Attaching Point Clouds in MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries)

Published on September 10, 2010

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.

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9 Responses to “Attaching Point Clouds in MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries)”

  1. Envision Newsletter September 2010 - Envision CAD | MicroStation Training & InRoads Training Says:

    April 11th, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    […] MicroStation: Attaching Point Clouds in MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries) […]

  2. Guillaume B Says:

    March 20th, 2013 at 10:32 am

    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

  3. Bob Mecham Says:

    March 20th, 2013 at 11:07 am

    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

  4. Tim Brolley Says:

    January 21st, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    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?


  5. Bob Mecham Says:

    January 23rd, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Tim, the first thing we would check is your video card driver is up to date.

    Bob Mecham

  6. Dinesh Patel Says:

    August 4th, 2016 at 8:03 am


    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!



  7. Bob Mecham Says:

    August 4th, 2016 at 11:36 am

    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

  8. Ashwin Says:

    February 14th, 2018 at 5:12 am


    I am trying to import Laser Scan file *.LAS in microstation. Step involved in microstation are
    1) File-> Point Clouds, then File->Attach-> Selecting *.LAS file -> converts to *.POD file

    Question/Problem -> After attaching the *.POD file, the location of scan data is very far off for the actual/real scan (Scan data is in Metric Unit)

    Can you please help me to understand how to get the scan data to right location in mircostation?

    Appreciate your help and Thank you in advcance.



  9. Bob Mecham Says:

    February 19th, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    I would check the working units of the file you are referencing the POD file compared to the DGN file.
    There is also a column in the Point Clouds dialog for adjusting the GeoCS.

    Hope this helps,
    Bob Mecham

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