Approximating lengths, areas, and volumes with Site Scan and ReMake

Suggested Software:

ReCap 360 Pro:



Site Scan customers frequently want to use the 3D meshes they generate of their work site to approximate lengths, areas, and volumes on site. These measurements can be used to estimate cut and fill numbers, check as-planned against as-built, and monitor stockpile volumes. While 3DR Site Scan and AutoCAD Civil 3D are the flagship engineering tools for performing these calculations, 3DR Site Scan and Autodesk ReMake work together seamlessly to provide approximate values.


  1. Scan or Survey your object of interest.

    Don’t know whether to perform a Scan or a Survey? As a general rule, if your area/object of interest has vertical faces, use the Scan tool. Otherwise, use Survey.
  2. Geotag your images, upload the images to the 3DR Cloud, and initiate processing with Autodesk ReCap. For this workflow, make sure you select RCM as one of the data outputs.

    Confused by Autodesk file formats? Ortho will generate an georeferenced aerial map and digital elevation model, RCS will generate a point cloud for use in Civil 3D and other Autodesk products, RCM will generate a mesh for use in ReMake, FBX will generate a mesh for use in other Autodesk products, OBJ will generate a mesh for import into all 3D viewers, and LAS will generate a point cloud for import into all point cloud viewers.
  3. Wait until processing is completed. Monitor job progress by tapping the ReCap jobs tab and watching the status move from SCENE CREATED to CREATED to POLLING to COMPLETE. The job will take an average of 20 minutes plus 30 seconds per photo.
  4. Open Autodesk ReMake and open a project from your A360 Cloud drive. Your recent missions should automatically appear as tiles at the bottom of your screen. If they do not, click “browse” and ReMake will let you manually import an RCM file or use the 3DR mobile app to share an RCM file.

    How do I share a processed job from the Site Scan mobile app? Navigate to the jobs screen, tap an individual job, tap share, and select email. A link to the .rcm file will appear in the recipient’s inbox.

    Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.23.39 PM
  5. Use the measure tool to select two points on the mesh surface. A straight line will be drawn between the points and the distance displayed.

    What if I want to take measurements in a fixed Cartesian coordinate system? ReCap 360 Pro is an excellent and easy-to-use tool for making these types of measurements.

    Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.26.06 PM

  6. Select the area of interest on the mesh. Use the brush tool to only select the top of a surface and not the surface behind.
  7. Run a mesh report on the selected area.
    Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.26.50 PM

    Volume (Video)
  8. Use the Slice & Fill tool to define the bottom plane

    Why do I need a bottom plane? Volume calculations are done between two planes. Civil 3D contains very sophisticated tools for performing these calculations, but we can do nearly the same thing much more easily in ReMake. Defining a bottom plane in 3D allows you to correct for any slop on the ground plane or other abnormalities.

    Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.28.55 PM
  9. Use the inner ring or check the “Transform plane” tick box to align the ground plane of the tool to that of your aggregate pile. Then use the outer ring to raise and lower the bottom plane until it matches its boundary. Raise the outer ring until the base of the pile becomes white. 

    Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.31.48 PM
  10. Next, delete the areas of your model not relevant to these measurements.

    Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.32.23 PM
  11. And finally, select the aggregate pile and run a mesh report. You will see surface area and volume displayed.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 4.33.07 PM

Live Chat

Available hours: 8am - 5pm PST


Email our team for support

Hardware Services

Find an Authorized Service Center