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What is a Point Cloud?

Point clouds are a collection of individual points plotted in 3D space. Each point contains several measurements including its coordinates along its X,Y,Z axis, colour value in R,G,B format, and lumance value which determines how bright the point is.

pointcloud-ANSI A.jpg

Point clouds are created by performing a scan of an object or structure. This is done by using a laser scanner.

Laser scanners work by sending millions of pulses of light to an object and measuring how long it takes each pulse to reflect back and hit the scanner. These measurements are used to determine the exact position of points on the object. And these points create the point cloud.

pointcloud-ANSI A (2).jpf

Point clouds come in different formats. Our most popular point cloud deliverables are the Autodesk compatible RCP and RCS formats. 

ReCap Anchor

RCP Point Cloud


Point clouds in the RCP file format can only be used with the Autodesk ReCap software. This is a great tool to virtually visit your site. The point cloud can be cropped for clarity and rotated to view every angle. 


360° images of every scan can be viewed by clicking on the white orbs. Measurements can be taken in the point cloud view and in the images which are called RealViews. Notes can also be added which makes this a great engineering tool. 

Pipe Diameter.jpg

Other features such as measuring pipe diameters, angles, and creating markups are only available on the premium ReCap Pro. For more information on ReCap Pro, click here to download the 3SIXTYEDGE ReCap Pro manual.  

RCS Point Cloud


As with the RCP files, the RCS files can be opened in Autodesk ReCap. This however, requires the user to open it as an RCP file. This new RCP file does not include any 360° images.  


The main use for the RCS files are to be used with Autodesk products such as AutoCAD, Revit, and Navisworks to name a few. The point cloud files can then be turned into 2D drawings or 3D models. 

As-built drawings can easily be created by tracing over the point cloud in AutoCAD and is offered as a service by 3SIXTYEDGE. 

Flythrough of a 3SIXTYEDGE project created with Faro Scene.

Our most productive point cloud tool however, is Cintoo Cloud's point cloud web viewer.

Cintoo Anchor

Cintoo Cloud

Cintoo Cloud allows you to work with point clouds from your web browser and on any device. This is by far the easiest way to share site data and collaborate with your co-workers and clients. Point clouds are typically large in size and some projects require the use of powerful computers. A browser-based application eliminates the need to upgrade your computer. You can even work on a point cloud from your smartphone. Click here for instructional videos on Cintoo Cloud.

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