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Point Clouds in BIM Compare
Point Clouds in BIM Compare

This feature provides the ability to upload point clouds to OpenSpace and view them alone or alongside 3D models in BIM Compare.

Updated over a week ago





Site Administrator

Organization Administrator

Use Point Clouds in BIM Compare

Upload Point Clouds in Project Settings


This OpenSpace BIM+ feature addresses challenges OpenSpace customers face when comparing design intent with work-in-place in the field when a high degree of reality data precision is required or desired. Laser scanning can deliver a higher degree of accuracy than photogrammetry can when it comes to BIM overlay views and measurements.

How to use Point Clouds in BIM Compare

Users can upload point cloud data in our supported formats (.rcp and .rcs) to OpenSpace via the BIM+ tab in Project Settings, and clicking the “Add Files” dropdown:

Requirements before uploading:

  1. Our supported file formats for point cloud data are .rcp and .rcs.

  2. The .rcp is required by our viewer to provide coordinate information.

  3. If users are also uploading a model to the project, the model and point cloud need to be aligned to the same coordinate system prior to uploading to OpenSpace.

  4. If uploading point cloud data via Autodesk Import, then the .rcp can be selected and our system will automatically pull in associated .rcs files.

  5. If uploading point cloud data via local upload, then the .rcp and its associated .rcs files must all be manually selected for upload. Our system uses file name matching to link .rcs files to their parent .rcp. Therefore, if the .rcs file is manually renamed after it has been exported with its .rcp from the source software (such as ReCap), then uploading will result in a linking error.

Importing point cloud data from Autodesk by selecting the .rcp:

Uploading point cloud data from the local drive using multi-select:

How to Use Point Clouds in BIM Compare

In order to view point cloud data in BIM Compare, a Site Admin or Org Admin must first upload a point cloud file in .rcs format via either 1) local upload from their device, or 2) via Autodesk model import (see section above for details).

As outlined in the above section, the .rcp is required by our viewer to provide coordinate information. If also uploading a model to the project, the model and point cloud need to be aligned to the same coordinate system prior to uploading to OpenSpace. If the .rcp is not uploaded, then the .rcs data will not be located in the appropriate place relative to the BIM. See the screenshot below for an example:

If you have uploaded both point cloud data and BIM(s) to OpenSpace, and/or multiple .rcp groups, in order to view the point cloud data and the BIM at the same time in BIM Compare, the user must select them in the upper righthand corner of BIM Compare. Any user can create a Saved View to easily return to this BIM Compare state later:

Once the point cloud data is in BIM Compare, the user can also take measurements and use the section box to engage with that file:

How to modify Point Cloud settings in the viewer

Once uploaded to OpenSpace and loaded into the BIM Compare viewer, point cloud settings can be modified to optimize for accuracy or performance. These settings default to the following values, optimizing most for quality and accuracy. The settings can be modified by any user with access to BIM Compare on your project, though these modifications only persist for that user on that browser (any modifications made to these settings do not apply to all users in the project):

  • Point Size = “Extra Small”

  • Quality = “Highest”

  • Optimized Rendering: Render point clouds after all other geometry = activated

Anecdotally, we’ve found that the “Small” and “High” settings are a good mix of quality and performance.


  1. Is there a file size limit for a point cloud data upload?

    • Yes, our file size limit is 15 GB for any individual .rcs file.

    • If multiple .rcs files are associated with an .rcp file, and all are selected for upload, the sum total of .rcs files can be any size, as long as each individual file is under 15 GB.

    • Contact your OpenSpace representative if you’d like to submit a request to increase this limit.

  2. Do you support any file types other than .rcp or .rcs?

    • The .rcp and .rcs formats are the only point cloud data file types that we support. Point cloud data in other formats, such as .e57 or different proprietary formats, can usually be exported in .rcp and .rcs format from other point cloud software.

  3. Can I upload a point cloud to OpenSpace by uploading a BIM file, such as an .nwd, that has an embedded point cloud?

    • No. The process that a BIM file undergoes to be viewable in our viewer does not support translating point clouds embedded within a BIM file. To view point clouds in OpenSpace BIM+, you must follow the steps outlined in this support article.

If you have any additional questions please reach out to the OpenSpace support team at

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