Construction and architecture

3D laser scanning can be used for more and more applications in Construction and Architecture.

In architecture it is used mainly for site measurements of buildings. This is especially interesting for older buildings that often do not exhibit any regular geometric features. Difficult-to- access objects such as facades and roof constructions can be efficiently dealt with using laser scanning.

In construction, the method is suitable for surveying of a wide range of building types. Especially difficult to access objects such as bridges, railway and water constructions are worth noting.

Tube inspection with a FARO Focus 3D laser scanner.

The method is also used for documentation and surveillance in building projects. The registration and documentation of existing buildings by means of laser scanning also serves as a basis for real estate industry. Laser scanning helps to digitally capture inventory for facility management and CAFM (Computer Aided Facility Management) applications.

The large number of data points results in a high information content; this allows for quick and detailed imaging of complex objects.

Vector graphic systems such as AutoCAD, Nemetsckek, MicroStation etc. are often used for CAD-processing in an architectural setting. Reading in of large amounts of point data is not possible with these systems. Only small amounts of point data, such as cuts, can be imported. These functionalities can be extended or amended via program extensions (plugins) provided by the manufacturers as well as other providers. Additional programs also offer functionalities for data management, for modeling, and for image evaluation. The transfer of the data is done via an open interface.

The main difference between the two solutions is that in the case of plugins the customer is able to use his usual CAD environment and its full capabilities. A disadvantage is the lower capabilities of the plugins when compared to separate software solutions. 

Scanning & modeling of a paediatric practice in order to develop a lighting concept.

Handling of data using additional software solutions is much more elegant. The CAD functionalities are less extensive than in the standard systems. The choice of software solution is determined by the work to be done and by the budget of the customer. The results of the CAD evaluation are 3D-CAD models as well as 2D evaluations such as sectional views and layouts.

3D laser scanning in cultural heritage preservation

3D laser scanning is also being used more and more in the field of cultural heritage conservation. In the course of archiving and planning reconstruction works, the as-is state of heritage-protected buildings can be digitally captured in a short time using a 3D laser scanner. In particular, scanning technology provides significant advantages for tcapturing complex geometries and areas that are difficult to access. Especially the fast, contactless capturing of the object provides highly accurate documentation that serves as the basis for layouts, views, sections, orthophotos in grayscale and color, polygon models, and photorealistic 3D models.

Scanning the memorial of Eike von Repgow in Magdeburg using a 3D laser scanner.

Later, the visual models can help curators of monuments at work.

3D model of the Eike von Pepgow memorial in Magdeburg.