PointCab – latest point cloud software 4.0 Review

Written by Karol Argasiński, BiM Manager and self employed Surveyor

PointCab rebranded their appearance and released their new Origins 4.0. Reason enough for me to take a closer look. I joined the Webinar on 03/31/21 and summed up all you need to know about PointCabs new Origins 4.0. Let me know what you think.

First things first: what is Origins 4.0?
As many of you may already know, software manufacturer PointCab is well-known for their easy-to-use point cloud software packages, formerly known as “PointCab Suite” and “PointCab 3D Pro”. With their latest update, the company decided to completely re-brand and restructure their entiere company and portfolio, which resulted in the new software packages “Origins” and “Origins Pro”. While much of the original “Suite” and “3D Pro” workflows remain the same, you can see at first glance how much has changed.

Clean design and improved usability
The new optics told me that an in-depth facelift has happened. While “PointCab Suite” and “3D Pro” did look a little outdated, Origins convinced with a clean and modern design. First time users profit from the new simplified toolbar design while super users like myself can now customize their experience with the improved shortcut manager and design options, which I was personally hoping for. All in all, Origins provides a more enjoyable user experience then its predecessor.

Faster calculations and better handling of tools
Beside the design changes, I noticed Origins also comes with faster calculations and a better handling of its tools. For instance, Orthophoto tools like Layout & Section will calculate and write all set up properties like color, reflectivity, delta and much more in one go, which saves you a lot of time. The Vectorization tool has received a couple of smart and useful functions, too. They improved the automatized edge detection, and added the option to calculate distances & areas from vector lines. 

Smarter workflow for CAD users
Since they implemented new layers, different elements can now be assigned to a designated layer, which improves the pre-processing for different CAD softwares like AutoCAD. This, in combination with the new sheets, in my opinion, also further adds to the improved usability. Now different elements can be hidden for a better view, taylored to the task at hand.

Improved registration and user-friendly compatibility

In addition to checkerboard and sphere features, planes can now be detected to improve the registration. It does not work fully automatic as a C2C, yet, which I have to admit, was a little downer. However, in their sneak peak webinar, PointCab promised to deliver the automatic plane to plane registration within the next months, with one of the Revision updates. I personally look forward to this. The developers explained that these massive changes required them to heavily edit the software code. That’s why Origins projects are not compatible with earlier versions. However they wanted to guarantee a smooth transition. So Origins and older versions can be installed side by side and projects will be automatically saved for re-editing in 3.x versions when updating to Orgins 4.0. That’s a big plus for users like me who have already created many projects with older versions.

What else is new? 

I also took a look at the changelog on the new PointCab website (which btw. also looks better than its predecessor), and discovered that they added a whole bunch of other features and improvements. Way too many to squeeze into one article. If you want to give PointCabs new Origins 4.0 a try, you can now get the free trial version on their website. This first version of PointCab Origins is also supposed to trigger a new version of their recently introduced free PointCloud viewer PointCab Share and their 4Revit Plugin.

For the ones of you interested, PointCab offers free Demo sessions for Origins 4.0. If you’re based in the US, you can also reach out for more information to Seiler Design Solutions, PointCab´s USA Partner. 

Written by Karol Argasiński, BiM Manager and self employed Surveyor.


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