Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Navisworks and Recap

Navisworks 2015 now supports rcs and rcp files as you can read in the help file from Autodesk.

This means no nwc files will be created from these files.

ReCap Enhancements

ReCap file formats RCS and RCP are now supported. This file reader differs from other file readers supplied with Autodesk Navisworks. Instead of converting the contents of the ReCap file and including it in the model, the file reader makes a link to the RCS/RCP file and adds this information to the model. You can also open a published NWD file with previously embedded RCS/RCP files.

The ReCap point cloud engine now has improved reality capture. Enhancements include the ability to select and clash subsets of a scan in point cloud datasets, rather than an entire scan dataset.

ADSK helpfile

Looking at an rcs file in Navisworks you will see that rcs files are divided up in voxels.

A voxel represents a value on a regular grid in three-dimensional space. Voxel is a combination of "volume" and "pixel" where pixel is a combination of "picture" and "element".

In the following image there is a part of a building. I took a couple of pictures and had these pictures converted to points with recap360.
Looking at all these voxels I was a bit wondering how this was going to be usefull. In the help file I read that these should help you with clashdetection because you don't need to clash against the entire set. Sounds nice but how is that going to works?
After a little bit of pondering I came to the following solution.
first change the pick radius of your selection tool. Standard it has been set to one pixel but in my experience you tend to miss pick a lot of these voxels

Three pixels works for me. Also you can use the not documented feature of making a cross selection by pressing the shift and the space bar and dragging an right to left selection rectangle. (see this post navisworks-selections-methodes)
Once you have your selection you can of course save that selection and use it in a clash detection. Personally I am much more interested in creating searchsets. But looking at the properties of one voxel and comparing it to another voxel tells you that there is nothing that distinguishes them from each other. But you can add a new user data tab and add your own properties.

So I now have a voxel with a new user data tab that I decided to call Daniel with a property named Clashdetection and a value called masonry.

Now I should be able to create a searchset that can find this voxel. The moment you add properties to an element in Navisworks it will generate a simple searchset for you. Go to the selection tree and change it from standard to properties.

One big disadvantage of adding a user ata tab to a voxel is that you can only do one voxel at the time. This means that at the moment you are probably faster with using selectionsets. Just remember that those are not dynamic.
The voxel must have some properties like an id that are not exposed to the user.. Because when you save the project and you reopen the file the searchset still works. The appended rcs file has not been changed so the information of the user data tab we have added must be stored in the nwf file. But how doest it know to which voxel I have added the information if there are no (visible) properties that distinguish one voxel from another?
Looking at the selection tools it would be nice if you could select like you can in Recap or that saved scan regions and viewstates come throught to Navisworks.
These new functionalities for pointcloud are a good first step but definitely need some more work.

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