Laser Scanning America, LLC provides advanced 3D imaging solutions for architecture, engineering, construction and many other industries. We use 3D laser lsanning technology to acquire detailed, holistic information about the built environment and employ intelligent 3D modeling to effectively deliver value-driven drawings and models to our clients.
How does Laser Scanning Work?
Laser Scanners operate much in the same way as sonar; hence the term LiDAR to describe the process of using light for measurement. A device (such as the FARO Focus3D X 330) operates by emitting a pulse of light and recording the difference in wave phase reflected off a distance object. The laser is directed by an angled mirror rotating around a horizontal axis while the entire device rotates around a vertical axis, ensuring complete coverage of the visible area.
Typically, a job will require multiple scans, as each distinct room or area needs at least one scan to ensure consistent coverage. Once all scanning is complete, the data is processed using a method called “point cloud registration”. Registration is the process of stitching together the multiple (sometimes hundreds!) of scans to form one cohesive point cloud. Accurately registering laser scanning data is THE most important part of the process, as any discrepancies will carry forward into the project deliverables.
Point cloud data can be edited, refined, and imported into CAD programs to produce extremely accurate, useful, and beautiful deliverables. This sort of data is particularly useful for Building Information Modeling (BIM). BIM workflows are becoming more and more common for architects, engineers, and contractors, as they provide a detailed overview of the project that lowers costs and increases profit margins.
Applications of Laser Scanning
3D measurement is essential to the documentation and modification of the built environment. AEC (architecture, engineering, and contracting) firms frequently use Laser Scanning to quickly obtain as-built or initial conditions before any further planning occurs. The incredible coverage and accuracy of terrestrial laser scanning, with an error rate ±2mm, makes it an invaluable tool for optimizing workflow efficiency and considerably lowering costs. Architects and engineers no longer need to spend hours of valuable design time measuring and preparing documents of existing features. The data captured in the scanning process is invaluable not only for Schematic Design, but also for refining and developing a design, as well as the presentation and communication of a proposal or finished project. Contractors can use point cloud data for measurements to pre-fabricate materials, greatly reducing onsite time and cost, as well as for clash detection as construction progresses. In addition, the historic documentation of buildings is greatly aided by this non-intrusive technology.
The time honored profession of Land Surveying benefits greatly from incorporating 3D Laser Scanning with traditional surveying methods. Point clouds can be geo-referenced to existing survey data, and tightly knit together using specially calibrated prisms that can be measured with a total station. Civil engineers benefit from laser scanning by obtaining highly detailed and accurate documentation of infrastructure that is otherwise extremely difficult to measure. Point clouds can be cross referenced against each other to determine minute changes in environments, structural inconsistencies, or volumetric issues.
The Benefits of Laser Scanning
Laser scanning is beneficial across all points of a design or documentation project.
- Greatly increase the speed of acquiring data
- Measurements are accurate within a ±2mm range
- Uniform coverage ensures that no important details are omitted
- Data can be quickly shared in HTML or PDF formats
- Scan data can be tied in to previously established survey points
- The data from laser scanning acts as a permanent documentation of a space
- Improved workflow and fewer site visit drastically lowers project costs while increasing profit margins
- The scope of data collection allows for a quicker turn around
- Point Cloud Data is an invaluable tool for communicating project design
- Contact free, at-a-distance measurement improves worker safety as well as providing access to awkward areas.
In an industry where a change in project direction/specifications accounts for a considerable amount of the cost, laser scanning minimizes the time devoted to reworking designs as much as possible. Complete coverage and high accuracy data minimize modeling and drawing time, provide more accurate material take-offs and labor bids, fewer onsite visits, and better documented project data, which provides a continuous benefit to designers and owners.
For a detailed quote, or any questions about the services we offer, please feel free to contact us, either by phone, email, or filling out the form below.
info at laserscanning-america.com