What details are included with my CAD file?

The Short Answer

Scan To CAD is intended to process your 3D scan data into scale-accurate, simplified geometry that's easy to use in various CAD programs like SketchUp, Revit, Chief Architect, 2020 and more. The intent is to provide a "blank slate" of the space with a reasonable level of detail for design, quoting, and documentation. 

This means we not only try to include the basics like walls, doors, and windows, but also baseboards, crown molding, light switches, and other details that are both built-in and affect the utilization of the space. Lighting and ceiling fans are not included.

Some built-in detail such as fireplaces may be simplified due to the nature Scan To CAD process. This especially applies when using Canvas outside of the home.

Any “moveable” furniture (e.g. chairs, tables, TV’s...etc) will not be included in your model. However, the dimensional information will still be in your scan, so you can always reference the scan when needed in-app or via the Canvas Web Viewer

For those familiar with BIM level of development standards, our Scan To CAD output is targeted at a LOD 200 standard.

The Long Answer 

There are some differences between the features included with 2D plans and 3D files as noted below:

3D files

  • Walls
  • Doors and door casing
  • HVAC vents*
  • Windows and window casing*
  • Crown molding, baseboards, trim
  • Ceiling details (e.g. vaulted, exposed beams, coffers)*
  • Beams, columns, kitchen islands
  • Cabinets, countertops, and other casework
  • Major and/or built-in appliances (e.g. toilets)
  • Staircases and railing 
  • Fireplaces
  • Electrical outlets and light switches 

2D floor plans

  • Annotated dimensions for key elements (you can download a sample 2D floor plan here).
  • Walls
  • Windows* (measured as the opening only, not including casing)
  • Doors (measured as the opening only, not including casing, and inclusive of door direction)
  • Floor-mounted casework (e.g., countertops)
  • Floor-mounted major and/or built-in appliances
  • Steps with direction
  • Columns and kitchen islands

For any included detail, we are using standardized geometry and components, meaning that these details will not always match  exact detail. 

*May be difficult to scan completely or discern from a scan in certain scenarios (i.e., the window is covered by blinds), and occasionally assumptions have to be made. In general, we can only process what can be seen clearly in the scan.

It’s important to us that you’re happy and satisfied with your model, so we will also cover details that are not included (we want to prevent any surprises!):

  • Light fixtures or ceiling fans (e.g., recessed lighting — scanning lights directly can negatively affect your scan)
  • Furniture such as couches, chairs, tables...etc
  • Exterior details (unless they are scanned and processed)
  • Notes you made on your scan in Canvas
  • Curtains
  • Details inside walls like frames (unless exposed — Canvas cannot scan through walls!)
  • 2D plans will not include outlets or wall mounted furniture above 1m

Non-residential, Equipment, Piping, etc.

In non-residential spaces, customers often ask about equipment, piping, and other features that are not common in homes but are important to their particular job. As our Scan To CAD pipeline is trained on residential environments, it is going to (more often than not) perform far better with typical residential items like the ones mentioned above. However, these items do appear from time to time in homes, and as a rule, we try to over-include vs. under-include, so our system will generally pick up anything that it perceives as "built-in" and include it in the final result — regardless of whether it's a residential item or not. They may end up slightly simplified, but if it's built-in, it should be included at least in a proxy form. You can learn more at: I want to scan non-residential environments. Will Canvas work outside of the home?

We don't have as many shareable examples of commercial spaces (as they are more frequently done for companies that don't want the insides of their offices shared), but here is an example of a boat that was run through our Scan To CAD pipeline that will give you an idea:

Scan To CAD was designed for processing residential interiors and is not intended for use with home or building exteriors. Submitting exteriors scans is possible (i.e. nothing explicitly prevents you), but we recommend you read about the potential limitations here.

Ornate, Complex, and Organic Shapes

In some cases, extremely ornate or non-traditional components of the room may get over-simplified due to the nature of the system. A few examples of this might be a very complicated fireplace, very detailed stone walls from an archaeological site, or damage from a fire. In these cases, the reprocessed scan (included with your Scan To CAD order, and available within the Canvas app within a couple of hours after upload) may be more useful than the CAD model, because the reprocessed scan will preserve all the detail that was scanned. Converting this detail into CAD format would be extremely manual, and we would have to charge a lot more to convert this more photorealistically.

As an example, here is a scan of an archaeological site:

And here is the CAD model generated from it:

As always, feel encouraged to reach out to support@canvas.io for questions about your intended use of Canvas or any ongoing orders.