Skip to main content
As-Built As-Built - Revit As-Built - AutoCAD VirtuSurv - VirtuSurv 2018 As-Built - Modeler VirtuSurv - VirtuSurv 2019          
BuildIT BuildIT - Projector BuildIT - Construction BuildIT - Metrology              
CAM2 CAM2 - SmartInspect CAM2 - 2024 CAM2 - 2023 CAM2 - 2018 CAM2 - Measure 10 CAM2 - Measure Q CAM2 - Measure X CAM2 - Measure 3/4 CAM2 - AnthroCAM CAM2 - 2019
CAM2 CAM2 - 2020 CAM2 - 2021                
Cobalt 3D Imager 3D Imager - Cobalt                  
Cobalt Design Cobalt Design - M Cobalt Design - S Cobalt Design - Dual              
Computers Computers - All Computers                  
FARO Aras 360 & CAD Zone FARO CAD Zone - Fire & Insurance FARO CAD Zone - Crime & Crash FARO CAD Zone - CZ Point Cloud FARO CAD Zone - First Look Pro FARO 360 - Reality FARO 360 - HD FARO 360 - Blitz FARO 360 - Genius    
FARO Connect FARO Connect - Connect                  
FARO Zone present4D - present4D                  
FARO Zone 2D FARO Zone 2D - 2018 FARO Zone 2D - 2019 FARO Zone 2D - 2020 FARO Zone 2D - 2021 FARO Zone 2D - 2022 FARO Zone 2D - 2023        
FARO Zone 3D FARO Zone 3D - 2018 FARO Zone 3D - 2019 FARO Zone 3D - 2020 FARO Zone 3D - 2021 FARO Zone 3D - 2022 FARO Zone 3D - 2023 FARO Zone 3D - 2024      
FARO Zone 3D Advanced FARO Zone 3D Advanced - 2018 FARO Zone 3D Advanced - 2019 FARO Zone 3D Advanced - 2020 FARO Zone 3D Advanced - 2021 FARO Zone 3D Advanced - 2022          
FaroArm/ScanArm FaroArm/ScanArm - Quantum S FaroArm/ScanArm - Quantum M FaroArm/ScanArm - Quantum E FaroArm/ScanArm - Edge FaroArm/ScanArm - Fusion FaroArm/ScanArm - Prime FaroArm/ScanArm - Platinum FaroArm/ScanArm - Legacy Quantum FaroArm/ScanArm - Titanium FaroArm/ScanArm - Advantage
FaroArm/ScanArm FaroArm/ScanArm - Digital Template FaroArm/ScanArm - Gage FaroArm/ScanArm - Quantum S Max FaroArm/ScanArm - Quantum M Max FaroArm/ScanArm - Quantum E Max FaroArm/ScanArm - Gage Max        
GeoSLAM Software GeoSLAM Software - Connect GeoSLAM Software - Draw GeoSLAM Software - Hub GeoSLAM Software - Volumes            
GeoSLAM ZEB GeoSLAM ZEB - Horizon GeoSLAM ZEB - Horizon RT GeoSLAM ZEB - Revo GeoSLAM ZEB - Revo RT GeoSLAM ZEB - Go          
Hand Held Scanner 2D Hand Held Scanner - ScanPlan 3D Hand Held Scanner - Freestyle3D 3D Hand Held Scanner - Freestyle3D X 3D Hand Held Scanner - Freestyle3D Objects 3D Hand Held Scanner - Freestyle 2          
Language Quality HT MT AT NT INT - Internal Sales - Internal Resources Sales - Order and Quote Sales - Product Info Sales - Sales Readiness Sales - Training
Language Quality Sales - Product Launch Sales - Promotions CS - Quote to Invoice CS - Phone System CS - New Hire Training CS - General CS - Product Info CS - Licensing CS - Onboarding CS - Procedures General
Language Quality CS - Procedures Salesforce CS - Procedures Loaner CS - Procedures SAP              
Languages Language - English Language - Japanese Language - German Language - Chinese Language - Spanish Language - Italian Language - Portuguese Language - French Language - Korean  
Laser Projector RayTracer - RayTracer Laser Projector - Tracer M Laser Projector - Tracer SI              
Laser Radar Imaging Laser Radar - VectorRI                  
Laser Scanner 3D Laser Scanner - Focus S 3D Laser Scanner - Focus M 3D Laser Scanner - Focus3D 3D Laser Scanner - Focus3D X 3D Laser Scanner - Focus3D X HDR 3D Laser Scanner - Focus3D S 3D Laser Scanner - Photon 3D Laser Scanner - Focus S Plus 3D Laser Scanner - Swift 3D Laser Scanner - Focus Premium
Laser Scanner 3D Laser Scanner - Focus Core                  
Laser Tracker Laser Tracker - Vantage Laser Tracker - ION Laser Tracker - Vantage S Laser Tracker - Si Laser Tracker - X Laser Tracker - Xi Laser Tracker - Vantage E Laser Tracker - Vantage S6 Laser Tracker - Vantage E6  
Legacy Gage Legacy Gage - Bluetooth Legacy Gage - Plus Legacy Gage - Standard Legacy Gage - Power            
Legacy Software Legacy Software - CAM2 Gage Legacy Software - Gage Software Legacy Software - Insight              
Mobile Scanner Mobile Scanner - Orbis                  
PointSense PointSense - Basic PointSense - Pro PointSense - Building PointSense - Plant PointSense - Heritage PointSense - Revit CAD Plugin - TachyCAD Building CAD Plugin - TachyCAD Archeology CAD Plugin - TachyCAD Interior CAD Plugin - PhoToPlan Basic
PointSense CAD Plugin - PhoToPlan CAD Plugin - PhoToPlan Pro CAD Plugin - PhoToPlan Ultimate CAD Plugin - DisToPlan CAD Plugin - MonuMap CAD Plugin - hylasFM CAD Plugin - VirtuSurv      
RevEng RevEng - RevEng                  
ScanArm ScanArm - Design ScanArm 2.0 ScanArm - Design ScanArm ScanArm - Forensic ScanArm ScanArm - Design ScanArm 2.5C            
SCENE SCENE - Capture and Process SCENE - WebShare Server and 2Go SCENE - WebShare 2Go App SCENE - 2018 SCENE - 7.x SCENE - 6.x SCENE - 5.x SCENE - 4.x SCENE - LT SCENE - 2019
SCENE SCENE - 2go App SCENE - 2020 SCENE - 2021 SCENE - 2022 SCENE - 2023          
Serial FaroArm Serial FaroArm - Silver Serial FaroArm - Gold Serial FaroArm - Bronze              
Sphere FARO Sphere - Sphere                  
Visual Inspect Visual Inspect - App Visual Inspect - CAD Translator                
WebShare WebShare - Enterprise WebShare - WebShare Cloud                



