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Importance of Point Cloud to BIM Modeling Services
Point Cloud to BIM modeling services make it possible for AEC surveying companies to base their designs on actual as-built dimensions and conditions of a site or structure, as contained in 3D models which have been digitally reconstructed from laser scan data. This ensures a high rate of success in designing for renovation or retrofit projects.

AEC surveying companies often struggle in renovation or retrofit projects lacking proper documentation. In culturally sensitive projects, quite often, missing or damaged structures need to be reconstructed and their signature architecture restored, without detailed plans to go by. Point cloud data obtained from laser scans and photogrammetry go a long way in bridging the information gap when the data is properly converted to 3D BIM models.

Survey firms employ technically proficient service providers to convert point cloud to Revit models. They help surveying companies detect the actual measurements of hard to reach or concealed structural elements.

What is Point cloud to BIM modeling?

Point Cloud to BIM is a process of converting millions of scanned data point clouds into a 3D model. As the 3D Revit Scan to BIM model process is information-rich, surveyors can easily extract detailed as-built dimensions of any structural element. This helps in better designing, clash coordination, and generating precise quantity take-offs (QTO) or Bill of materials (BOQ).

Point cloud to BIM modeling services also helps in reliable project monitoring and audits for the renovation of old buildings. Their 3D models help in 3D visualization, animation, and quality inspection of projects.

Why do AEC surveying companies need point cloud to bim modeling?

Major AEC companies today use point cloud to BIM modeling because it helps them to:

  • Digitize and visualize drawings: Point cloud to BIM helps to convert scans into information-rich 3D models. This makes 360-degree visualization of renovation projects bringing greater project clarity.
  • Execute construction projects successfully: High-definition point cloud to BIM solutions enables project stakeholders to build smart 3D Revit models relying on point-cloud data. All elements, including beams, columns, fixtures, pipes, and more, can be modeled accurately for retrofitting, replacement, or maintenance. Accurate 2D drawings derived from point cloud scans help in successful project execution in the field.
  • Render historical structures accurately: Conventional 2D plans of historical or heritage buildings are often inaccurate or missing. Renovating such structures proves to be tough due to the lack of construction documents, as-built drawings, or paperwork. Point Cloud to 3D as-built models offers an ideal solution to address this challenge.
    Drawings extracted from these 3D models provide accurate records of changes in the pre-construction stages. They also help in the proper visualization of the project. This approach makes it easier for construction personnel to identify and resolve issues related to deviations from the original designs.
  • Precise scanning of unconventional geometries: The detailed 3D laser scans of renovation constructions register unconventional structures accurately. Architects, engineers, contractors, and surveyors use BIM tools to convert scanned drawings to 3D models. And laser scan data of unconventional structures help them to collate information properly for accurate designs.

What are the challenges faced by surveying companies?

Surveying companies suffer from lack of proper documentation, a lack of detailing for identifying inconsistencies, and more.

  • Lack of precise documentation: Most surveyors working on existing structures do not get precise drawings for their surveys and are usually forced to work with substandard project design documentation.
  • Inability to assess hard to reach areas: Surveyors usually find it difficult to assess, identify, and reach congested areas within a typical structure. Hence, they find it difficult to diagnose issues or explore new possibilities to improve the situation.
  • Inaccurate cost estimation: Surveying companies find it difficult to estimate costs involved in construction without accurate BOQs. Additionally, paper-based systems and spreadsheets fail to capture delays and reworks involved with these models.
  • Lack of project visualization: Without visualization, it is difficult to explore possibilities for asset maintenance or outline the real cost involved. Relying on old 2D drawings and wholly manual assessment leads to errors in actual construction, reworks, and higher costs.

Benefits of point cloud to BIM modeling services for surveyors

Companies offering point cloud to BIM modeling services deliver several benefits, including optimal space analysis, precision in documentation of structural models, and more.

1. Accurate space and demolition analysis

Often, the limitations of manual survey methods make it difficult to get accurate information about the structural systems of the building. Before demolishing any structure, surveying companies need to be aware of every nook and cranny of the structure. Manual survey methods fail to garner information accurately about structural systems. And the construction team requires providing extra temporary support based on guesswork. This increases project budget and turnaround time.

An effective Scan to BIM solution provides clarity on how structures will react when demolished via demolition analysis. This is one of the reasons why surveyors and laser scanning companies utilize point cloud to BIM modeling for demolition purposes. They can visualize the resulting structure and the aligned spaces after the expected demolition. The 3D models present detailed spatial layouts with clear visualization.

Precise demolition analysis drives informed decision-making for construction client

Revit experts used scanned data for making an accurate structural 3D BIM model for a 111,000 m2 building. The model helped to conduct thorough demolition analysis to assess load calculations and predict the overall impact after demolition of a part of the structure. Read the case study >>

2. Precise documentation for reconstruction

Without accurate construction documents and drawings, restoration or reconstruction of heritage buildings becomes challenging. Even when documentation is available, it doesn’t meet modern standards, as they were created in the past.

Point cloud modeling converts laser scans of every minute detail of a structure’s as-built condition into accurate models. This reduces rework and increases productivity. Restoration can be made without damaging the structure and by maintaining aesthetic value. The accurate and detailed information obtained through laser scans also delivers precision in measuring building components.

