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What is "Scan to BIM"?

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

The term “Scan to Bim” is used in the field of construction, and the construction partners use a 3D laser scanner on the building site for the purpose of scanning that particular area or site.

When the process of capturing a 3D scan of any real-world condition takes place with the help of a laser scanner, then that process is called the "Scan to Bim” process, and then the data which is scanned gets imported to a particular 3D modeling environment. With the help of this particular 3D modeling environment, as-built models are created for informing the design with the conditions which exist in reality.

There are some steps that are very vital as far as scanning processes are concerned, and those steps are generally three which have been mentioned below:

  • The first task is to collect the data with the help of a laser scanner which gives 3-dimensional scanning.

  • The next task is about bringing the data which is collected through the 3D scanner to the design office.

  • The last process involved in the process of Scan to Bim is about using it in the Bim process.

How does Scan to Bim work?

It has been a great help from modern 3D scanning technology, and because of that, the

contractors are involved in the process of scanning a particle site, and they’re able to

successfully get the data with high precision, accuracy and speed. There's a use of a tripod on which the 3D laser scanner is placed. When the laser beam hits a surface or material, then the position is recorded as XYZ coordinate which is generally known as point, and millions of such points help in the creation of the accurate digital picture, and they are commonly referred to as “point cloud"

A scanner is also capable of capturing color images for the sake of colorizing the scan after it completes the task of scanning to collect the points. Colorizing the scan also helps in the creation of a realistic 3D representation. One thing to be kept in mind is that the more points get collected, the greater there's chance of accuracy of the scanning, and this is a kind of factor which is commonly known as a scan's resolution.

Why do contractors use 3D laser scanning?

For the sake of collecting up-to-date and accurate data which is available at a particular site, contractors are allowed to go to a particular site and collect as-is conditions on a particular project. Contractors are able to get the data using the 3D laser scanning process, and the data which comes out as a result of scanning is very valuable throughout different construction and design stages of the project. The data is also used for verification purposes of as-built models; it is also used for creating as-built models of existing structures or monitoring progress on a project or augmenting missing design data.

There are several projects at present which require a particular contractor for the purpose of delivering a point cloud which will be known as a final project deliverable to document the site after construction. It is also the fact that Scan to Bim allows and makes it possible for the creation of an accurate three-dimensional digital representation of any building or structure, and it happens very soon as it requires a very less amount of time.

Advantages of Scan to Bim

The most important advantage of the process of Scan to Bim is evading any kind of

the human error which happens in a traditional process of as-built documentation.

  • The data collection process takes very little time which makes the project completion very soon.

  • The sharing of information is also very fast in the Scan to Bim process.

  • Teams just need to visit the site once for the collection of data.

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