Land Surveying carried out by using laser scanning methods collect millions of x,y,z coordinates that make up a final point cloud. For many individuals and organizations working with point cloud data, modeling CAD software is an essential tool when it comes to organizing, storing, and extracting point clouds. 

The right computer-aided design software can unlock the potential of point cloud data sets and make data extraction, vectorizing and digitizing point clouds into a CAD model a much simpler task. Previously, design drafts, building blueprints, and maps were sketched by hand, but CAD software can automate the process of documenting landscapes and structures. So what exactly is modeling CAD software, and how is it used?

What Is a CAD Model?

CAD stands for computer-aided design, and a CAD model is a 2D or 3D digital model of a surface, structure, or object. These models are made using point cloud data collected during a laser scanning survey. 

CAD models allow engineers to view streets, landscapes, or structures from all angles. These models also detail both the exterior and interior of buildings.  Engineers can use CAD to digitally analyze surveyed environments, or create 3D prints of structures.

What Is Modeling CAD Software? 

CAD software is a tool used by organizations to bring survey data to life. The points or 3D coordinates of a point cloud are like pixels in an image, forming a digital representation of the surveyed surface or environment. 

Once point cloud data has been transformed into a 3D model, teams can use CAD software to examine and analyze structures. Models are viewed from a range of perspectives in CAD software, and with interactive capabilities, designs are drafted and edited digitally. 

Why Use CAD Software for Point Cloud Data?

Increase Team Collaboration 

CAD software usually includes accessibility to cloud storage for point cloud data and 3D models. This makes project data easy for team members to access. And with simplified sharing, different teams and contractors can easily collaborate on projects, regardless of where they’re based. Even remote teams can collaborate without difficulty. 

Most CAD software will also detail design history, giving users the ability to review work that has been done. 

Reuse 3D CAD Models 

Often, CAD models can have several uses. Land surveying projects may produce CAD models of streets or buildings, and these models could be featured in future or alternative projects. For example, a 3D model of a street might be featured in an urban planning project as well as a more localized construction project. 

Improve Productivity

CAD software streamlines project design and analysis. From creating a 3D model to extracting valuable information from survey data, and developing improvements or new constructions, CAD software makes all of these processes faster and more efficient than manual drafting. 

Increase Profitability 

With team members able to utilize valuable survey data and plan project steps more quickly, milestones are met and deliverables are produced at a faster pace. This will lead to faster overall project completion times. 

Organizations that can complete projects quickly, without sacrificing quality, can increase their profitability by reducing costs and taking on more projects. 

Find out how TopoDOT can help you streamline your point cloud processing efforts by signing up for a free demo today or book at Discovery Call with

Categories: Technology

1 Comment

How LiDAR Technology Is Changing the Way We Travel · December 18, 2020 at 10:12 AM

[…] in autonomous vehicles, or it can be brought to life in the form of a 3D digital model with CAD software and point cloud processing […]

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