3D Laser scanning

3D laser scanning is one of the fastest and most accurate measurement methods, often used in parallel with photogrammetry. 3D laser scanning is most widely used in architecture, construction and surveying, as well as in cartography, architectural inventory, deformation measurements of engineering structures, environmental studies and archaeology.

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BIMfaktoria, a company that offers laser scanning in Warsaw and the Mazowieckie Voivodeship, as well as throughout Poland, is implementing more and more services based on 3D laser scanning. This is a result not only of the advantages of 3D laser scanning, but also of the fact that this technology significantly improves the processing of information obtained by measurement.

The results of laser scanning are point clouds that can be transformed into orthophotos, CAD models or BIM models, and the resulting mesh grids can be used to create virtual reality or visualization.

3D laser scanning

3D laser scanning is performed using ground-based or mobile SLAM laser scanners, as well as drones. The laser scanner emits a focused beam of light and, by reflecting it off building surfaces such as walls, ceilings, floors and fixtures, reads millions of measurement points.

The result is a three-dimensional coordinate system in the form of point clouds, and on its basis it is possible to create accurate 3D models with data such as:

  • size and volume of individual rooms;
  • the geometry of objects (e.g., the slope of ceilings, the location of openings, architectural details);
  • colors of various elements;
  • location of possible cavities and damages;
  • exits and entrances of MEP installations;
  • landscaping,
  • vegetation cover.

There are four basic types of laser scanning:

  • terrestrial 3D laser scanning;
  • aerial laser scanning;
  • mobile 3D laser scanning;
  • satellite laser scanning.

3D laser scanning – applications

The wide possibilities of 3D scanning make it eagerly used in various fields.

The most important examples of BIMfactoria’s use of 3D scanners are:

  • construction-architectural inventory (BIM inventory);
  • keeping digital records of monuments (digitization of monuments);
  • conservation work on historic monuments (heritage BIM);
  • surveying engineering structures (e.g., HVAC systems, roads or railroads with infrastructure);
  • as-built inventories – taking measurements on development surfaces (important for determining whether volumes match the design);
  • base for interior design projects;

Point cloud processing software is able to perform control verification of data, and also assists in generating very detailed models of objects, and creating CAD documentation (necessary, for example, for architectural and construction inventories), It is helpful in collecting a complete database for conservation projects.

3D laser scanning in architectural surveys

Laser scanners are increasingly used in inventories of industrial buildings, equipped with a number of installation systems, and in other places and objects that are too complicated for measurements by classical methods. We are talking about historic buildings, complex cubic projects or mines or tunnels that are subject to degradation or have been affected in some way by time.

Inventory work carried out by traditional methods requires a lot of manual measurements and the ordering and proper presentation of the results. Especially in the case of large objects, this consumes a lot of time and involves a considerable risk of mistakes. The situation is different with 3D laser scanning. The use of this technology from the point of view of the investor and the contractor is associated with many advantages.

The most important of these are:

  • acceleration of the process regardless of the size of objects, their number and the complexity of the model;
  • elimination of the risk of making mistakes: by using a computer together with dedicated PointCab point cloud processing software, the highest precision of measurements can be achieved;
  • simplifying and reducing the cost of work, associated with the use of scaffolding or platforms to measure hard-to-reach elements.

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