Sharing point clouds in Trimble Connect

Trimble Connect
Trimble Connect
Trimble Connect

There are three ways to share point clouds with other users in your project. The main difference between these methods is the location where the point cloud data is stored.

Options for sharing point clouds

As files to local computer

Sharing a point cloud as a file

To share a point cloud as a simple file, it can be uploaded to Trimble Connect project and downloaded to a local computer as any other file.

To view the point cloud, it must be added using the Add button on the 3D viewer. This converts the point cloud file into potree format that can be rendered in the viewer.

A new folder called Point clouds is created in the Connect project. This includes a link file that is named after the original point cloud file. The link file is pointing to the location where the converted point clouds are stored on the user's computer.

The point cloud is user-specific and will not be visible to other users by default.


Watch a video about sharing point clouds as files to local computers (with English subtitles)

Using a shared drive 

Sharing a point cloud using a shared drive

To share a point cloud using a shared drive, user must first define a path to a shared folder in the settings:

Connect settings point clouds folder

This setting defines the location where the converted point cloud files will be stored.

Now when this user adds the point cloud to the 3D viewer using the Add button, the link file generated in the project's Point clouds folder will point to the converted point cloud on the shared drive. When this link file is uploaded to the cloud, other users will be able to view the point cloud if they have access to the same shared drive.


Watch a video about sharing point clouds by using a shared drive (with English subtitles)

Using an external web server

Sharing a point cloud as a url link

To share point clouds using a URL link, the point cloud files need to be stored on a web server. This enables streaming the point cloud file so that the data doesn't have to be downloaded or stored locally. Only the parts of the point cloud that are currently visible in the 3D viewer are processed at a time.

Note! While Trimble Connect supports sharing point clouds using URL links, it does not include a web server service. However, there are 3rd party service providers that can be used to host the point cloud data on a web server.

You need to enable Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) for on the server, so that Trimble Connect has access to the data stored on the server.

To enable sharing the point cloud with a URL link, the point cloud file must be saved in a potree format that uses a directory structure. This can be done for example with Point cloud manager tool that can be found in Tekla Warehouse.

To save a point cloud file in a correct format for URL sharing using Point cloud manager

  1. Create a new project.
  2. Click the Add file button and open the point cloud file you want to share.
  3. Open the conversion settings by clicking the Start conversion button.
  4. Choose the settings you want to use for the conversion. Make sure the Directory structure is selected and the output format is set to BINARY.
  5. Click Start to convert the point cloud.
  6. Copy the whole project folder to the web server. By default the files will be located in  C:\Trimble\PTRS\pointclouds\<project name>
Conversion settings

    Once the files have been stored on the web server, copy the folder's url from the web server and paste it to the 3D viewer in Trimble Connect for Windows using the Add URL button.

    Point clouds shared with a URL link can be viewed also in Trimble Connect for Browser's 3D viewer after they have been added to the project in Trimble Connect for Windows.


    Watch a video about sharing point clouds by using an external web server (with English subtitles)


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