Create a Point Cloud for Use as a Factory Asset

23 Aug, 2014 By: Rusty Belcher

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Don’t waste time modeling your next factory asset — grab a camera instead.

Publishing the Asset with a 2D Representation

To fully utilize the cloud as a factory asset, you need to add a 2D sketch showing the top view of the machine. This sketch is placed at the bottom of the point cloud, where the machine would rest on the floor. The 2D sketch contains a simple trace of the major design features of the machine’s top view.

From this point on, we will use the standard asset publishing process, with a few exceptions. The workplane containing the sketch will act as the landing surface and points on the sketch will be utilized as insertion points. When we publish the asset, we will make sure to select Publish Sketch as the 2D representation in the Asset Publish dialog.

Publishing the sketch is important for a couple of reasons. The sketch represents the point cloud asset in 2D environments, such as AutoCAD or Inventor drawing views. The sketch also provides a selection and gripping point, allowing you to easily move and manipulate the cloud asset in the factory layout assembly.

A 2D sketch depicting the top view of the machine is added to the point cloud prior to publishing.

Conclusion and Warnings

Now that you understand the point cloud asset method, you can begin to incorporate existing machinery as assets in your next factory layout. It is important to note that this method is not perfect, however, and there are a couple of pitfalls you need to be aware of. Some of the shortcomings are:

  • No physical properties for point clouds. Point clouds do not supply physical properties such as volume and mass.
  • No Navisworks translation. At the time of this article, point clouds do not translate from Inventor to Navisworks. The original clouds must be appended to the Navisworks scene separately.
  • Low accuracy. Point clouds developed from photos do not have a high degree of accuracy. These clouds are just rough representations of the actual machine components.

This image shows various factory assets developed from point clouds.

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About the Author: Rusty Belcher

Rusty Belcher

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