Can You Use Point Cloud in SketchUp?

Can You Use Point Cloud in SketchUp?

SketchUp is a powerful 3D modeling software that allows users to create and design stunning architectural, interior, and landscape designs. It provides a user-friendly interface and a wide range of tools to bring your ideas to life.

But can you use point cloud data in SketchUp? Let’s find out.

What is a Point Cloud?

A point cloud is a large collection of 3D coordinate points that represent the surface of an object or environment. It is usually created by scanning the object or environment using laser scanners or photogrammetry techniques. Point clouds are incredibly detailed and can capture every little detail of the scanned area.

Importing Point Cloud Data into SketchUp

SketchUp does not have native support for point cloud data, but there are plugins available that can help you import and work with point clouds within SketchUp.

1. Using Plugins

To import point cloud data into SketchUp, you can use plugins like “PointCloud” or “Undet.” These plugins allow you to directly import point cloud files into SketchUp and visualize them as 3D meshes.

  • Step 1: Install the desired plugin from the SketchUp Extension Warehouse.
  • Step 2: Open SketchUp and navigate to the “Extensions” menu.
  • Step 3: Select the plugin you installed, such as “PointCloud” or “Undet.”
  • Step 4: Follow the plugin’s instructions to import your point cloud file into SketchUp.

2. Converting Point Clouds to Meshes

If you don’t want to use plugins, you can convert point clouds to meshes using third-party software before importing them into SketchUp. There are various software options available, such as CloudCompare or MeshLab, that can help you convert point clouds to mesh formats like OBJ or STL.

Once you have converted the point cloud to a mesh format, you can import it into SketchUp like any other 3D model file.

Working with Point Clouds in SketchUp

After importing your point cloud data into SketchUp, you can start working with it just like any other 3D model. However, keep in mind that point clouds are typically very detailed and may require some optimization for smooth performance within SketchUp.

You can use SketchUp’s native tools to manipulate and edit the imported point cloud. This includes scaling, rotating, and moving the model. You can also apply textures or materials to the surface of the point cloud to enhance its appearance.


While SketchUp does not have native support for point cloud data, you can still import and work with it using plugins or by converting it to mesh formats. Point clouds provide a high level of detail and accuracy, making them a valuable resource for architects, designers, and other professionals working in 3D modeling environments.

By incorporating point cloud data into your SketchUp projects, you can bring real-world context to your designs and create more accurate representations of the built environment.