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Convert Apple's LIDAR to AutoCAD

Convert Apple's LIDAR to AutoCAD

Convert Apple's LIDAR to AutoCAD

(OP)
I received LiDAR data taken with an iPhone in ".ply" format. I would like to extract the data from it for preliminary grading information and convert it to AutoCAD format to incorporate in our drawings. I am not an Apple user, but I may be able to have my client save the LiDAR files in a different format.

What software do I need for this conversion? How do I go about doing the conversion in this software?
Is it possible to get contours from this data?

I have been able to open and view the file with MeshLab, but I have not figured out how to either extract the necessary elevation data I need or convert it to AutoCAD. Any help would be appreciated.

RE: Convert Apple's LIDAR to AutoCAD

If it's just a "point cloud" then processing with a bit of cunning and NOTEPAD may be all you need.
Open your PLY file with NOTEPAD and figure out if you have a long list of coordinates, or if it's a compressed mess of gibberish.

AutoCAD can run text scripts, meaning if you can type the command, you can create a text file script. There are tutorials for doing this.

RE: Convert Apple's LIDAR to AutoCAD

(OP)
WindWright, do you know if there is a way to convert the coordinates or the mesh into a 2D plan view with contours? I now have both a mesh and coordinates to work with.

RE: Convert Apple's LIDAR to AutoCAD

That, I don't know in much detail. I've never tried to use AutoCAD that way. Back in the 90's I would make solids with AutoCAD but that was before I had better tools to do 3D stuff. Your problem sounds more like a GIS task. There seem to be a lot of surveyors in the world that still use ACAD so maybe they know.

Now that you can parse the file and use it to make a script in AutoCAD then presumably it's just a matter of selecting the right commands to include in the script. There are still a lot of such 3D commands in ACAD; hopefully someone else can show you an efficient way.

I wonder if SLICE has any application to a mesh, or if it's for solids only?

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