AI and 3d laser scanning

Artificial intelligence may terrify you  or it may thrill you. but one thing is for sure – it will affect your life, and is already a big part of it. The technology is so prevalent that now we’re even talking about 3D laser scanning and ai, or artificial intelligence. AI has become kind of a buzzword and I won’t pretend to know how it all works. I think we all trust that somebody somewhere understands how it works. Who knows, perhaps the scientists that created it secretly wonder themselves how it came to be. But I’m not qualified or capable of discussing that subject. What I’m writing about is how it may be applied to a specific application, and that is 3D laser scanning services. 

The next big milestone

There are technology milestones in the 3d laser scanning services business that we all like to look back at and remember fondly. I’ll have to admit I wasn’t around for the early milestones in our industry such as the invention of the laser scanner or the first commercial versions which I’m told weighed a ton and were very very slow. It’s fun to hear industry veterans talk about using them and their war stories. Autodesk ReCap was a game changer. Before it came along, it seemed like 3D laser scanning service providers were all using different formats, and they often weren’t compatible. The release of the BLK360 is another one – a full blown lidar 3d laser scanning the size of a coffee cup. But I believe some big milestone are just around the corner.

scan-to-bim bottlenecks

If your wondering what the heck Scan-to-BIM means, it’s a buzzword referring to the process of capturing a site using 3d laser scanning and converting the result to a BIM CAD model such as in Autodesk Revit format. It does so with high accuracy and efficiency compared to the old days of having to measure things by hand. However, when you examine the process of 3d laser scanning services, it still largely relies upon the time, skill and good judgement of experienced 3d laser scanning technicians. So when looking at the process from the standpoint of finding opportunities for improvement, we quickly see that human labor is what makes it work, but is also what slows it down. 

not Replacing humans yet, but making them more efficient

Since AI is still in a new technology, it is limited in that it can’t fully replace the roles or people in the scan-to-BIM process. But already we see drones and robots that are fully autonomous flying/walking around with a 3d laser scanner attached. We also see software tools popping up that can automatically create CAD models from point clouds, with some human guidance. It is not a big stretch of the imagination to think that, in the not-too-distant future, we will have fully automated scanning, registration and BIM modeling. This would mean shortening the entire process from days, which is still fast, to mere hours. The need for a human would be little more than another set of eyes to make sure nothing crazy happened in the process. This means that a lot of people in the world who make their living doing this labor will have to find something else to do. It’s sad, but it’s true. 

we at Arrival 3D seek to offer the latest technologies to our customers. If that means that eventually we all get shown the door by shiny robots, then so be it. But rest assured we will do whatever it takes to meet your 3D laser scanning services needs. 



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