Laser scanning is a method for measuring virtually anything with an incredible level of accuracy, from the smallest objects to homes, buildings, large areas, and landscapes. In basic terms, 3D laser scanning uses what’s known as LIDAR (like radar, but with lasers) technology to capture three-dimensional data rapidly and down to the micrometer, in some cases.
By emitting millions of laser pulses and measuring how long it takes for them to bounce back, 3D laser scanners capture millions of data points per second. These data points can then be assembled using software into large data sets called point clouds, with each “point” represented by 3D coordinates (x, y, and z). These point clouds full of 3D data can be so dense that they look like beautiful 3D photographs taken by a magical digital camera, but they’re especially useful in many applications, allowing you to take measurements between any two very specific points and to create sophisticated 2D and 3D models of any scanned environment.
While there are other methods for creating these 3D representations of physical objects and the real world — from photogrammetry to structured light — laser scanning offers the best combination of speed, efficiency, accuracy, and versatility of all the ways to accomplish “reality capture.” Laser scanning can be done indoors and out, on massive objects and tiny, and in just about any lighting environment.
What is 3D laser scanning used for?
Increasingly, 3D laser scanning is used to improve processes in architecture and construction, in addition to a wide range of applications like reverse-engineering difficult-to-manufacture parts, basic surveying, and even video game development.
As 3D scanning technology has developed over the past 30 years, it has transformed AEC processes, from initial site documentation to monitoring construction progress and verifying as-built documentation accuracy.
For example, 3D laser scanning for architecture leads to 2D Autocad or 3D Revit models with unprecedented levels of accuracy, resulting in much easier communication between the design and construction stages. Further, as the project progresses, 3D laser scanning allows for easy comparison between drawings and reality, catching deviations quickly and ensuring on-time completion and a minimum of rework.
Our 3D laser scanning services
Among the most important and common uses of scanning data and point clouds, and where we specialize, is for the creation of highly accurate 2D and 3D models of existing conditions. These models are used for architectural documentation, monitoring construction projects, identifying deviations from spec, and much more. 3D scan data has shown itself to be invaluable for architects, engineers, construction managers, and projects managers in the AEC industry.
At Archidata Services, we offer the following scope of 3D laser scanning services:
- Building Surveys & As-Built Documentation
- 2D & 3D CAD Drafting, with a focus on AutoCAD and Revit
- Floor-leveling analysis
- Area Calculation Studies: Such as to satisfy the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) or the Building Owners and Managers Association standard calculations
- Standard 3D Laser Surveys for Point Cloud creation
What are the real-world benefits of 3D Laser Scanning?
- 1 Accuracy:The accuracy of 3D laser scanning technology simply cannot be beat. Other methods of surveying and measuring, by hand or using less sophisticated technologies, can’t deliver anything close, especially in complex environments.
- 2 Enhanced access:The 3D laser scanning process is a non-contact method for conducting surveys. Therefore, we can survey sensitive objects and areas, such as precious historical sites and medical institutions, without worry of damage or disruption.
- 3 Speed:Laser scanning is the quickest and most efficient method for surveying buildings and landscapes. Projects that used to take weeks can be done in a day or two.
- 4 Safety:Eliminate the need for people to measure hard-to-reach places by hand. Forget about unsafe exposure on construction sites. 3D scanners capture data from anywhere and everywhere, and across significant distances. There’s no reason to put you or your employees in danger’s way.
- 5 Time savings, elimination of travel:The highly accurate and easy to navigate point clouds and the drawings derived from them, created by 3D laser scanning services, virtually eliminate the need for site visits. One architect completed an entire set of renovation drawings for a brownstone in New York City all from the comfort of his office in Italy. Leave the survey to us — you can focus fully on the creative and construction processes with all the information you need right at hand.
- 6 Cost savings, less waste:Inaccurate measurement leads to costly mistakes down the line. Change orders and delays often plague projects. These problems are easily avoidable with accurate measurement using 3D laser scanning.
Why Archidata Services? We’re Laser Scanning Experts
Our staff includes highly trained engineers and architects who conduct their work with utmost professionalism and a deep knowledge of how to do 3D laser scanning right. From laying the groundwork for a job’s first scan to putting the final touches on drawings, we pay attention to every detail, guaranteeing the highest level of accuracy in the final product.
As one of the first organizations to specialize in 3D laser scanning, we have worked with just about every device on the market and we’ve chosen to go forward with the best and most accurate laser scanners currently available, along with the latest point cloud software and technology
Subsequently, the models we create in 3D Revit or 2D Autocad, whatever you prefer for your project’s needs, maintain the highest accuracy and allow you to design and build with confidence.
3D laser scanning services cost
Whether you are renovating a small apartment or gutting a 50-floor building from the ground up, we can meet your needs, often at a fraction of traditional survey estimates. We work with a variety of clients — from boutique architecture firms to large construction management companies — and we’re confident in a positive return on investment.
We guarantee that our 3D laser scanning services will bring significant net-value to your project. Consult us for a personalized proposal.