Traditional survey work provides a precision assessment of the surface of an area. Survey information includes the dimensions of an area; it’s spatial relationship to its surroundings and features within the survey area. A traditional survey has limits. A survey area may not be completely accessible to the survey team. Certain areas within the survey boundaries may be too dangerous to collect survey data. The survey area may be extremely large or complex and may contain far more features than a traditional survey can easily document.

Sometimes, however, it’s useful to have as much information as possible, even when conditions limit what a survey team can do. In this case, 3-dimensional surface scanning can collect important survey data quickly and safely.

3-D surface scans can collect large amounts of data, that can be used to create photo-realistic models of an existing object or area. Some 3-D surface scanning equipment can collect nearly one million data points per second. This enables architects and engineers to create highly precise, visually realistic models of interiors, exteriors, and proposed construction sites.

When combined with other equipment, like a digital camera, 3-D laser scans can be used to create other visual representations, like overlays and panoramas. CAD and other modeling programs can import and use the captured data as well. Individual scans can be combined if they have a common reference point. This extends the amount of information that’s available. 3D laser scanning is also useful for collecting data at night.

Accuracy is one of the primary benefits of 3-D surface scanning. Surface scans are highly accurate. We can use the collected data to create highly precise virtual models of interiors, exteriors, objects and the spaces around them.

In addition to accuracy, speed is another benefit of 3-D surface scanning. The process enables us to collect a large volume of data in a short period of time. This can speed planning and supports collaboration among groups involved in large projects. 3-D scanning also permits data collection to occur while a proposed work site is active, and reduces the number of site visits needed to collect survey data. It also speeds the process of creating “as-builts,” either following a construction project or in preparation for renovation or remodeling.

3-D surface scanning isn’t appropriate for every situation. Because the system uses lasers to collect data, the scanner can be “fooled” by highly reflective surfaces like glass and water. If you would like more information about 3-D surface scanning, please give us a call at White Shield at (888) 882-1142.