Using The Cutting Plane View with Point Cloud Data

The cutting plane view in TBC is an excellent tool for creating slices of data within point clouds that also allows you to draw linework in the plane of the cutting plane using the create polyline command.

Yesterday a user asked me if you could “Nudge” the cutting plane by a small amount backwards or forwards, because sometimes you will define the plane of the cutting plane using the face of a structure but you want to extract a feature e.g. a Bolt or Fitting that stands proud of the face of the structure, and its shape or form is not well captured by the cutting plane that you create.

When you create a Vertical Cutting Plane, the cutting plane view is drawn looking at the cutting plane square on. The normal to the cutting plane (the visibility path to the plane) is set up as a temporary alignment, and at the base of the view you can enter a specific station or distance along that normal that you want to look at. So if the plane is at 30.25 and you want to back up a little, you can either type in 30.20 or you can enter -0.05 in the field after the 30.25 value and it will subtract .05 from the current value and move the cutting plane.

You can also change the depth or thickness of the cutting plane so that it picks up more or less data from the depth field either side of the cutting plane.

Once you have the view that you want you can draw a Polyline in the cutting plane (in the plane of the cutting plane and it will generate you a 3D polyline in the plan / 3D view as you draw. The polyline you draw has a UCS (the coordinate system of the cutting plane, but if needed you can remove that UCS using the RPS Convert to Linestring command. That will change the polyline into a 3D polyline in the normal coordinate system of the project. Note that by doing this you break the link between the polyline and the cutting plane view - so you may want to copy it to a different layer and then remove the UCS if you want to retain the line with the UCS that has the link to the cutting plane view.

Video shows you how