Attaching Point Clouds in MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries)

The ability to reference Point Cloud data has been included in the (SELECTseries 2) release of MicroStation. It is as easy as attaching any reference file in MicroStation. Below are the steps and a couple tips on working with the data.

  1. From the MicroStation pull down menu select File > Point Clouds. The Point Clouds dialog will appear.
  2. the Attach button and the Open dialog will appear.
  3. Path to the Look in directory of your data
  4. Change the Files of Type to the Point Cloud data type.

    • Available formats include:
      Pointools POD
      Terrascan BIN
      Topcon CL3
      Faro FLS
      Lecia PTG
      Leida PTS
Leica PTX
      Riegl 3DD
      Riegl RDB
      Riegl RXP
      Riegl RSP
      Generic Text XYZ
      Generic Text TXT
    • Multiple files can be selected by using the Shift and Ctrl Keys.
  5. Modify any Settings needed then the OK button. The Specify new pod file dialog will appear.

    Note: MicroStation requires the PTX file to be converted to a POD file. A new POD file of the same name will be created leaving the original PTX file unchanged.

  6. The POD file will appear in the Point Clouds dialog.
  7. Options include for Display, Snap, Locate, and Anchoring.
  8. Presentation of the Point Cloud can be modified from the View Attributes dialog.


Big thanks to our friends at Bohannan Huston, Inc. for supplying us with this data set.
With over forty years of expertise in the Spatial Data industry, Bohannan Huston is a recognized leader known for providing the perfect solution for their customers’ needs.


Since 1996, EnvisionCAD has been a nationally recognized leader in the configuration, customization, implementation, training & support for CAD software solutions. Our individualized approach has benefited private engineering firms and government agencies alike. Basic or advanced, we can help you get the most from your CAD technology.

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7 comments on “Attaching Point Clouds in MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries)

  1. Guillaume B Reply

    Troubleshooting pointcloud.

    I am trying to use point cloud to import a batch of XY data into microstation. And get a error message saying model is in 2d. How can I switch it to 3d so I can process this batch of coordinates?

    thanks a lot

  2. Bob Mecham Reply

    Guillaume, from the MicroStation pull down menu go to File > Export > 3D the file will become a 3D file and then you should be able to attach the point cloud.

    Bob Mecham

  3. Tim Brolley Reply

    I am running point clouds on a HP Z420 – Win 7 64 BIT – 16GB Ram – Xeon E5-1620 3.6 GHz Processor – NVIDIA Quadro K4000 3072 MB Dedicated video memory.

    I have a 5GB point cloud (POD file) in a MicroStation V8i SS3. The point cloud is usable when working in Top, Front, Side views, and using “Set Display Depth” only. Working in an isometric view is desired, but if I try to go to an isometric view and clip the clouds either with the “Clip Volume” options, or even clip the point clouds with the “Clip” feature in the Point Cloud reference dialog box, the computer becomes jumpy and unstable, and locks up frequently. Does anyone have any recommendations (hardware or otherwise) on how to resolve this issue?


  4. Dinesh Patel Reply


    I am new to Microstation and I would like to draw building plans and elevations in Microstation from point cloud.

    How to flip ASC (UCS) in x and y axis after setting of ASC?

    Or is there any one working point cloud in Microstation?

    Any help will be appreciated!



    • Bob Mecham Reply

      I would recommend using AccuDraw to help rotating the ASC. I would also recommend you look into using Bentley’s software application Pointools. That is really the best way to draw using point clouds.

      Bob Mecham

  5. Josh Wilson Reply

    Hello, I am trying to attach/convert a point cloud from LAS to POD and then attach as a point cloud.. I am taking a LAS file from the gis clearing house (Lidar), download and then trying. Each time I will get a small “Convert failed” message and it will save something that looks like a pod file, but it is unrocognizable. Why would I be getting the convert failed?

    Background: Using MicroStation v8i and I do have my geographic coordinate system on.

    Thanks in advance!

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