FARO® Knowledge Base

Align Scans to CAD - Point Based Alignment with BuildIT Construction



Using BuildIT Construction to align both Revit CAD file and Scene cloud data together.

You’ll learn:

  • A simple workflow from importing the files to aligning the files together
  • Opening BuildIT, opening a BuildIT file and manipulating the viewport
  • Creating Plane and datum points
  • Aligning your CAD (*dwg) file to Laser Scan data using Point Based-Alignment

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

Video Overview

This 5-minute video provides an overview of aligning models and scans (without survey control) using the tools available in BuildIT Construction. Cannot view the video? Click here to download this video.

Navigate the Set Views

Open the “Module 8.1.buildit” file by selecting “File> Open” and navigating to where the file is saved.

  • In the BuildIT file for this exercise, there are also other set views to aid in the exercise. All of these are found under “Views” in the Manager.
    • To activate these views, right click the view and select “Restore View” or double left click on the intended view.
  • To set a view similar to the already created “CAD View.”
  • Click View > Set View. Manipulate the clipping box to create a similar view, hiding exterior information.                       
    • This will result in the following view, also called “CAD Data” in the Manager.


Selecting Nominal Points on the CAD Surfaces

  • A minimum of three datum, or control, points need to be selected on the model. This will allow the software to accurately align the scan data to the model. For this exercise, we will choose three points spread out in our area of interest on the model. The points each have views in the Manager, as shown below.
  • Use the established views to create the nominal, or datum, points.
    • Activate each view, as described in the section Navigate the Set Views.
    • Use “Construct > Point > Point 3-Plane Intersection…”.
    • Name the points in the way shown above, “DATUM 1 – CAD”. This will make the alignment easier in later parts of the module.
    • Select the three surfaces for each point.
    • Ensure “Create as Nominal” is selected for the points on the model.
    • Select Apply. ApplyIcon.png
    • Create the other points in the same fashion as above, at the locations shown.

Creating Measured/Actual Datum Point in Cloud

  • Now that the points have been created from the CAD data, the points will need to be extracted from the scan data. There are views created, as shown below, that will directly view the same points in the cloud.
  • Activate the set view “Datum 1 – Cloud” and extract three planes.
    • Select “Refine > Extract Surface” or select the command from the toolbar. ExtractSurfaceIcon.png
    • Using the mouse, select and drag on the cloud points to create a plane.
    • Create 3 planes as shown below.
  • Create measured point.
    • Select “Construct > Point > Point - 3 Plane Intersection”.
    • Name the point Datum 1 – Cloud and select all three surface planes extracted.
    • Deselect nominal point and select Apply. ApplyIcon.png
  • Extract the other two datum points using the corner point filter.
    • Activate the “Datum 2 – Cloud” view.
    • Select “Refine> Extract Corner”.
    • Name the point “Datum 2 – Cloud”.
    • For the “Seed Points”, use the “Point: Measurement” filter.
    • Select near the corner and the corner point will be extracted.
    • Select Apply. ApplyIcon.png
    • Repeat for Datum 3.

Best Fit Alignment

  • Use the Best Fit Alignment to align the CAD data with the extracted data.
    • Select “Measure > Alignment and Scaling > Best Fit Alignment”.
    • From the manager, select the “Datum 1 – Cloud” point for “Measurement”.
    • From the manager, select the “Datum 1 – CAD” point for “Nominal Geometry”.
      • The “Point: Nominal” filter will help with this selection.
    • Select “Add Plane”. AddPlaneIcon.png 
    • Repeat for Datum 2 and 3.
    • Final Result:


Congratulations, you have completed the Align Scans to CAD – Point Based Alignment! By now you should have a grasp of how to:

  • Importing scan data and CAD data and align them together.
  • Open BuildIT, opening a BuildIT file and manipulating the viewport.
  • Create Plane and datum points.
  • Align your CAD (*dwg) file to Laser Scan data using Point Based-Alignment.