Cockroach: An Open-Source Tool For Point Cloud Processing In Cad

Andrea Settimi IBOIS, EPFL
Petras Vestartas IBOIS, EPFL
Julien Gamerro IBOIS, EPFL
Yves Weinand IBOIS, EPFL

In the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector, the use of point cloud data is not a novelty. Usually employed to retrieve data for inspecting construction sites or retrofitting pre-existing buildings, sensors like LiDAR cameras have been known to practitioners such as architects and engineers for a while now. In recent years, the growing interest in 3D data acquisition for autonomous vehicles, robotic and extended reality (XR) applications has brought to the market new compact, performant, and more accessible hardware leveraging different technologies able to provide low-cost sensing systems. Nevertheless, point clouds obtained from such sensors must be processed to extract valuable data for any design or fabrication application. Unfortunately, most advanced point cloud processing tools are written in low-level languages and are hardly accessible to the average designer or maker. Therefore, we present Cockroach: a link between computer-aided design (CAD) modeling software and low-level point cloud processing libraries. The main objective is an adaptation to C# .NET via Grasshopper visual scripting interface and C++ single-line commands in native Rhinoceros workspaces. Cockroach has proved to be a handy design tool in integrating building components with unpredictable geometries such as raw wood or mineral scraps into new design and industrial fabrication processes.

Keywords: Computer-Vision, Point-Clouds, Data Processing, Meshing, 3D Modeling, Cad Interface, Open-Source Development, Quality Education, Industry Innovation And Infrastructure.

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