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. Some built-in detail such as fireplaces may be simplified due to the nature Scan To CAD process, especially 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

Once your order is complete you can download the following:

  • All files/assets - this includes all CAD files and 3D scan files
  • CAD files only - You can simply download just the CAD files (you’ll get all 3 output formats)

In either case, you’ll download a .zip file to use and send how you please.

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

The Long Answer 

Below is a list of the types of features that are intended to be included with your 3D Scan To CAD model:

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

The following are the details included with 2D floor plans:

  • Annotated dimensions for key elements (download our sample data package to see for
  • 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

These items are generated using standardized geometry and components, meaning that they will not always match exact detail when it comes to things like fireplaces. Asterisked items can 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’d also like to cover features that are not going to be included (that way there’s no 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!)

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:

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:

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

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.