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FARO® Knowledge Base

Projecting Floor Flatness with the Tracer Projector Using BuildIT Construction


Using BuildIT Construction and scan data from a FARO® Focus Laser Scanner to project floor flatness topography with the FARO Tracer projector.

You’ll learn:

  • A simple workflow for projecting topography in BuildIT Construction with a FARO Tracer.
    • Connect and scan with the Focus Laser Scanner
    • Create a reference plane
    • Create topographical curves
    • Extract alignment points from scan data
    • Connect to the Tracer projector
    • Projector alignment
    • Live projection

Connect to the Focus

  • A Focus Laser Scanner will be used for this exercise
    • Turn the scanner on
    • Ensure that the remote access to scans is enabled on the scanner
      • Manage > General Settings > Remote Access to Scans
    • Using Windows, connect to the scanner’s Wifi network. The default password will be 0123456789, which can be customized in the settings of the scanner.

Scan Using FARO Focus

Settings for the scanner must be configured on the scanner itself. These include project name, resolution, quality, and color. Be sure that you have selected the proper settings prior to using the BuildIT Construction commands discussed below.

  • To scan with the Focus Laser Scanner, we can use the “Scan using FARO Focus” command
    • Place the scanner in the area to scan and ensure that it is level
    • Select “Scan using FARO Focus
    • Enter the IP for the scanner. With default settings, this should be
    • Files will automatically be saved to C:\Scans on your computer.
    • Ensure "Load scan(s)" is enabled (this loads the scan into BuildIT) and then select “ApplyApplyIcon.png
    • The software will then trigger the Focus Laser Scanner to scan, retrieve the file, and process it.

Create a Reference Plane

  • Select “Refine > Extract Surface
  • Create a plane from cloud
    • Select the “Fill” option for selecting points
    • Select points with the cursor
    • Ensure “Create new cloud from identified points” is checked
    • Select “ApplyApplyIcon.png

Create Topographical Curves

TracerFloorFlat-5_2019-5.pngNow, the analysis will be performed.

  • Select “Evaluate > Create Topographical CurvesCutFillVolIcon.png
  • Enter a name for the analysis
  • Select the Cloud
    • Ensure that you select the cloud created from the plane created in the last step
  • Select the “Reference Plane”
  • Specify a Resolution (zone size). Use 6 inches for this exercise
    • The zone size is the sampling distance on a grid for the analysis
  • For "Height evaluation," select cell average. This will average out all values within a cell to produce one average point to represent the cell.
  • Specify the Iso-height curve spacing. Use .25 for this exercise
    • This value represents the detail level of the topography. The lower the number, the finer the difference in topographic height deviation.
  • Min. island size
    • Minimum island size controls the minimum size of contours. If you run the command and have a high number of small contours, increase the value of min. island size.
  • Uncheck “Detect walls”
  • Uncheck “Clean up debris”
  • Select “ApplyApplyIcon.png

NOTE: The input descriptions can be found in Module 10: Volume Computation with BuildIT Construction.

NOTE: Using File > Export > Models, the lines can be exported to various formats.

This file is also automatically exported as *.dxf to the saved file location.



Extract Alignment Points from Scan Data

In order to align the Tracer to the scan data, points must be extracted.

  • Select Construct > Point > Midpoint
  • Select two points on the outer rim where the targets were placed
    • Ensure that nominal is selected during this process
  • Select “ApplyApplyIcon.png to create the point

NOTE: Checkerboards can also be extracted and used with the TracerSI's corner detection. Also, users can extract checkerboards on import of FLS files or via the Extract Corner/Target command.

Connect to the Tracer Projector

In order to connect to the Tracer:

  • Select Project > Connect to Projector
    • This will open the device broker for the Projector
    • During first use, the IP may be wrong in the device broker. This will result in a failed to connect prompt. Enter the IP found on the Tracer being used.
  • Change the focus of the projector to suit the environment and create a more defined projection.


Projector Alignment

The projector must be aligned to the scan data in order to accurately project the topography.

  • Select Project > Projector Alignment
  • Select the points extracted from the scan as the alignment points
  • Move the scan box in the device broker to measure the target points
    • To measure the target, double left-click
    • To accept the measurement, select the check/apply or double right-click
  • Once four points have been measured, the rest will be measured automatically
    • This can be turned on or off in the command
  • Close all alignment windows.

Live Projection

To project the topography onto a surface:

  • Select Project > Live Projection
  • Select the objects to project
  • Select “ApplyApplyIcon.png
  • To stop the projection, select Project > Stop Projection

TIP: Use group picking GroupPickIcon.png to select all lines in a closed loop at once.


Congratulations, you have completed the Projecting Floor Flatness with the FARO Tracer module! By now you should have a grasp of how to:

  • Scan directly into BuildIT Construction with a FARO Focus Laser Scanner
  • Create a reference plane and topographical curves
  • Align the FARO Tracer to the scan data
  • Project the results using live projection