Is laser scanning about to die?…

“Is laser scanning about to die?” Interesting opinions from Matt Mccarter regarding the technology behind laser scanning on Casey Rutlands ‘The Case for BIM’ blog.

The CASE for BIM


…. In the short term, certainly not. However, beyond the short term, without revolutionary hardware innovation the decline of laser scanning is inevitable.

I know each manufacturer has some very good features that work for it’s current customers. But where is the true innovation in hardware?  The last time I experienced a true wow factor from a laser scanner was 10 whole years ago. The first time I saw a full 360 dome scan done with a phase based scanner in around 5 minutes my mind was blown at how much data we could collect in a single shift. Prior to this a full dome scan took so long that an essential piece of site equipment was a laptop and a healthy pile of DVD’s to watch whilst scans were in progress!

Every two years or so, each laser scanning manufacturer releases a new product. The survey industry gets excited…

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About Ben Malone

Information Manager for BIM.Technologies in London

3 responses to “Is laser scanning about to die?…”

  1. Djordje says :

    I am just amazed how much behind in this technology the US is. Not counting the East and West coasts I feel like the continental part companies do not even try to improve their workflows and make some changes in stuff they use. I work with civil engineers and we have two laser scanners that have not been used even close to their potential mainly because of the area we are at and people that we deal with. At one of the meetings one of the architect company owners was so doubtful that he had questioned the precision of the laser scanning compared to people working with measuring tapes, very disappointing!

  2. Ben Malone says :

    Hi Djordje,

    That’s disappointing to hear. Laser scanning and technologies are widely used in the UK, and have been for some time now. They are of course more accurate than measuring by hand, more efficient, quicker and probably cheaper as well.

    It’s a fantastic way to capture existing buildings, but also to use in the design process of new buildings which can be aligned with the models for – as designed/as built analysis.

    I hope that you get a chance to get your scanners out soon, not good for them to be gathering dust in the cupboard!

  3. Djordje says :

    Very true! I am actually from Europe and it is crazy for me to see that US, as great as it is in many aspects, is so much behind Europe and especially UK in those kind of technologies! I have one more question if you don’t mind. Here they are trying to push Point Cloud data into Revit, and I just feel like it is not to convenient modeling as builts with irregular shapes in Revit considering the orthographic approach that Revit likes. How are you guys doing it in UK? Is it Recap/Revit workflow, or you use some fensy external software that generates surface based on point cloud?

    Thanks for your time Ben!

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