2d line drawings in cad from maps

Hi There
New user here, ive been searching through for an answer but im struggling… I want to take the mapping or point cloud and end up with 2d line drawings in autocad, could someone point me in the right direction please?


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Hi Justin!

Thank you for reaching out on the forums! Would you mind please clarifying a few things for me so it is a little easier for me to know exactly what you’re after?

As far as the outputs from DroneDeploy, the point cloud will be in 3D, and the mapping could be in 3D or 2D, so would you mind specifying which you are looking for? If you don’t exactly know, if you could describe your subject, that also could help me. For example, it could be a house, or terrain with no features, or a full landscape.

If you could also please clarify what you mean by ‘2d line drawings in Autocad’, that would be very helpful. There are a few things that come to mind, such as a contour map, or a Digital Terrain Model, or Section Lines, and some of those formats you’re able to receive as a direct export from DroneDeploy.

I look forward to your response so we can get you mapping and analyzing!


Thanks Adam
Yes so I’m looking to make flat 2d building construction drawings or floor plans that I would normally make in cad but I’d like to use the 3d models / point clouds if that’s possible?
I was thinking along the lines of being able to take a horizontal section just above ground level to give me vertical walls of buildings then somehow export them to cad to clean up. I’m amazed at how accurate the measurements are from the maps and think they’ll be accurate enough to generate drawings / floor plans from.
I would like to go one step further if this will work and use a 3d scanner to do building interiors in conjunction with the drone.
For mapping large area sites this is really exciting stuff.

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I’m glad that maps look accurate enough to generate drawings and floor plans for your construction business! That is certainly a fantastic use case.

It sounds like you are interested in both a point cloud and a 3D model export. You can check both of these out before exporting by clicking the ‘3D Model’ layer button in the upper left corner of your dashboard, which will load the 3D model layer. To view the point cloud, toggle the ‘Point Cloud’ switch that pops up right below the layer selector.

To export these files, click ‘Export’ at the top of the dashboard of your desired map. Choosing the 3D model will export it as an .obj file, which you will be able to directly import into AutoCAD. Exporting as a point cloud will give you the option to download the file as a .las or .xyz, which is importable to AutoCAD after setting a few parameters, as described here.

Please reach out if there is anything else I could follow up on with this! :smiley:


I do all of this in Carlson Precision 3D Topo.

Adam, where would i take the export data to, to create a 2d floor plan?
So i have this example from the demo and i would like make the 2d floor plan of the whole site.38

Hi @carcamerarig,

It seems like the easiest way to do this would be to export the Point Cloud and then using, for example, autoCAD to extract the 2D geometry from the 3D Point Cloud.

I’m telling you all for the record that the best way to edit a point cloud, draw linework on top of it, integrate Google Maps data, export to DXF and do volumetrics in 3D is Carlson Precision 3D Topo.

I don’t have any experience with the Carlson software, but what you get from your drone flights will only get you the outer walls. Photogrammetry is problematic with interior spaces for a variety of reasons. I started the other way around and began with LiDAR thinking that the first thing that everyone did with point cloud data was to create 2D drawings, which turned out to not be true. Getting 2D from 3D is still challenging. After learning Autocad I switched to Bentley’s Context Capture Editor because it had better tools for dealing with point cloud data and making 2D drawings. Spendy, but so is everything in this little corner of the world.

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