Engineering and architectural processes require the utmost accuracy to ensure successful projects. Luckily, 3D laser scanning can deliver just that. This technology offers an array of advantages, making it nothing short of an asset for construction teams.
Three-dimensional scanning provides fast, accurate and accessible data to facilitate building projects. It offers significant time and budget savings and promotes better collaboration throughout your workforce. When you consider these gains, it's no surprise the global 3D laser scanner market is projected to reach $8.75 billion by 2032.
If you're interested in learning more about this technology and its many perks, you've come to the right place. Explore the benefits of 3D scanning for construction operations in this guide.
What Is 3D Laser Scanning Technology?
Three-dimensional laser scanning uses lasers to map areas with high precision. This technology captures and provides detailed data regarding different locations within a physical work site. It then generates accurate digital representations of the space, simulating real-world dimensions.
With the help of Lidar technology, 3D laser scanners can capture millions of data points per second across a construction site. It can take scans from multiple positions and perspectives, consolidating them into a point cloud. You can use this point cloud to create 2D drawings and 3D models for project planning and design purposes.
Simply put, 3D laser scanning captures and visualizes reality to assist in building applications. Various industries use 3D scanning for their projects, including:
- Mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP)
Laser scanning technology fulfills the following uses in construction, architecture and similar industries:
- Documenting site conditions before they’re permanently demolished or covered up
- Probing covered elements to identify their precise locations
- Producing building information models (BIMs)
- Identifying and preventing installation errors
- Improving collaboration between contractors and sub-contractors
- Assisting renovation and retrofitting projects
What Are the Benefits of 3D Scanning in Construction?
From saving time and money to driving better team decision-making, 3D laser scanning can offer numerous benefits for your operations. Here are the advantages of implementing 3D scanning technology in your construction workflow.
1. Improved Visualization and Accuracy
3D laser scanning provides rich, precise details of a construction site or building. It generates dimensionally accurate and measurable data points for better project planning and execution.
Since this technology can capture whole buildings, you can usually obtain all the necessary measurements without any data gaps in your documentation. As a result, your team can expedite material ordering, fabricating and other tasks.
2. Reduced Time and Costs
Laser scanning technology is significantly faster than traditional project mapping techniques, like photography and manual measurements. Aside from being tedious, manual labor can be risky as it's prone to human error. Errors in the construction industry can throw a wrench in your workflow, causing you to lose anywhere from 10%-25% of your overall project costs.
With 3D laser scanning, you can scan an entire project site in minutes — unlike conventional methods that can take hours, days or even weeks. You can attain the exact details you need the first time and ensure a high degree of accuracy.
Your team can minimize project revisits, order changes and other delays that stifle productivity. This is especially critical for high-priority projects. Laser scanning promotes fast and seamless data collection, accelerating project timelines.
Cutting down completion times also benefits your budget. You don't have to devote extra spending to additional materials and labor costs associated with reworks. Should a project require rework, 3D laser scanning can decrease material and labor costs since the scans display precise locations for building elements. You can skip the hassle and expense of digging up slabs and tearing down walls.
3. Enhanced Collaboration
Laser scanning streamlines coordination among your entire team, as everyone can access the scans virtually. Even when stakeholders, surveyors and clients cannot travel to the physical site, they can use the cloud data points to gauge the space's dimensions and take measurements. Additionally, contractors can use building models to work remotely and respond to information requests.
Your whole crew can access the same information, ensuring no one is left in the dark. By improving communication across the board, 3D laser cutting can encourage faster and more practical decision-making. Better collaboration, in turn, can:
- Increase productivity and reduce project completion times.
- Cultivate team relationships.
- Foster a more dynamic work environment overall.
4. Increased Safety
A variety of factors can contribute to accidents during construction projects, such as:
- Falling off elevated work surfaces or equipment.
- Being struck by falling debris and objects.
- Getting caught between trenches or heavy materials.
- Performing repetitive straining motions, like bending, twisting and turning.
- Being involved in accidents with power tools, vehicles, cranes or other heavy equipment.
- Being exposed to toxic chemicals, electrocutions, fires or explosions.
Unfortunately, a lot of these incidents can be severe or even fatal. Many can stem from working in unfavorable conditions, like temperature or weather extremes and limited space.
Three-dimensional laser scanners sit on a tripod, gathering data from a distance in hazardous or tough-to-reach locations. This technology reduces the need for employees to maneuver these conditions, helping keep them out of harm's way. You can measure elements and spaces from the comfort of your computer rather than in a potentially dangerous work environment.
You don't have to climb up a ladder to measure a ceiling joist or squeeze into a tight space to acquire a measurement. Simply click and drag between points. Besides providing a more secure data collection method, 3D laser scans are likely to produce more accurate measurements than manual ones.
Additionally, the laser scanner is noninvasive, so it won't disrupt or damage historic sites and artifacts. The same can't necessarily be said for large, intrusive tools and equipment.
Reap the Advantages of 3D Laser Scanning With BuildingPoint SouthEast
If you're seeking a fast, reliable and lucrative data collection strategy, 3D laser scanning is your solution. This technology can yield exact site measurements with a high degree of speed and confidence that conventional methods can't rival. Access to intelligent, real-time data is key to making constructive decisions.
BuildingPoint SouthEast can work with you to integrate this innovative technology into your construction operations. Our 3D laser scanning solutions — such as the Trimble X7 and the Trimble X9 — include a host of features to optimize data collection, quality and accuracy. We also use Trimble RealWorks, an advanced software designed for point cloud processing and analysis.
With Trimble laser scanning technology, you can discover an untapped potential to create, access, register and analyze data from essentially any source. Our Trimble-certified representatives also offer on-site support and training to help you learn the ropes of this technology.
If you'd like to learn more about our 3D laser scanning solutions or request a demo, get in touch with us today!