Let’s take a look at laser scanning

Let’s take a look at laser scanning

Whilst BIM has been the technology at the forefront of most people’s minds in the construction sector in recent times, there have also been several other new innovations that look set to make an impression. One of those is laser scanning. With claims of it being an extremely fast and accurate method to use on construction projects, laser scanning could be set to make a breakthrough and become more commonly used in the very near future.

So what does laser scanning entail? Essentially laser scanning is a method of collecting surface data using a laser scanner which captures the precise distance of densely-scanned points over a given object at rapid speed. 3 -D laser scanners can create a digital reproduction of the dimensions and positions of objects in a certain space, and then turn that information into a point cloud image.

It all sounds very impressive and modern, but what benefits can it bring to a project? Laser scanning has proved to be much quicker, more accurate and cheaper than conventional survey measurement. Furthermore 3D laser scanning can accurately document existing conditions of facilities to assist with minimizing conflicts between new and existing components during facility upgrade projects. 3D scanning also permits personnel to remotely view and evaluate facilities, limiting the number of personnel exposed to hazardous working conditions.

Laser technology allows contractors to precisely define to the client where they had issues with a certain part of a building, and then make the necessary changes. Like any new technology, it enables contractors and surveyors to be able to prepare better for the project that lies ahead, in the hope of reducing time on site and encountering less problems. It’s been reported that 3D scanning can reduce total project costs by as much as 5 – 7% and the schedule by as much as 10% on industrial projects. The scanning can take as little as a few hours to a few days, depending on the scale of the site, as compared to several weeks using traditional data collection methods. In some cases, the savings in time and in ancillary costs may outweigh the cost of the scanning.

The future for laser technology looks bright. A lot of large UK survey companies and many of the major UK contractors have trained their staff to use this technology. Although it is still early in the adoption cycle, this points towards it becoming more mainstream in the very near future. It seems it is lift off time for laser.

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