What Problem Does Scan-to-BIM Services Solve?


May 20, 2022
By: Natalie Perri

In an ideal situation, a building designer would have access to smart 3D models in which all the design elements are clearly defined. A change made to one model component would automatically reflect on the other elements connected to it. Therefore, the presence of an accurate and smart 3D model can be crucial for all stages of construction.

What is BIM?

A Building Information Model (BIM) is a method that allows designers to create a similar digital 3D model that AEC professionals can later use. Based on an intelligent model and driven by a cloud platform, BIM incorporates structured data to create a digital representation of a building across its lifecycle, starting from the planning stage up to construction and operations.

Understanding the use of Scan-to-BIM Services

Now that we have covered what BIM means, let’s consider how it relates to Scan-to-BIM. There is an increasing demand in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry for the application of BIM for existing buildings. Therefore, Scan-to-BIM services enable the creation of digital models of pre-existing structures and sites that can be used to develop and maintain a BIM model.

A laser scan to BIM is a 3D Building Information Model created from a model scan. The purpose of the scan is to capture elements of an object in physical space to facilitate accurate modeling. Scan to BIM captures high-resolution 3D simulations of existing buildings and converts them into digitally workable models. Thus, the scanning technology effectively automates the traditional and challenging task of existing site documentation.

How is Laser Technology used to Create Digital Models?

The scanner emits laser beams that strike and bounce back to the instrument, measuring the distances between all the surfaces and the instrument as it bounces back and forth. The scanner also captures different points during the scanning process and colorizes them based on 3D photography. These points are collectively termed as a point cloud.

Since the laser scanning process uses line-of-sight, it has to be taken from multiple angles to ensure existing conditions are entirely captured in the final result. Point cloud data gathered from laser scan is inserted into software like BIM software, Navisworks, etc., to create the digital building models.

Benefits of Scan-to-BIM Services in Construction Life Cycle Stages

AEC professionals have widely adopted Scan-to-BIM because of the benefits it provides. Here are a few reasons why it has become popular.

  1. Scan-to-BIM replaces the need for several drawings, creating a comprehensive 3D model on a digital platform.
  2. The as-built model of the site and nearby buildings help professionals comprehend site conditions better and make informed design decisions.
  3. The laser scan highlights the difference between the as-built BIM model and the as-designed model.
  4. An accurate as-built BIM model helps identify potential problems for installation and assemblies, resulting in time and cost-saving.
  5. Point cloud to BIM model highlights safety hazards and encourages improved construction safety management.

A 3D digital building model through Scan-to-BIM can greatly increase accuracy and productivity. Collaborating with a professional Scan-to-BIM service provider, such as Robotic Imaging, is a smart way to reap the benefits of BIM without the investment in costly equipment and training.

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