3 Ways to Use 3D Laser Scanning You Didn’t Think Of

Laser scanning technology is on the rise in the AEC industry and beyond. The Leica BLK360, coming this spring, will bring the cost of entry into laser scanning down to unprecedented levels—opening up new opportunities for companies and industries that were unable to justify high costs in the past. As an example, a team of experts led by the National Park service recently completed one of the first maritime reality captures in an effort to form a complete model of the U.S.S. Arizona and the memorial that sits above it. This unprecedented accuracy and amount of data will change the way the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is maintained and set the stage for future maritime projects.

As scanning becomes more accessible and the industry leaders continue to innovate with the technology, we expect that more organizations will start finding used for scanning that they never considered before. Here are three applications for laser scanning that could make completing your projects easier, and more cost-effective today:

Get an Accurate Picture of a Space Before Renovations

Change orders account for massive costs, in the form of time and money, in the construction industry. Most project owners would expect a project they are working on to either cost more than initial estimates or take longer than planned to complete. But if fewer change orders are required, large amounts of time and money can be saved.

For example, a factory that is transitioning from producing one product to another would likely need to be reconfigured in some way. This could involve rerouted piping, moving electrical elements, and much more. Completing a scan of the factory before redesigning the layout can reduce ambiguity in the design and construction work. Designers would know exactly what they have to work within the current environment to redesign. And, when the time comes to order materials, there would be increased confidence in the amount and type of materials to order. With precise designs and correct materials, downtime, and therefore loss of revenue, in the factory can be minimized.

Measure Flatness and Levelness of Surfaces

Designers and engineers design floors to be perfectly level and flat. However, in practice, creating perfectly level surfaces in construction is impossible. It is important to construct surfaces, both internal and external, as close to perfectly flat and level as possible. Outside in a parking lot, for example, a few small puddles collecting on an imperfect surface can be negligible. Indoors, it is another story. Using 3D laser scanning to accurately measure the elevation of an entire floor can prevent maintenance problems.

Capture As-Built Conditions During Construction

Inaccurate as-builts can lead to many issues long term, including (but not limited to) maintenance issues, surprises during future remodels, etc. One of the biggest issues with as-built drawings is omitted details or incomplete information. For some elements—for example, light fixtures—omitted information isn’t the end of the world. You can always collect that data later when it is needed. Other elements, however, might be permanently hidden during the construction process. For example, it is essential to have an accurate picture of rebar prior to a concrete pour or piping and electrical prior to hanging drywall. Once the concrete is poured or the drywall is hung, the elements are hidden and can’t be rediscovered without demolition.

Completing laser scans of a building throughout the construction process to accurately capture a complete picture of the as-built condition of the building can alleviate countless difficulties in the future.

How could your business benefit from the use of laser scanning? Share your ideas below in the comments.

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