A scan to BIM solution produces digitized models to offer deep renovation insights and allows surveyors to reduce wastage with material quantity surveys. The models also help to streamline the overall supply chain management, reducing logistic issues in the long run.

Accurate 3D Scan to BIM model helps client save project time for heritage building

BIM experts used scanned data to create a 3D Revit model of a heritage building, rendering each shape, size, curve, and extrusion accurately. The model was also used to build precise timelines for the restoration and renovation process. Read the case study >>

3. Accurate load calculation

3D BIM models display existing roof frames and other structural elements that are hard to see or visualize. Teams can perform construction and renovation with data-based decisions facilitated by a BIM model. Some of these spaces include the overarching ceiling, venting ducts, lofts, and other spaces. Data-based decisions derived from the BIM model ensure optimum scaffolding and support for completing the structure in a shorter time.

Converting Scan data to 3D BIM models helps in presenting comprehensive load calculations for the estimated load bearing capacity of a structure. These loads could span dead loads, wind loads, etc. It is essential for engineers to make precise load calculations for the entire life cycle of a building.

Precise load calculations help reduce costs for an educational building

BIM experts from Hitech CADD Services delivered a fully coordinated BIM model with +/- 10mm accuracy and LOD 300 for architectural, structural, and equipment spacing. The model was completed through interpolation to retrieve missing information from the designs. The scanned data in the pcg format was imported to Autodesk Revit and segregated into definite sections. The model helped the client make informed decisions, eliminate risks, and reduce costs. Read the case study >>

4. Complete project visualization without missing any element

The accuracy of drawings depends on site sketches. Blurred images result in erroneous 2D drawings leading to rework, delays, and budget overruns.

Point Cloud to BIM provides surveying companies with a 360-degree view of the entire structure. These models offer better asset visualization and mapping of spatial geometry. They facilitate granular visualization that helps surveyors measure all elements through 3D models.

Photogrammetry, for instance, assembles data projections derived from photos to render a straightforward approach to surveying and mapping. Drones can capture and provide the exact site details required to generate 3D point clouds for a project. The hundreds or thousands of photographs are then assembled into a well-organized map or an accurate 3D model via data point clouds. The three-dimensional view ensures prompt and informed decision making especially in terms of smart clash resolution.

Project visualization driving ideal and efficient mine topography analysis

Hitech CADD Services used drone scan files to present granular visibility into areas of a mine that were difficult to access. They assessed the overall topography of the mine and analysed it with the help of detailed CAD drawings. The analysis included various equipment like the haul road, quarry face, and stockpiles. The visualization of the topography enabled fast and safe workflows that were essential to run the mine-digging operations efficiently. Read the case study >>

5. Smart asset identification for assessment

Using outdated or inaccurate 2D drawings for repair or FM purposes leads to rework and losses. Point Cloud to BIM 3D models provide crucial information required for understanding space utilization and facility management.

The models help in the planning of new services or materials and help in repairing or adding a new element to the current layout without breaking alignment. Surveying companies can also integrate COBie with these models to derive a host of non-geometric information that could include warranty details and other essential stuff. The details can help you plan and schedule maintenance runs and get prompt technical upgrades as required.

Accurate building assessment for US-based client to start the project before the schedule

A US-based survey company wanted to develop survey documents for a cafe with proper assessment. The Hitech CADD Services team scanned data and developed them into 3D BIM models. The smart models enabled them to run processes ahead of schedule and got condition assessments in a collaborative atmosphere. Read the case study >>

What lies ahead for point cloud to BIM modeling?

The AEC industry is firmly set to embrace point cloud to BIM models to streamline surveying procedures and construction processes, bifurcated into specific alignments: rotational, horizontal, and vertical. Lidar, robots and drones are already becoming ubiquitous in large projects. And high-end laser scanners and gyroscopic stabilizers are being used for detailed information of inaccessible areas.

Construction firms are using automation to cover every expected construction stage so that there is no wastage of resources. AI-enabled road automation will soon become common as it is already prevalent in the Netherlands, and can detect a staggering 95% of defects including issues like potholes, cracks, etc. Surveyors and inspectors can now derive precise road analysis reports without having to visit those sites.

Construction stakeholders have begun accessing cloud surveys for different stages of projects, with dynamic production of the models for creative use in common places.

How Hitech CADD Services helps in Point Cloud to BIM

Hitech CADD Services provides point cloud to BIM modeling services for surveyors and construction engineers for help in designing and monitoring the progress of construction.

Point cloud to BIM models are used to examine building performance through mechanical analysis, stress examination, morphologic analysis, diagnosing accessibility, and more. They are used by Hitech CADD Services for identifying safety hazards, blind spot identification, etc.

Hitech CADD Services has contributed to the renovation of properties like underground rail tunnels and heritage monuments. Their 3D models offer smart digital reproduction of construction, allowing companies to automate construction design processes.

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Not a Surveyor

About Author: Harika Singh is an academician and published writer. Her passion for engineering and technology reflects in the in-depth coverage she provides on technology trends. 20 years of work association with institutes of repute across India and the US positions her to provide valuable insights to business stakeholders on achieving scalability and operational efficiencies through digitalization.

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