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FARO® Knowledge Base

Importing Data into BuildIT Construction



Using BuildIT Construction to import data.

You’ll learn:

  • A simple workflow for importing data to BuildIT construction.
  • Opening BuildIT
  • Importing scan data
  • Importing CAD data

Tutorial Download

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

Training Data Download

Import Scan Data

Note: The Cloud to Cloud registration command within BuildIT should only be used with scans that are small areas or objects. Always use the File > Import > Import Clouds command for large/multiple scan projects.

  • Launch BuildIT by double-clicking the BuildIT icon on your desktop.
  • Import the scan data by the following method.
    • In the menu bar, click “File > Import > SCENE Clouds.”
    • Navigate to and select the file “WetConcrete001.fls” from the training data and click Open.
  • Several scan formats can be imported.
    • Import Single Points
      • This import should be used for a small number of points, not a point cloud. Examples include reference points, control points, etc.
      • These file types include: .txt, .asc, .csv, .pts, .ref, and .xyz.
    • Import Text Clouds
      • This import should be used for point cloud files other than FARO files or E57 files, as listed below.
      • These file types include: .txt, .asc, .csv, .pts, .ref, and .xyz.
    • Import SCENE Clouds (FARO SCENE and Laser Scanner)
      • This import should be used for raw FARO Focus Laser scan data, and processed SCENE scans.
      • These file types include: .fls, .fws, and .lsproj.
    • Import E57 Clouds
      • This import should be used for E57 files.
    • Import LAS Clouds
      • This import includes LAS and LAZ files.
    • Import CPE Clouds
      • This import is used for the CPE file format from SCENE or Webshare.

Importing Multiple FLS Scans and Registration

The multiple import of both processed scans from SCENE and raw Focus Laser scan data is supported, however the import process differs. This short video illustrates both methods:

  • Processed scans from SCENE, users can select multiple scans via the Import SCENE Clouds... command.
  • Raw scans from a Focus Laser Scanner, are contained within a folder structure and must be dragged and dropped into the main workspace of BuildIT.

FLS_Registration_TopView_2020.pngDuring the import of FLS and LSPROJ, users also have several options for processing and registering raw and previously processed scans.

  • Apply an offset - This will offset large coordinate, or georeferenced, scans into the BuildIT bounding box.
  • Registration - This allows for registration using SCENE's algorithms to combine and place scans.
    • No registration - Registration will not be performed.
    • Target Based + Cloud to Cloud - This will combine the scans based on targets found in the scans, then perform a global refinement. To find targets in scans, check "Extract checker board features" or other similar options listed below.
    • Target Based - This will combine the scans based on targets found in the scans.
    • Top view - This will use similar cross-sections and vertical surfaces to combine scans. This is normally useful in buildings or areas more vertical surfaces.
    • Top view +Cloud to Cloud  - This will perform the step above, then a global refinement.
  • Scan Colorization - This option allows for the colorization of scan data. Select an option if pictures were taken during a scan to create a colored point cloud.
  • Other Options
    • Force processing of already processed scans - This will force the below options on scans that were previously created or processed in SCENE.
    • Extract checker board features - This option will extract checkerboard features from the scan data and represent them as points in BuildIT.
    • Extract marker features - This option will extract marker features from the scan data and represent them as a point in BuildIT.
    • Extract sphere features - This option will extract spheres within the scan data of a certain input size shown to the right of the checkbox. Ensure you enter the relevant size that was used in the scan data.
    • Filter dark scan points - This option will automatically delete data that has a low reflectance value. Lower reflectance values indicate lower return strength for the laser.
    • Filter by distance - This option keeps only the data between the minimum and maximum values entered by the user. This is useful when scanning outdoors, or large sites where data farther away will not be necessary to analyze.

Import CAD Data

  • Save the current file as “Imported Scan Data” by selecting “File >Save.” This will save the project as a .buildit file. This is the common file format when working with BuildIT.
  • Start a new project by selecting “File > New”.
  • Import CAD data by selecting “File > Import > Import Models”.
    • Several formats can be imported including the following.
      • AutoCAD (2013-2020)
        • *.dwg and *.dxf
      • ACIS
        • *.sat
      • IGES
        • *.iges
      • STEP
        • *.stp and *.step
      • Revit (2015-2020)
        • *.rvt
      • Industry Foundation Class – IFC (2x3 and 4.0)
        • *.ifc, *.ifcxml, *.ifczip
      • BuildIT
        • Useful for merging different files or projects together.
  • Navigate to the “BasementFloor.rvt” file in the training data.
  • Results of the imported .rvt file.



Congratulations, you have completed the module on importing data! By now you should have a grasp of how to:

  • A simple workflow for importing data to BuildIT construction.
  • Opening BuildIT
  • Importing scan data
  • Importing CAD data