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CAD tip CAD tip # 11939:

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Q - question

How to extract pipe centerlines from 3D point clouds?

A - answer Directly with the AutoCAD internal commands you can use a laser-scanned point cloud to generate 3D lines representing centerlines of the scanned piping segments, columns or any other cylindrical objects.

Attach the respective point cloud file from Autodesk ReCap to your DWG drawing and clip it to a suitable part containing the piping elements to convert.

Then use the context ribbon "Point Cloud" and its function Extract > Centerline (the command PCEXTRACTCENTERLINE, in German: PWEXTRAHIERMITTELLINIE) - and point with your cursor to the requested piping segment on the command prompt. If the function recognizes a cylinder, it will create a 3D geometry (LINE) with identical 3D coordinates in its centerline. You can use similar semi-automatic methods to extract edges, corner points or section outlines from your point clouds.

The procedure is illustrated in the video:

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See also:
Tip 14075:Overview of CAD formats supported in Inventor 2025 (import/export/AnyCAD).
Tip 13021:Rotating model when hovering above a 3D point cloud. How to disable?
Tip 12938:How to convert a point cloud to a textured 3D model?
Tip 12325:How to display a DWG from Advance Steel including AS objects? (AST viewer)
Tip 12296:Loading a point cloud from a series of photos to Revit.

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