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FARO® Knowledge Base

Module 10: Volume Computation with BuildIT Construction



Use BuildIT Construction to calculate cut and fill volumes.

You’ll learn:

  • A simple workflow to perform cut/fill volume analysis.
  • Opening a BuildIT file.
  • Creating a reference plane
  • Perform Cut/Fill Volume Analysis

Tutorial Download

If you would like to download the file used in this article, download the accompanying Training Data and extract its contents to a folder on your PC.

Training Data Download

Create a Reference Plane

Open the “Module 10 - volume analysis.buildit” file by selecting “File> Open” and navigating to where the file is saved.

  • The command to calculate volume needs a plane of reference first. This plane can either be fit to the point cloud, or created based on a specified elevation. For this exercise, one will be created based on a specified elevation. There is a control point in the file to use as the base elevation.
    • Select “Construct > Plane”.
    • Name the plane “Reference Plane”.
    • For “Center”, use the “Point: Nominal” filter to select the control point.
    • For “Normal”, select Z. This will make the plane perfectly upright at the elevation we chose.
    • Enter values of 2500 inches for “Length” and 1600 for “Width”. This will make the plane visually larger and easier to select, as well as expand the analysis area.
    • Select Apply. ApplyIcon.png

VolumeComp-4_2018.5.pngCut and Fill Volume Analysis

  • Now, the analysis will be performed.
    • Select “Evaluate > Cut and Fill Volume Analysis”. CutFillIcon.png
    • Select the Cloud.
    • Select the “Reference Plane”.
    • Specify a zone size. Use 4 inches for this exercise.
      • The zone size is the sampling distance on a grid for the analysis.
    • Uncheck “Use lowest point instead of average”.
      • This is useful when there will be rebar or high spots in a cell. It will use the lowest point in a cell when it detects a large standard deviation for the cell.
    • Check “Ignore points at ceiling and above”.
      • This in combination with “Ceiling height” will ignore points that are a specified distance from the reference plane, which would include the ceiling or extraneous points above a certain elevation. Very useful when the floor is of importance. In this exercise, the view does not have the ceiling, but it is there.
    • Check “Detect walls”.
      • This feature detects a high distribution of points, indicating a wall or column and ignores those cells for the area and volume computation. It will also exclude those cells when interpolating values for adjacent cells with no measurements or identified debris. Wall height is the distance from the plane that it uses to detect walls, so for areas with lower partitions, a lower number is required.
    • Check “Clean up debris”.
      • This will use a few parameters to decide whether a cell has debris. If it is marked as debris, the cells around it will be used to interpolate a value for the analysis.
        • Clean-up height: If there are any points above this height in a cell, they are marked as debris.
    • Units can be adjusted in the toolbar as desired.
    • Select Apply. ApplyIcon.png
    • Check the messages for area and volume calculations.


Congratulations, you have completed the volume computation module! By now you should have a grasp of the following:

  • A simple workflow to perform cut/fill volume analysis.
  • Opening a BuildIT file.
  • Creating a reference plane
  • Perform Cut/Fill Volume Analysis