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How 3D Laser Scanning is Changing the Construction Industry

For the large amount of planning that is required in the construction industry, it involves about as much unpredictability. There are so many factors that can contribute to costly accidents and delays, from inclement weather to construction site mishaps. As is the case with most any large scale building, renovation, or demolition project, you can count on a certain level of unpredictability.

For stakeholders, however, the unpredictable equates to high liability and hindered profits. While reducing unknowns is a constant challenge for the construction industry, technology is evolving at a fast pace, and there are more and more opportunities to avoid dangers and limit the unexpected costs and delays that come with flawed designs, faulty processes or manufacturing defects.

3D laser scanning is one technology that has proven to be incredibly versatile to this end. Contractors are increasingly incorporating scanning into their projects in ways that avoid liability and injury, improve efficiency, and increase accuracy.

Documenting the Original State of a Project:

Generating a 3D model that represents the existing conditions of a building or structure prior to a job is important in order to properly form the footing for any Building Information Modeling (BIM) project. Especially during renovation or expansion projects, knowing exactly what one is starting with can be very helpful to both the planning and building processes. Thanks to 3D laser scanning, a scan of the building can be conducted to create and preserve an image of the structure as it stood in its pre-project form.  

In addition to aiding in the planning and building process, this scan can also help ensure any liability for events that may or may not occur during the project, are directed at the proper parties. Since the scan will include any pre-existing damage, both the contractor and the client will have record of the pre-project state, leaving no question about what damage did or didn’t occur during the span of the project.

Old Buildings with no Original Blueprints:

When embarking on a new building or refurbishing project, it is important to have access to accurate plans and BIM, or Business Information Modeling records, however, there are instances where this kind of planning history and building blueprints are unavailable. 3D laser scanning can be used to provide the contractor with built-as specifications, which is especially useful for older buildings or structures in cases where the original blueprints have gone missing.

Avoiding Construction Site Collisions or Accidents:

The construction industry is notorious for being one of the most dangerous industries to work in, but 3D laser scanning may be reducing these risks. Since the technology generates incredibly accurate measurements, contractors can now be acutely precise. This means that 3D laser scanning can work well as a safety measure, helping to avoid miscalculations due to faulty measurements. This level of accuracy can mean the prevention of on-site accidents or collisions all together because workflows and material movement can be planned with increased precision.

Scene Preservation after a Construction Site Accident:

When accidents do happen, the benefits of 3D laser scanning can come into play yet again. After a mishap occurs on a construction site, an investigation must occur in order to determine fault or responsibility. Until now, the necessary investigation could delay the project significantly, ceasing construction and bringing the project to a halt.

3D laser scanning, however, can quickly generate highly accurate 3D documentation of the accident site, essentially freeze-framing the damage scene so that it can be accessed, with incredible detail, into the future, even after the scene itself is cleaned up. This technology allows CED engineers to locate the cause of a failure without delaying the project any more than necessary.

As you can see, 3D laser scanning is a versatile technology that has the power to revolutionize the industry by reducing costs, accidents, and unknowns.


Are you interested in learning more about how your construction team can benefit? Reach out to us today!


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Ames, Iowa 50010

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Success in the courtroom relies upon the ability to simplify complex evidence and clarify legal arguments. Demonstratives applies sound, scientific principles to every litigation project for a growing variety of case areas, including aviation, biotechnology, construction, engineering, environmental law, ground vehicle, intellectual property (IP), medical devices, and product liability. Demonstratives is the preferred provider of 2D graphics and 3D litigation animation nationwide.

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