Lidar to CAD to Sketchup elevation?

I would like to use a Lidar app to scan a wall, make a CAD file, import to sketchup, and use that to make templates for interior shutters. The templates need to be printed on paper, and mailed off to the fabricator.

Most templates are pretty easy to do by hand, but I have 2 oval window openings.

I need to layout the oval shapes in sketchup, and then print out the oval shape on paper, for the shutter manufacturer.

For one of the windows, I need to layout a 3" oval trim piece, and use the file for a CNC service.

I feel like i’m quickly getting in over my head, but im fascinated, and i’m sure it must be possible.
Ive been looking at the different apps. I havnt settled on one yet.

Can I use a 3d CAD file to get to my 2D oval trim and shutter shape for print and CNC.

Having a 3D model of a wall, with its windows, and be able to accurately layout, and print out 2D shapes for templates would be a great skill I could use for my custom window treatment business. I’m trying to read up, and watch as many videos as possible. Im sure the info is all out there, but scattered all over the place. I have found nothing on using sketchup and lidar in this specific way. Im brand new to Lidar, and I have some rudimentary sketchup skills.

You’re working with SketchUp 2017 Make?

You should be able to get point cloud data that you could import with Scan Essentials but you’ll need SketchUp Pro at least.

With which device have you taken the LIDAR data? Keep in mind that if you have done it with an iPhone or iPad, the accuracy is not suitable for CNC.

Ive been learning on the sketchup web free version.
Im going to go ahead and get the pro.
I really want to incorporate it into my business. Mainly for unusual windows and spaces, to get it right on the first try, and show clients exactly what to expect. .
Its really overkill for most projects , which are shades and draperies in residential properties. I just do photo renderings for those projects, and those work great. its mainly for shutters, and laying out draperies in complicated spaces like commercial properties and hihg-hrise condos with floor to ceiling windows on all the exterior walls. . It can be very hard to visualize how draperies will hang and function in those complicated spaces. And even with those complicated spaces, for draperies, I can make a basic model with on-site measures I take.

The main skill I would like to learn with using lidar is going from scan, to sketchup 3d file, and then to 2d elevation plans. Then sketching in my shapes for 2d templates. The two oval widows i’m dealing with are perfect examples. I need 2d templates on paper, and a something to give the CNC folks. .
That must be possible?


I have an 12 iphone and I pad. I got all the bells and whistles. Mainly for the Lidar, and plenty of storage space.

I probably wouldn’t rely on iPhone’s lidar sensor if you want to build from it - you’ll still be needing to take all of the measurements also.
It is certainly useful during design and documentation.

even so, in order to handle the point clouds created from a lidar scanner, you’ll need SketchUp studio, which includes Scan Essentials

I agree with @Elmtec-Adam, you wouldn’t rely on iPone’s lidar precision (2-5cm of error)

You can import a .dae file without SketchUp Studio (only with SketchUp pro) but you receive a mesh and your model could be difficult to work with…

You can try to watch a video I made about point clouds (in Spanish but I imagine you can see the subtitles)

I did not know about the accuracy. I assume thats over a relatively long distance?
I would most likely scan one window at a time, scanning from as close as I could get.

Yea a mesh would be pretty hard to work with, and inaccuracy of 1/16" could cause problems.
Though 1/16" is acceptable for almost all projects; I’d be scanning a very small area
at a very close range.

Ive signed up with Canvas. I just got back my first colorized file; a test run of my kitchen window.
I have not yet ordered their “CAD file service” Canvas states states that a “sketchup file” is available,
but they dont really elaborate.

Before I order Sketchup Pro, does anyone have any experience with Canvas, and their “Sketchup file”?
Is a mesh the only way to import into Sketchup from Lidar?

I’d definitely be willing to pay for a service that would assemble a 3d or 2d model for me; As long as its
within 1/16". Does that kind of service exist?

I’m obviously new to this, so I apologize if the questions are convoluted.

II recommend you to use an app called 3dscaner App. It’s free and allows you to export directly from your iPhone a file in .dae format that you can import directly from SketchUp.
Try a scan and check the measurements, from my experience you will find that deviations have to be taken into account.
If it is for a single window, with the .dae format you will have no performance problem for a window.
If you decide to use the SketchUp Studio subscription you can export in other formats like .las, .e57, etc. and import them with Scan Essentials and work in a more fluid way but the cost you have to analyze.

Thanks for the input. I am for sure going to try out 3Dscanner.

Would Sketchup Pro get me to where I want to go? Model built by Canvas from my scan.
Yea the Studio is overkill at the moment. Most of the renderings I do are Gimp photo renderings,
which work great. Its far and few between that I will need a 3d model, or accurate elevation plan.

Are there any apps that people use to model small objects?


I use SketchUp to model all sorts of small objects from woodworking projects to tiny little medical devices and small parts for 3D printing.

From what I’ve seen of the results from scanning, I think for your purposes you would do better with a tape measure and, if molding profile shapes are important one of those profile pickup things.

Sketchup pro doesn’t have the scan essentials feature, it’s only on the studio version. You can use another software like meshlab to convert point clouds to a mesh, then export it to a file that you can import from sketchup like fbx or dae.

If you can get scan data into a file format (DAE) that SketchUp Peo can import, you should be good without the stopover in Cad. Adding another program to the plan just adds another opportunity to transform or scale the geometry.

You can export a mesh directly with the iPhone, no need extra software