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Laser Scanning Applications, Capabilities & Benefits in the AEC Industry


Laser scanning technology isn’t new and is employed as a standard practice in the manufacturing industry for some time now. However, it’s now gaining traction in the construction business because of its precision. Drones, UAVs, terrestrial scanners, and digital photogrammetry, among other constantly expanding 3D scanning techniques, make it possible to map practically every area of a construction site at an unparalleled level of detail.

Laser scanning in construction applications has seen a 57% increase in demand. The market, which was worth $3 billion in 2016, is predicted to increase to $10 billion by 2024. Is laser scanning being used on your building projects, or are you still researching its capabilities?

What is Laser Scanning?

The use of a laser to gather comprehensive data and obtain correct information for every detail on a construction site is known as laser scanning or high-definition surveying. With a line of laser light, the device captures the dimensions and spatial relationships of objects. The scanner creates a point cloud image that accurately copies the scanned items. Depending on the scanner, items can be scanned from a hundred meters away. Thereafter, the data is exported to BIM modeling, and CAD tools, which are used to create 2D CAD drawings or a 3D model.

Laser Scanning in Construction

Laser Scanning technology has progressed significantly since its first application in the construction and maintenance of industrial buildings. It is now used for infrastructure development and much more.

Rework can account for up to 15% of the cost of construction on a typical building project. Frequent 3D scanning, on the other hand, can reveal any possible faults before they become change orders, lowering the main contractor’s risk.

Scanning at predetermined intervals allows for the documentation of crucial milestones such as trade hand-offs and a comparison of work delivered to as-designed models and drawings for quality assurance. Laser scans can extract additional information on a specific aspect of construction in some cases, allowing corrective action to be taken.

Here’s how laser scanning is used throughout the project lifecycle:

I. Design Phase

When it comes to site design, laser scanning is a good place to start, even before BIM. Many professionals are now using a scan-to-BIM design method to capture detailed information to start and control the design process at an early stage.

II. Construction Phase

Another significant benefit of laser scanning is in construction coordination, particularly in minimizing conflicts between several systems (i.e., HVAC, electrical, plumbing). Data can also be shared across parties to aid in further collaboration. Scanning isn’t just done at the start of a project; it may also be done at various stages during the timeline to better document milestones, eliminate the need for change orders, and delegate work to other trades. In the building industry, laser scanning can help document where mistakes were made and suggest a solution more quickly.

III. Clash Detection

Within a project, 3D laser scanning is used to mitigate clashes. This could include equipment that isn’t the right size or pipes that aren’t in the right spot. Laser scanning enables you to identify any potential problems.

IV. Renovations, Retrofits & Demolition

3D building scanners capture a high level of information, this lets owners and facility managers generate a comprehensive as-built record. Finally, this information can assist with building operations, renovations, future additions, and even demolitions.


Benefits of Laser Scanning in Construction

There are numerous advantages to using laser scanning for your next project. Here are some of the most compelling reasons why laser scanning could be beneficial to your projects:

1. Enhanced Precision & Quality

Laser scanning aids in the creation of accurate models from the outset, reducing the need to redo the designs. You can eliminate cost, and delays, and assure flexible project planning with its excellent accuracy levels. As a result of the increased precision, the stakeholders concerned can communicate more freely. Laser scanning creates a three-dimensional representation that aids in the prevention of errors.

2. Cost-Benefit

Laser scanning is a quick way of project mapping, significantly faster than traditional approaches. Scans take minutes to complete, compared to hours or even weeks for traditional procedures. Furthermore, the data scans that are produced enable teams to construct more detailed workflows. Because construction is a bottom-line enterprise, whatever cost savings that project teams may achieve will only help the project’s profitability. Some experts believe that adopting laser scanning instead of traditional 2D scanning on a project can save up to 50%, with the most substantial benefits coming from a shorter timetable.

3. In-Depth Analysis

The use of laser scanning technology to analyze and predict overall budgeting, costing, timeline, and schedule while monitoring for any interferences during the rebuilding process is not limited to building parts or design.

4. Flawless Coordination and Collaboration

Laser scanning also facilitates coordination and collaboration. As a result, the relevant stakeholders will be able to make more informed and timely decisions. When everyone works together, communication improves, teamwork improves, and everyone stays focused on the ultimate goal: a successful project.

5. Adaptable Workflows

The use of 3D laser scanning decreases the number of site visits required. This technology takes advantage of cloud integration to provide remote access to the cloud. You can hire private contractors to help you with your construction job. These experts use remote access to obtain data and make choices without having to visit the place. They can also take precise measurements in 3D models based on real-world situations.

6. Monitor Project Stages

The SCAN-to-BIM method is used to upload data from laser scans into BIM schematics. With BIM, you can compare the stages of a construction project using scan data. It’s also possible to see the stages of execution. This allows you to quickly detect problems and prefabricate materials using manufacturing procedures.

7. Safety

Worker safety is a crucial concern in any construction job. Laser scanning systems’ remote sensing capability and speedy data gathering reduce human exposure to hazardous conditions and high radiation locations. When the location is risky owing to its closeness to nuclear or chemical facilities, this keeps the workers safe. A laser scanner can accurately measure high ceilings and ductwork that is out of human reach. Site security is considerably improved when one person is equipped with a laser scanner.

Laser scanning has become a popular technology for surveying both remote and complex geometrical areas. BIM models make it easy to understand loopholes, design redundancies, and any other changes that may be required in the new proposed design. Scanning technology can be used on any sort of project, including new construction, during the construction period. They give a very precise and constantly updated record of site progress, with cost, build quality, and delivery benefits.

Drones, UAVs, terrestrial scanners, and digital photogrammetry, among other constantly expanding 3D scanning techniques, make it possible to map practically every area of a construction site at an unparalleled level of detail.

Construction teams around the world are beginning to recognize the speed and precision of laser scanning over traditional surveys, and when the results are incorporated into BIM, the possibilities are nearly limitless.

Investing in any technology, let alone laser scanning is expensive & demands expertise. A laser scanning project can grow in complexity, given the amount of data collected over time. As a result, it may make more sense for you to outsource the CAD design and drafting requirements. The ROI is evident and you can see how helpful it can be on your projects, it may make sense to invest in the technology.

More than 45% of the AEC industry is moving toward the precise and agile technology of Point Cloud to BIM or SCAN to BIM modeling. Point cloud models can accurately illustrate relatively complex landscapes and objects with a large number of data or focus points to generate precise 3D models.

INDOVANCE Inc supports our clients with a complete range of Point cloud conversion services. We deliver a full range of BIM modeling projects. We work on parametric family creation, model creation for all LOD (Level of Detail), 4D and 5D support, and model phasing, as well. We also provide complete support for CAD to BIM, point cloud to BIM, SCAN to BIM, and PDF to BIM conversions.

For more queries regarding any of the topics mentioned above, feel free to connect with us on our website www.indovance.com, or contact us at +1-919-238-4044.

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