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3D Model Visualization in FARO Sphere® XG
3D Model Visualization in FARO Sphere® XG

New Importing and Visualizing of 3D Models in Sphere XG

Written by Rob Swanson
Updated over a week ago

Sphere XG now supports importing and visualizing of 3D models along with point clouds and 360° photos. The new "Import 3D Data" button in Sphere XG allows uploading your 3D or BIM model in various industry standard formats including Navisworks, Revit, IFC, DWG, and more.


Which file formats are supported?

Virtually all formats used in the industry are supported, including Navisworks, Revit, IFC, DWG.

In which coordinate system are 3D models imported?

Imported 3D models are imported and displayed in the project coordinate system. Point clouds that have been georeferenced or aligned to survey points will automatically line up with the 3D models.

Point clouds can be aligned to survey points in FARO SCENE.

How can the 3D model be aligned to the floor plans and the point clouds?

The 3D model is imported and displayed in the project coordinate system, and cannot be relocated. Sheets and point clouds, on the other hand, can be aligned to the 3D model.

Align Sheets to the 3D model via each sheet’s contextual menu:

Align to 3D Model option

Align Point Clouds to the 3D model in two ways, by:

  • Aligning them to their sheet.

  • Treating them as “georeferenced.”

Align Point Clouds to 3D model in two ways

How can individual surfaces or groups of surfaces be hidden in the 3D view?

Individual surfaces or groups of surfaces can be hidden by right-clicking them in the 3D view.

Hide individual or group sufaces

Their visibility can also be edited via the 3D model tree structure. Click the eye icon to toggle visibility.

Eye icon to edit visibility

How can current conditions be compared with the 3D model?

Point clouds and 360° photos can be compared with the 3D model in Split Screen mode.

Point clouds can also be overlayed with 3D models in 3D Overview mode, and opacity of each element can be set independently.

3D overview mode

What is the maximum file size supported by Sphere XG?

Recommended file size varies widely between file formats. The file size of a given 3D model is dependent on the level of detail and amount of elements present in a model.

A table listing recommended file size by file format can be found in the Import 3D Data menu. This table is kept up-to-date as Sphere XG capabilities improve.

Recommended file size by format

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