SHOP TALK: How 3D Laser Scanning Technology Assists The Construction Process
Technology provides a multitude of benefits in the construction industry. Three-dimensional Laser Scanning enables field-measuring projects using non-contact technology that digitally captures the shape of physical objects using a line of laser light.
Creating “point clouds” of data, the scanner captures an object’s exact size and shape. The data is then imported into BIM software to create the most accurate building measurements possible. CEI utilizes both AutoCad® and Inventor® BIM software systems to integrate the 3D-scanned images with architectural tech renderings. This allows for more seamless execution and submission of shop and production drawings.
The use of 3D Laser Scanning allows for more consistent project timelines due to the ability of the fabricator to take an architect’s shop drawings and determine what is conceivable in a proposed design. Collaborating with the fabricator from the beginning, and integrating the laser technology, reduces lead times and potential inaccuracies. The laser scanning can resolve issues such as minimum system depth requirements early on. It can also help identify and even offer solutions to serious construction inconsistencies.
The technology further reduces costs in a variety of ways by greatly reducing the need for field fabrication and also eliminates potential human error in measuring. The data can be saved for future usage without the need for several on-site trips. 3D Laser Scanning can create safer job sites with their ability to be used by engineers as ‘built conditions’ in areas where access can be unsafe or even impossible.
A standard at CEI Materials, 3D Laser Scanning has been used on simple to complex projects. The free-flowing movement of the Maxitrol building was achieved with this technology. Specifically, the radius fascia soffit, having joints that aligned with the window mullions, could have only been achieved through the use of 3D scanning technology.
For the Gaylord National Riverview Ballroom, the arched soffits created challenges both in fabrication and installation. The 3D Laser scans provided great information to allow CEI Materials to accurately design the panels for the difficult fascia.
Technological advancements in the construction industry exist to produce more efficient structures. From an undulating façade to the most complex three-dimensional forms, laser scanning allows fabricators the means to accurately transform a building with minimal error. Building efficiently is achieved through the combination of utilizing the latest construction technology and working with the fabricator from the conceptual phases of a project.