Can I do Scan To CAD myself?

The Short Answer

Yes, this is 100% possible. However, working with a 3D mesh is new for most professionals in architecture and design, and we find that most customers find a stronger ROI in using Scan To CAD instead of processing themselves.

The Long Answer

It is possible to create CAD from your scan individually. There are many ways to do that, but the most straightforward one would be:

  1. Export the scan (as a .obj file) from the Canvas app via email, and send it to yourself. This is zero cost.
  2. Open the .obj file on a computer using a program that can open a 3D mesh. There are several out there, but here are two free ones: Blender and MeshLab.
  3. Use one of those tools on your computer to manually extract individual measurements.
  4. Translate those individual measurements from your scan into your CAD program of choice as lines.

You can also do this directly from the iPad via the Canvas app, but using a larger screen and a mouse will likely help you get more precise points than tapping on the iPad screen.

While that is possible and zero cost, most customers we talk to still choose to use Scan To CAD if they want to use the model in a program like Revit, SketchUp, AutoCAD or other CAD programs. Measuring a mesh and re-drawing every single relevant measurement in CAD manually is a very time-consuming and error-prone process (specifically, ensuring you're always touching the exact right points), and one that most people have not done before. It's not impossible by any means, and there are plenty of online tutorials for the programs I mentioned above, but it's not "plug and play." That's why we built Scan To CAD.

Generally speaking, we see most customers using the mesh for quick, on-site measurements (since it is accessible immediately) and then converting to CAD once the project is ready to actually start. 

Note: Sometimes we are asked if we can license the tools we use for conversion. As these tools are tightly integrated into our own internal systems, not built for general end-users, and require a human in the loop for QA and verification, it is not feasible for us to do that at this time.

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