3D Laser Scanning: New Opportunities for Contractors

3D laser scanning has been around the construction industry for years—but the technology continues to advance and offer new opportunities to contractors. It is simply a matter of identifying what’s coming next in order to get the greatest benefits.

Back to the Basics

3D laser scanning technology simplifies the complex and strenuous task of site surveying and interior measuring. It takes a 360-degree snapshot of the target area and generates point-cloud data that can be input into a CAD (computer-aided design) program. It offers instant verification of structural integrity and minute details even within a large-scale project. It provides simple and accurate site surveying and reduces drafting and design time immeasurably.

A 3D site scan is not limited by structure or site size, visibility, or environment. The technology creates accurate surveys and can even scan unsafe surfaces and areas.

Scanning makes it possible to rapidly process 3D data to better model and analyze real-world objects and environments, capturing geometry, context, and color. The data collected by the scan allows for very precise 3D models of both pre-construction and post-construction existing conditions.

Benefits Galore

This technology can help contractors and designers in many ways. The information is captured and stored digitally. These digital points will render a 3D model that allows users to interact with it. The points maintain all data from the scan, which can be accessed at any point.

The data can then be uploaded to the Internet to allow people to view the information from different areas. Online access allows anyone to view the completed structure whenever needed.

Use Cases for the Future

A digital record informs contractors of where they started. For the preservation of certain phases in a project, later hidden by subsequent work, this is important. With the scans, project managers and contractors can easily monitor the progress on site digitally, resulting in improved quality control.

Additionally, 3D laser scanning provides a scan of the building to create and preserve an image of the structure as it stood prior to construction. This is something to keep in mind for the future, as more building owners may want access to this information in the lifecycle of a facility.

Another big trend to keep an eye on for the future is the fact 3D laser scanning can also work a safety measure, helping to avoid miscalculations due to faulty measurements. This level of accuracy can mean the prevention of on-site accidents or collisions all together because workflows and material movement can be planned with increased precision.

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