Think your floor is flat? Think again.

From your back yard deck to runways, things just aren't flat

In a perfect world, every concrete floor is so flat you could play pool on it. Also, bugs would prefer not to eat the fruit on my peach tree. But thankfully, the world is not perfect, or 3D scanning service companies like ours would not be needed. A case in point is an absolutely beautiful concrete floor in an aircraft hangar in Houston, TX. This hangar floor is polished to a shine and is kept so spotless you could eat off it. It is stunning to behold. But a certain thing happens when they wash an airplane in the hangar. Do you see the line running through the photo from left to right? That is a water drain. When they planned this floor, the idea was that water could be gently guided toward the drain from the every so slightly sloping floors, with assistance from squeegees. It all looks good on paper, but in actual practice it wasn’t working so well. It turns out that water just did not want to enter the drain without a lot of encouragement.

3D laser scanning uncovers a floor's shady past

Our customer needed answers and turned to 3D laser scanning services for answers. Our expert team of scanning specialists was on it. In one day we scanned the entire floor using a Surphaser 25-HSX, a highly accurate long range scanner. The individual scans were then combined into a unified point cloud which was then brought into Geomagic software. Geomagic can easily compare such a scan to a flat plane, quickly and easily generating the image seen below. 

color map

. The image clearly shows that up against the drains on both sides, there are depressions in the floor where water would collect that are almost an inch deep. It is also interesting to see just how much the floor varies in height over relatively small distances. It rises and falls half an inch over a matter of a few feet. 

The final verdict

We never did hear from our customer what they did with the results. For all we know, this is how all floors look and it is perfectly normal. One thing is for sure, I will never look at concrete floors the same way. But the verdict is clear – 3D scanning services are the best way to evaluate concrete floor flatness. 

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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