse produces an accurate representation of a built asset at the time of scanning, reducing the need to model 3D manually if a 3D model does not exist. Classification layers and object based meshes means key/trackable assets can be tagged with unique information, and GUID’s on all mesh objects mean that API calls can be created to link the model to asset management databases.

When managing assets, the meshing process within PointFuse adds intelligence to the data, classifying the point cloud data automatically for the user, enabling a better understanding of the asset itself for continual maintenance.


Read more on how PointFuse software helped ISG to save time and money through the entirety of their business, or how ISG have streamlined their BIM delivery process!


Renovation refers to the process of improving or modernising an existing building, whether that be due to its age, condition or owners need to amend the space and its usage. Renovation can range from structural to decorative, depending on the project requirements. Just as with a new build, renovation or retrofitting can be complex if not more so, particularly if there are no existing drawings or models of the asset. Assets within existing building stock are rarely straightforward and have many complex angles. With a mesh model, you can accurately represents all of the complexities of the asset, taking away the pain points of making expensive mistakes on mis-measurements or misplacement of new materials.

One of the challenges that many face when it comes to renovation projects is the need to know where to begin when attempting to interface with the existing asset. This is where scans can deliver a much higher level of accuracy than any manual measurement process.  Once the asset is scanned, any point cloud data can be quickly and easily converted into a 3D mesh model with PointFuse.

Advantages of PointFuse for Renovate

One of the major benefits of using a BIM model is its ability to support the iterative design processes. A process that carries out the prototyping, testing, analyzing and refining of the project design.

For renovations, PointFuse generated models allows designers and contractors to create complete and accurate measurements of the site that they will be working on and coordinate the project accordingly. This results in improved communication and collaboration, allowing all project team members are working to the same model and have access to all the data they need to carry the project forward.


Take a look herer how PointFuse is helping with all stages of the renovation of the Pautillo Bridge in British Columbia, Canada.


The demolition of an asset is the act of deliberately destroying it, often in order to build something else in its place.

Simulating and planning demolition as well as identifying assets and services that can be reutilised is an opportunity for reality capture technology.

PointFuse segmented mesh models facilitate the separation and identification of key items as part of the demolition process and in platforms such as Unity, PointFuse enables simulation of the demolition process before work has commenced. Allowing the project team to predict the process and identify areas of change if and when needed.

A scan of the planned demolition asset, combined with PointFuse segmented mesh technology enables the quick and easy production of digital twin replicas of the asset with accurate measurements and surfaces.

Advantages of PointFuse for Demolition

Taking the time to model assets and asset features that are to be demolished can be painstaking and often frustration, knowing that the asset will soon no longer exist.

With PointFuse classification is fully customisable, meaning you can select and identify individual areas of an asset. Therefore, using the scanned data, to only model areas that are to be selected, whether for demolition or salvage. Reducing time spent planning and producing a new design.

For partial demolition projects, the features that are to be demolished can be removed from the model, leaving the remaining features in place for the designers to start working on.

Surface statistics and reporting, taken directly from the mesh model, can be used to quantify what is to be removed, and what is to remain.


Take a look how Swanton Consulting used PointFuse to help protect a historic facade during demolition.

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