Laser Scanning in Action: Uses and Applications

Posted on: 17 January 2018

In the past, laser scanning techniques for construction were thought of as distant technologies without any real applications. However, laser scanning has rapidly evolved into a useful and applicable tool for promoting the efficiency of construction projects. Laser scanning is a technology that harnesses a system of hardware and software applications to create 2D and 3D images. These images can be applied to the construction of multiple structures.

Laser scanning is mainly used as a planning and quality checking tool after a structure has been designed on a specific site. The floors, walls, and verticality of a building can be measured via laser scanning technology.

Here are some important applications of laser scanning technology.

Creating 2D construction drawings

In cases where renovations or repairs have to be carried out on an existing structure, there could be inaccurate or insufficient information/documentation available from the previous structure. This would typically make it challenging for accurate repairs to be carried out due to the lack of design information available.

Laser scanning makes it possible for such projects to proceed effectively. Construction drawings can be created through what is referred to as "slicing the point in cloud". This is the recreation of the original model via a combination of laser scanning and 3D model generation using the existing structure. A model is generated and used to guide repair and renovation activities.

Creating 3D models of structures

Laser scanning makes it possible for entire 3D models of structures to be generated on software applications. This is useful in many different ways. First, specific elements of a structure (such as a steel beam, a pipe, a staircase, etc.) can be isolated and tweaked appropriately. If these particular elements need special consideration, their design can be optimized within the software in preparation for actual construction.

Secondly, entire building models can be prepared before the actual work on the ground begins. This is a useful option for planning purposes, where a structure can be viewed and checked for suitability on a particular location.

Measuring floor flatness and level

For warehouses and distribution centers, the racks and shelving components need to be perfectly flat. The naked eye is normally prone to error and may provide a misguided vision of flat flooring. This may, in turn, interfere with robotic picking systems and other automated features that are programmed in accordance with a 3-dimensional space. If the shelving is not level, the system may be prone to many errors.

Laser scanning provides a detailed view of the peaks and valleys within these structures that may affect a perfectly level surface. You can, therefore, view and adjust the shelving as necessary.