3D Laser scanning is a technology that uses lasers to measure and capture environments in 3D spaces by “firing” a laser beam from the scanning unit and for every surface that the laser hits a point in space is recorded (xyz).
At the same time the scanner will record the reflectivity of the surface giving an intensity value, colour, and a RGB value to each point.
These points are captured at speeds of up to 1 million points of data per second creating a point cloud with density dependent on the number of overlapping scans and project thinning criteria.
Laser scanning not only capture the information you need, but it also captures all the contextual information surrounding your point of interest.
Laser scanners only works on line of site.
This means that on a typical project multiple scans (refer image below) need to be taken from different vantage points to ensure an as complete data set as possible is captured. Invariably it is not possible to capture all items due to obstructions caused by plant components.
Very densely populated plant areas with multiple close proximity obstructions and pipe racks are very difficult to capture. This is especially true if the pipe racks are densely populated as the foreground components obscures the line of site of the scanner.
The scanned point cloud data is utilised as backdrop in 3D Models without remodelling the plant. This allows designers to route piping in the point cloud considering the “As Is” installed plant.
The benefits are:
- accurate measurements at both low and elevated locations without going into the plant
- working safely from a desk instead of onsite measurements
- seeing existing plant without remodelling components in 3D
- add new equipment into existing plant areas
- replace existing plant components and routing new piping in the existing plant areas.
The scanned point cloud data can be superimposed on both 3D and 2D details showing the variance between “As Designed” and “As Built” or “As Is”.
3D scanning inherently reduces the risk of accident and injury caused by collecting data at heights and near hot or thinned piping and operating equipment.
Laser scanning reduces the amount of designer field time required to collect built information.
3D laser scans prevent numerous site visits for verification because measurements can be taken in the point cloud scan without doing onsite verification.
We can provide engineering context and photo realistic images in a web browser without leaving the desk.
Collecting more data than needed.
Once the data is collected, the field of view of the project landscape is vastly increased compared to the traditional method of data collection. The laser scan does not collect only a single point of interest (one pipe), but it also collects the full plant in points making additional data available that would have never been collected if measured by hand.
It provides millimetre level accurate measurements and inspections of contoured surfaces and complex geometries that requires vast amounts of data and coordinates for their accurate description.
Inaccessible or hazardous environments
3D laser survey can inspect difficult/elevated positions. No need to construct massive scaffolding or other means to scale height. Measurement is carried out digitally once 3D Point Clouds are captured.
Safety in design
3D laser scanning combined with 3D Models enhances constructability reviews with accurate “brown field” data.