What’s New in Solid Edge 2022: Point Cloud Visualization

By Jayne Scheckla

Visualizing designs in the context of real-world environments with point cloud visualization

Laser scanning of existing facilities is becoming commonplace these days. Scans provide millions of colored points, or clouds, which can represent 3D spaces through 3D digital images. Point clouds are the simplest form of 3D models, basically collections of individual points plotted in a 3D space. An output of 3D scanning processes, point clouds can be converted into a 3D mesh to create 3D CAD models for a variety of applications.

Reference Point Cloud - Initial Imports
Reference point cloud initial imports

The ability to visualize point clouds is especially useful when retrofitting factories or plants. Being able to visualize designs in the context of real-world environments gives you confidence in positioning new equipment in a particular setting.

You don’t have to take our word for it. Here’s what Benjamin Pfammatter at Burgener AG had to say about the new capability:

“The new point cloud visualization capability is going to save us time in the detail design phase. Being able to see where new equipment will fit can eliminate a lot of tedious manual effort.”

Benjamin Pfammatter, Burgener AG
Reference point cloud with tank from top (scaled)
Reference point cloud with tank viewed from above (scaled)

Solid Edge 2022 introduced the ability to reference point cloud scans in order to visualize a design in its intended environment. The point cloud can be easily repositioned in relation to a Solid Edge model, and clipping planes can be used to focus on a required area of the design. Full control over point density and size is available.

Reference Point Cloud - with Tank
Adding proposed equipment into point cloud.

Solid Edge assembly measurement and viewing tools can be used to position and design equipment in the context of the point clouds. Measurements can be made between the model and scan geometry to ensure correct clearances. 

So, there you have it, Point Cloud Visualization for Solid Edge 2022. It supports a variety of formats, including two Autodesk formats, and it’s included with Solid Edge premium subscriptions.  

To learn more about what’s new in this release, visit

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at