FARO offers a suite of products for imaging, processing and managing 3D scan data. FARO Zone 3D allows you to import and combine point cloud models from laser scanners and drones.

Check out our article, How to create 3D reconstructions for more detailed steps on creating 3D models with other third-party photogrammetry platforms.

Creating a point cloud in FARO Zone 3D

Step 1 - Launch FARO

You must first obtain a license to use FARO. Follow the instructions for downloading and installing.


Step 2 - Select FotoPoints 

Navigate to the menu at the top of your screen and select the tab called Point Cloud. From here, select FotoPoints




Step 3 - Upload images and choose an Output file location 

Use the upward arrow next to Input Folder to upload your scan images. 

Use the upward arrow next to Output Folder to select a file location for your generated point cloud. 


Step 4 - Set the quality of your point cloud

Use the slider to adjust between Low and High quality.

  • Low quality: faster processing, less data
  • High quality: slower processing, more points and data



Step 5 - Select scaling options

Use the dropdown menu to select Use GPS for ScalingUse ScaleBar, or No Scaling

  • When using ScaleBar, you must indicate the start and end point of the scale in two or more images
  • Place known measurements in the ScaleBar Length box



Step 6 - Select Convert to begin processing

When processing completes, your point cloud will appear in the chosen Output Folder

Import this into FARO for additional diagramming or forensic analysis. 


How to merge point clouds

Follow the steps below to merge a drone point cloud with a laser scanner point cloud. 

Step 1 - Select Merge Point Clouds

Navigate to the menu at the top of your screen and select the tab called Point Cloud. From here, select the third icon, Merge Point Clouds, in the Cloud Create section.  



Step 2 - Import the primary point cloud

Select Open (located in Step 1 in the screenshot) to upload your primary point cloud into the workspace. In most cases, this will be the data from the laser scanner.




Step 3 - Import the secondary point cloud

Select Open (located in Step 2 in the screenshot) to upload your secondary point cloud into the workspace. In most cases, this will be the images from the drone scan.




Step 4 - Choose 3-Point Merge and Align

Navigate to Step 3A. Select Pick 3 Points and you will see your secondary point cloud. Choose three points in this model that are also visible in the primary point cloud.

  • Adjust the point size if necessary

In Step 3B, you will see your primary point cloud. Choose the same three points that were set in the secondary point cloud.

  • Ensure the three points are selected in the same order

In Step 3C select Calculate to align the two point clouds based on your three chosen points. 

  • Make necessary adjustments manually using the X,Y,Z coordinates


Step 4 - Merge

Name your combined point cloud project in the Project Name box. 

Set a file location for the generated point cloud using the Browse for Folder option. 

To finalize and create your reconstruction, select Merge




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