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3D Laser Scanning aids BIM's Pursuit of Precision

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Rapid development and availability of new technologies such as commercial 3D laser scanners are helping Building Information Modelling users recognise not only the value of BIM software but the potential for current and future use.

For example, in conjunction with 3D laser scanning, “advanced reality capture” becomes a highly viable option for the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry in the pursuit of precise “surveying of sites and assets”.

3D laser scanning is now a billion dollar industry with forecasts suggesting sales will reach $4bn by 2018. Integrated with BIM software, data-rich models of physical environments, which utilise the vast amount of real-world data amassed by 3D laser scanners, can be very accurately manipulated in order to produce detailed digital reproductions.

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It will enable the AEC industry to “model and visualise the actual conditions of a real world site with near-perfect accuracy, which is of immense benefit to architects during the design phase of a project, as well as during the process of selling clients on the merits of a proposed outcome by enabling it to be viewed in its actual context,” said Marc Howe, a specialist in technology and business issues in relation to the built environment.

“Engineers can use reality capture to create the most accurate possible form of “as-built” documentation on an existing built asset, which greatly facilitates the process of structural analysis and clash detection.

“3D laser scanning can also help owners to fully leverage the benefits of BIM during the operating phase of a project by facilitating the creation and maintenance of reliable, up-to-date Asset Information Models that perfectly reflect the current state of assets.”

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