3D Laser Scanning – Point Cloud

Laser scanning is an invaluable tool for working in existing buildings. When planning an addition or renovating a facility, it’s common to encounter incomplete or inaccurate as-built drawings. 3D laser scanning technology captures dimensions and spatial relationship of objects digitally, using laser light. The information captured enables the user to “see” the actual  facility conditions.

The scanner outputs a point cloud image, which accurately replicates the scanned objects. When an object is too large to be captured in a single scan, multiple scans from different lines of sight can be linked together to complete the point cloud image. Once the 3D point cloud is generated, the data is exported to CAD, modeling and BIM programs to generate 2D CAD drawings or a 3D model.

Point cloud based as-built drawings and 3D models can improve design by analyzing clashes between newly designed elements and existing conditions, or by evaluating alternative designs prior to construction. The accuracy of these  scans can also improve planning by providing exact measurements for demolition and removal of components, as well as for prefabricated materials, minimizing waste and changes in the field.

How Riley Can Help

We use our Faro 330x Laser Scanner to obtain accurate virtual as-built conditions in existing facilities. We convert the point-cloud into a Revit model during the preconstruction coordination phase. After data acquisition, each scan is geo-referenced, transforming the scanner data into a real-world coordinate system tied to building control and allowing the point-cloud to be accurately positioned relative to other elements of the design. This process creates a real-time as-built model of the entire project, which enables the team to properly phase the project and uncover numerous issues that may not have been documented on the facilities’ as-built plans. Using this technology allows us to plan for unknown issues well before the projects break ground, resulting in significant cost avoidance.