The world is a 3D place. It’s not surprising, then, that architectural 3D modeling is becoming ever more commonplace as architects and engineers discover the huge benefits of designing in 3D and taking advantage of 3D modeling services.

Whether you’re interested in true building information management (often known as BIM or BIM modeling), or just looking to create a 3D design with AutoCAD or similar software, it’s vital to have an accurate representation of reality with which to work.

For a greenfield build, that might include a 3D laser scan of the topography or a 3D scan of surrounding buildings. If you’re working here in New York City, it’s most likely that you’re working on a renovation or rehabilitation project, where you’re going to want a 3D laser scan of the existing structure so that you’re working from true and accurate as-built data.

With laser scan data, drawn from a 3D point cloud that’s an accurate reflection of reality down to the millimeter, you can be sure that the 3D model you’re working from isn’t going to hide imperfections that will only show up on the job site. This way, you can account for all the little idiosyncrasies that have popped up in the building you’re working on over the years.

And should you be looking toward true 3D BIM modeling, you will get a much better idea for how the building will perform as it ages over time.

Creating a 3D Model

The days of modeling from 3D point cloud data being an arduous and time-consuming process are largely over. Modern software advances have made it much easier to create 3D models in much less time, whether in Autodesk’s suite of products, like Revit 3D, or in any other of the many 3D modeling programs.

With professional scanning and modeling engineers like those on our team here at Archidata, you can be sure that you have an accurate scan, created with well-placed control, and that the accuracy carries through to the end model.

Should you want to then get into 3D printing or miniatures, we can also export out models into a variety of common formats.

What are the advantages of 3D modeling?

With 3D modeling, perhaps the greatest advantage is the opportunity for collaboration and communication. With a 3D model or BIM model, hosted in the cloud, every stakeholder has an opportunity to experience the model for themselves, without the need for costly travel or shipping, and the 3D model is intuitive for clients who might not have a facility for reading 2D drawings.

When communicating with contractors, it’s easy for them to take measurements, make estimates, and create their own 3D workflows that ensure accurate estimates and a major reduction in over-runs and mistakes.

And when it finally gets time to hit the real estate market, you often have a readily available sales tool, where you can give virtual tours and really tout the value of your property.

What is the value that 3D modeling provides?

With those advantages comes a great deal of return on investment. If you avoid even a few costly errors, the initial investment in 3D laser scanning and modeling is returned in spades.

Further, being able to accurately predict materials needs, make cuts and adjustments offsite, reduce travel to the site, and generally create a much more efficient process will save person hours and materials costs in a way that far outstrips the costs of scanning and modeling. Sometimes, time is your most valuable asset, and 3D modeling time spent up front always returns more time during the life of the project.

Once you’ve used architectural 3D modeling and BIM modeling, you never go back.

As experts in the field, let Archidata Services be your guide to the future of architecture and engineering.