Millions of points define every surface of a building or site and require some level of manual or automated interpretation to become a usable model. Some modeling tools have the user trace over the point cloud to define individual elements, which can be useful for custom detailing, idiosyncratic building features, or historic preservation. Other tools automatically analyze the point cloud to organize the geometry of the building or site. Autodesk ReCap Pro reality-capture software interprets point-cloud data and makes it usable in Autodesk Revit.
Once a point cloud is uploaded into design software such as Revit, some data-cleaning oversight can filter out errors, like a reflection on a window interpreted as a real object or a builder that briefly walked through the frame. The ultimate deliverable from the 3D scan-to-BIM workflow is a point cloud embedded with metadata that design and construction teams can access to plan and revise the project.
The scan-to-BIM process can improve speed, accuracy, and workflow across all design and construction processes. Potential clients can use scan-to-BIM workflows to assess sites for development or buildings for renovation. Teams can use scan-to-BIM workflows to select an ideal site from a larger parcel and can determine how to manage factors such as zoning regulations (access to parking or transit, height limitations, and so forth) before engaging a designer. Architects and designers can use the models to craft designs using high-quality data on decades-old buildings. And builders can use the models to monitor construction progress to hew closely to the design.
Because these scans take just hours to gather and interpret, the process can be repeated as necessary during the construction phase. The ease of scanning also helps facility-maintenance crews complete inspections and identify needed repairs, especially in places that are dangerous or difficult to physically access.