If you want to build these models using real data and compare the output to planning, you need to understand laser scanners, point clouds and 3D reality capture technology.
What we want to explain here is the value of laser survey technology for construction. However, to do so, we must dive into the evolution of best practices and open the door to new LiDAR and point cloud processing applications. By embracing laser scanners and cloud point solutions, you will modernize your workflows and ensure superior efficiency on all your projects.
Why use laser scanners?
Laser survey technology has been on the market since the 1990s, and the construction field was an early adopter. However, the use of laser scanners has been limited due to the cost of commissioning a scan and model.
What has changed in the survey industry is accessibility. Hardware, software and deliverables have all advanced, increasing their usefulness and decreasing the cost. Improvements in scanners have allowed third parties to create hardware-independent 3D scanning software and experiment with more efficient workflows.
Why are laser scanners also used?
The value of laser scan data for project planning is primarily in capturing information. Laser scanners can be used to create accurate models from the start, reducing the need to rework drawings. The high level of accuracy reduces overhead, prevents delays, and allows for more flexible planning and communication.
The usefulness of laser scanners for modeling
When it comes to modeling, the scanner gives you a clear understanding of the space around the job site. Using the scan data, you can model your buildings in the exact context of their surroundings, especially useful when considering construction sites impacted by :
- Hazardous locations: remote geography or weather, high traffic, dangerous
- Sites surrounded by a historic building
Laser surveying also helps prevent errors. Technologies such as laser scanners allow you to capture site data on a larger scale. This data can prevent mistakes and save you time and money on your projects.
A point cloud generated by the laser survey can identify measurement differences between the site and what is shown on the design drawings. These measurement differences can help prevent a potential disaster.
An evolving use of laser scanners based on cost reduction is the dynamic deployment of scans to evaluate project milestones. The term "Scan to BIM" is used for all scanning applications that enable the modeling of BIM digital mockups.
This type of cross-referencing allows teams to detect errors immediately. It also facilitates the use of modern manufacturing techniques such as the use of 3D printing to prefabricate materials off-site for transportation and rapid assembly.
The use of laser scanning in error prevention is one of the most important advantages of this technology. The scanning itself offers additional protection to a plethora of planning processes and also ensures that the project is completed on time.
Make your workflows more flexible with laser scanners
Laser scanners and modeling technology can significantly reduce the need for a site visit, especially with the integration of this data into ATIS.cloud.
Everyone with cloud access will be able to remotely access 3D job site data in real time to collaborate effectively. They will also be able to take dimensions and make precise adjustments in their 3D models.
Use specialists when using your laser scanners
One of the most important points to note is the importance of a surveyor's use of laser scanners. Laser survey technology is a piece of technology that requires specialized knowledge to function properly. Capturing the reality and then viewing the point clouds for modeling requires dedicated hardware and software.
To properly use this equipment and take advantage of it for your projects, it must be handled by a surveyor. To adopt laser scanners into your workflows, you must either hire a dedicated surveyor to operate within your team or contract with a 3D laser survey service provider.
When it comes to your construction project, you want to find synergy. Incorporating the right technology, coupled with the right software is the key to this. The right tools for the job are going to be essential in managing time, cost and risk at all stages of the project. Look for forward-thinking survey teams that use modern recording software and integrate directly with BIM.
Basically, by establishing the right technology mix, efficiencies can be created and improvements can be made. The value of laser scanners lies primarily in better understanding and capturing data on your projects. For scanners, we recommend the PX-80 mobile laser scanner from Paracosm.