Point Cab


Learn step by step how to unfold cylindrical objects from the point cloud and check them for deformations.

Tutorial units

  • Unfold a tower

    Unfold a tower

    In this tutorial you learn how to unfold a tower on one plane. For that purpose, you start our Unfold tool first:

    Select the starting point from which the tower shall be unfolded:

    Then, define the form of the ring:

    In order to adjust the basic form perfectly to the object, you can define the width. Thus, you can analyze even elliptical basic forms:

    Then, you have the possibility to change the direction of projection (as for defining a layout). If you want to unfold the inner surface, the direction of projection has to run from inside to outside:

    The yellow highlighted sectional area defines the area of the point cloud you want to analyze during unfolding. You can adjust this sectional area arbitrarily in top view and in side view or front view:

    Now, you can start processing:

    Double-click on the processed job to open the result of the Unfold analysis in PointCab. You obtain the same result with the context menu and then with the option Open. You can open the context menu by right-clicking on the processed job.

    By using the context menu, you can display the results by clicking on Show in Folder:

    For each Unfold analysis, a PDF protocol as documentation is created:

    In addition to the PDF protocol, the standard output formats, such as DXF, DWG and DAE, are output according to the settings you make and want to use. In this example, we use DWG format:

    You can open the DWG file in AutoCAD, for instance, and position it under your project. Here, the DWG is opened in Autodesk TrueView:

  • Cylinder unfold options

    Cylinder unfold Options

    With our tool for unfolding cylinders, the following options are available in the Job Editor:

    Cylinder unfold Paramater:

    You can set all settings regarding parameters visually or by entering the coordinates or values.


    In processing options, you can set resolution, colors, individual entries for the generated PDF and much more.

    Find further information on the settings in our tutorial for Processing options – the color map.


    In the CAD output options, you can change the export unit, background color and file format of the orthophotos.



    Here, you can select individual memory locations for the PDF protocol and the created orthophotos as well as the output format of the orthophotos. You can output DWG, DXF and DAE.

  • Processing options - the color map

    Processing options – the color map

    In this tutorial, we want to dwell in detail on the single processing options for unfolding a cylinder and explain the use of a color map.

    First, we introduce the single options:

    You are already familiar with image resolution, reflectivity, color and scan radius due to other PointCab tools.

    By selecting the scan positions – inside or outside, you can decide straightly if you unfold the inner or outer surface. The corresponding option automatically deactivates the scans that are not required. For analyzing the inner surface, the scans outside are ignored.

    Color map settings:

    To the right of the color map, there is a button with an arrow. With this button, you can open the drop-down menu.

    In this drop-down menu, you can set a discrete flow (hard gradient):

    You can set the gaps between the colors manually by moving the colored arrows.

    You can adjust the colors individually. By double-clicking on the single colored arrows, you open the color palette:

    You can delete superfluous colored arrows by a left mouse click:

    PDF settings:

    Finally, you get some pieces of information for PDF settings. Here, you can enter information on your project, such as project name, entry date, entry team as well as additional annotations.

    You can individualize the PDF protocol by importing your own company logo.

  • Overview of the results

    Overview of the results

    In this tutorial, we want to show you a short overview of the results that have been created in PointCab.

    The following results can be created due to PointCab Unfold:

    1. PDF protocol

    2. Orthophoto in CAD format (DWG, DXF or DAE)


    1. PDF protocol

    The PDF protocol is created in the directory Project_Results in the folder Documentation:

    The following content is documented in the PDF protocol:

    1. Cover sheet with the project name, acquisition period and your annotations:

    2. Unfolded orthophoto

    3. Deviations regarding the plane of projection

    4. Statistic analysis of the results with histogram


    2. Orthophoto in CAD format (DWG example here)

    The orthophoto is in the directory Project_Results in folder Orthophotos.

    You can import the DWG in your CAD system and continue analysis depending on the needs.