One of the first presentations I attended at HxGN LIVE 2013 was from Tellepsen – a Houston-based contractor that’s partnered with a local scanning company called Truth. Lots of great examples and the one that hit home was their use of point clouds and Navisworks.

They scanned one of their projects under construction after about 50% of the overhead work was complete. This point cloud went into their federated Navisworks model and in an instant they could verify just how close the model was (or wasn't) to field conditions. We all know shortcuts are commonplace in the field and it was interesting to actually see these in the model.

Tellepsen also hit on something we’ve struggled with: clashing with a point cloud. Navisworks, our primary clash detection tool, sees a point cloud as a single object and therefore clashes with everything. Their best bet was to break the model up into zones and clash these zones separately, but that’s still not ideal. As HDS becomes more prevalent, I hope Autodesk has big plans for this medium in the future. Autodesk Recap and their new point cloud engine built into Navisworks and Revit is a great start for the 2014 suite.

Zack Creach is a senior engineer for Holder Construction in Atlanta.