Scan to BIM

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    What is Scan to bim?

    Scan to BIM is the process of turning point clouds into an Autodesk Revit 3d digital model. The scan to bim process takes 3d laser scanning data and processes it into a bim model in a considerably shorter period of time than traditional methods.

    One can now tackle enormously complex shapes and huge sizes with ease. The project team can capture them with exacting dimensions in an exceedingly short time compared to doing it with a tape measure and notepad. There is simply no better way for architects and engineers to capture an as-built model and drawings than scan-to-bim. It is extremely fast, very accurate, and saves trees from all those notepads that would have been needed.

    scan to bim

    How does scan to bim work?

    Scan to BIM works by using advanced 3d laser scanning instruments to rapidly capture a physical space. The scanned data becomes an accurate digital representation of the existing building. Using Revit software, bim modelers then convert the scan data into an as-built model.

    What is the scan to bim process?

    Scan to bim workflow

    The scan to bim workflow starts with identifying the scope area for the scan to bim project. This is driven by project needs. For example, construction projects or heritage building restoration projects often require accurate as built models on existing structures. The multiple stakeholders such as MEP engineers and facilities management personnel should weigh in at this point to determine if the collected data includes items that they need. 3D laser scanning, commonly referred to as reality capture, can then commence. After that, the bim model is extracted.

    3d Laser Scanning Process

    The process begins with field deployment of a 3d laser scanner for capturing data on the existing structures. These are state-of-the-art technological marvels with eye safe laser rotating mirrors that can bounce laser beams off of any solid surface. They vacuum up huge amounts of point clouds in an extremely short amount of time. A laser scanner is seen below in action. 
    Anything nearby that the laser beam hits gets included in the scan. Multiple scans are taken to adequately capture the physical space. The multiple scans are combined together using a computer aided alignment process for extreme accuracy. This process is called registration and results in a point cloud that is essentially a 3d facsimile of the building. The accurate digital representation within the scanner is then transferred to a high speed computer where the data captured is optimized, aligned and transformed into a bim model using bim software.

    3D Laser Scan Data Collected

    The data captured is very large in size and requires a large amount of hard drive space and memory to process. This is because the laser scanner captures up to 2 million points per second. But these are more than just data points. Each point is in fact a highly accurate measurement in real world units. This is because first and foremost, the scanner is a survey-grade measurement device, not just a camera.

    The scanner is also capable of capturing full color HDR panoramic images at each scan location. After a full day of data capture, you can imagine how many points that adds up to (hint: it’s a lot). The scan to bim process works by filtering, optimizing and reducing the sometimes hundreds of gigabytes of data into useful information like an AutoCAD or Revit model.

    What is point cloud bim?

    Point Cloud BIM is the gold standard for the architecture, engineering and construction industry to document as-built conditions. BIM helps create a common data environment for multiple disciplines that are collaborating on a construction or renovation project. Bim projects and related bim work are what enable better space management, allowing engineers to confidently design closely spaced equipment and piping with high precision.

    Collecting Point Cloud Data

    Collecting point cloud data for bim solutions is done differently than other types of data collection. Scans are often done without color, as color often has no bearing on the physical and functional characteristics of the CAD model, and 3D laser scanning without color can be done much faster. 3D laser scanning positions can be spaced farther apart for the optimum balance.

    What is Scan to BIM Revit?

    Scan to BIM Revit is a particular type of bim project where the data collection is solely for the purpose of creating an Autodesk Revit 3D model. In fact, a Revit model is commonly referred to as a BIM model. The terms are often used interchangeably in the construction industry and the heritage building industry.

    What are the advantages of Scan to BIM?

    There are two main advantages of scan to bim. One is that the process of measuring and documenting an existing building becomes mostly automated. That allows AEC project teams to outsource it out as they scale up their operations and take on multiple scan to bim  projects simultaneously. The second main advantage over traditional methods is the accuracy of the result. The highly accurate digital picture afforded by bim technology reduces the chance of making a serious error or omission. 

    Scan to BIM compared to traditional methods

    Gone are the days of using old fashioned methods to collect data on building systems such as the trusty pencil and paper method. Taking measurements using a tape measure or laser beam distance meters takes too long. Laser beams are high speed and accurate, but you still end up only taking one measurement at a time. Plus, the ability of a human to draw an accurate representation of a building can be limited unless you are the Bob Vila of as-built drawings.

    Laser scanning and AI point cloud processing technology advancements make it an exciting time to be alive for scan to bim enthusiasts. 3D laser scanning takes over 1 million measurements per second and measures between all visible objects at once. With this digital representation, it has become difficult to justify the pencil and paper method.

    The benefits of 3D building information modeling

    The main benefit of 3d building information modeling is that during the construction phase, there will be far fewer mistakes and interferences due to the accurate as-built models being used as a basis for design. While there is always room for human error, the opportunities for human error are greatly reduced and construction projects go smoother and faster.

    What are the uses of Building Information Modeling?

    Building information modeling is useful for just about any project involving a building that has a construction phase. These are the “no brainer” cases, like obtaining as-built models for renovating a hotel, re-designing a hospital floor or gutting an office building. But there are other uses as well such as planning emergency exit routes and calculating space volumes for fire systems and ventilation systems. You may need to map out the water sprinkler position relative to the equipment in the room, for example.

    BIM model usage over the project life cycle

    The beautiful thing about having an accurate digital representation of a space is that it can be re-used by multiple stakeholders at different stages of the project. Early incorporation of bim models into the building process leads to better outcomes at the end of a project. 

    Scan to BIM in the construction industry

    Bim makes assessing progress of construction projects much easier. It starts with collecting data using a 3d laser scanner. The point cloud is a snapshot of the construction progress. Bim enables comparison of the design model with the scan data using tools such as Autodesk Navisworks. Collecting data is getting easier as well, as modern laser scanners are faster than ever before.

    BIM visualization for MEP Engineers

    Blueprints and plans have always been the universal instruments for engineering, but now engineers can see the scan to bim model in full 3d with realistic rendering.They can even don a pair of VR goggles and put themselves inside the space in stereoscopic 3D. But it’s not just the visualization that makes the scan to bim process so valuable. The information component is equally important. Engineers can perform BIM coordination which prevents major design oversights such as designing two pipes that occupy the same space.

    BIM Model Usage in Sustainability and Green Buildings

    Green buildings have tight tolerances and strict material specifications. Scan to BIM models track all of this information, ensuring that the building is in compliance.

    BIM and Facility Management

    After the architectural design, engineering and construction are complete, Building information models can also serve to aid the facilities management process. Facility managers can use a bim model for space planning and creation of maps and routes. Point clouds can serve as a truthful record of the way facilities were at a particular point in time. 

    Why choose Arrival 3D for your Scan to BIM project?

    Extremely accurate data

    We know you want fast, accurate, state of the art laser scanning equipment to be used to on your project. With scan to BIM models it is “garbage in, garbage out”, so it is critical to start with high quality scan data taken by an experienced technician.

    On-time delivery

    We also know you want us to deliver the scan to bim model on time and on budget. Our high-capacity registration cetner and multiple CAD modeling teams ensure a delivery that is on-time every time

    Satisfaction Guaranteed

    We’ve done hundreds of successful projects and would love for your success to be next. If we fail to deliver the result that we promised, and we can't make it right, you don't pay.

    3d laser Scan-to-BIM is the ultimate human performance enhancement tool for engineers. It allows you and your team to gain knowledge of as-built conditions with high speed and minimal human error.