Laser scanning allows scans taken in the field to be captured and sent back to the engineering office in real time, which ensures engineers using the data have the information they need before the field engineers leave the site. This technology has allowed us to expand our footprint from regional to global while controlling costs and maintaining tight engineering schedules. As engineers and designers look to further improve processes, laser scanning will become as common as tape measures are today.
Whether you’re capturing measurements for manufacturing, buildings, paint shops, deep underground treatment plants, or a simple home renovation, the process has always been the same: Manual processes and 2D drawings would be marked up in the field and taken back to the office to be translated into AutoCAD files at a later date. This process is slow and leaves much room for error. The larger the area being reworked, the larger the task is to capture the “as is data”.
At Design Systems, Inc., we have a group of engineers working with laser scanning technology to capture as-built data for our internal engineering groups as well as our customers. The speed, accuracy and amount of data captured by our 3D scanning services is unmatched by any other technology.
|Capturing high-resolution three-dimensional data of complex conditions across any environment with 3D laser scanners provides a fast, efficient way to capture millions of data points in an “as is environment”. Used in applications ranging from: facility design, historic preservation, surveying, and even crime scene investigation, 3D laser scanners are a versatile, accurate solution that allows companies to obtain data they previously could not. This in turn facilitates making informed decisions while saving valuable time and money.|
Design software companies have been working to transition from the scan “point cloud” environment to the CAD environment with less processing time since that has been the bottleneck for the past few years. Autodesk has created a set of tools that allow seamless integration from scan data to CAD environment. Our scans are registered together in the field and then aligned to your CAD (0,0,0) so all our customers need to do is insert or Xref the point cloud into their AutoDesk CAD software.
Scan data is linked directly into your 2D or 3D AutoCAD environment for the development of new or existing plant layouts. This technology allows Design Systems, Inc. to start with correct data on all of our new projects, which lowers our risk and allows us to start working on new layouts without having to worry about what is actually there. With laser scanning, we now have the means to bring as built data directly into our AutoCAD layouts without having to translate someone’s mark-ups on a drawing. Field checking with tape measures is slow and filled with errors. Laser scanning takes this process completely out of the standard 2D or 3D layout workflow, improving accuracy while reducing design time.
Inventor is parametric design software that allows us to create custom blocks with intelligence for use in AutoCAD environments for our manufacturing customers and family of parts for our Architecture Revit customers. This streamlines our process on both the design side and training side. With Autodesk Inventor, we just need one piece of software that can be integrated into our customer’s software with no translation issues.
3D Scanning is increasingly being used by engineers to speed up decision making when planning factory layouts. During design and development, 3D scanning reverse engineering involves capturing information about existing physical environments and recreating them digitally in a virtual environment. Dimensionally, the process is highly accurate.
Reverse engineering is used to scan a physical environment when no drawings or CAD data exist, or when as built drawings are outdated. Scanning allows our engineers to have confidence in the as built environment allowing us to compress our timelines on projects.
Working in the architectural world, you most likely will bring your scans directly into the Revit/BIM environments. Scans are commonplace in the architectural community in the estimating, design and engineering areas. Scans are increasingly used as a starting point for older buildings where no engineering drawings exist.
|When working with point clouds as your field checking method, you not only have accurate as built drawings to start with but you now have the ability to use clash detection tools that will find interferences between CAD models and point clouds. What this means is that we now have the ability to run collision detections and pinch points between the existing as-built environment and the new proposed changes. Whether you’re looking at a newly proposed product to run through existing process lines, ovens, dip tanks, vertical declines or inclines, we can use our scans and 3D models to generate a detailed report showing every pinch point per the customer’s standards and hard collisions throughout the system. There is no longer a need to send a team of engineers to the facility to try to find all these pinch points with tape measures, we can now bring the as built environment into Navisworks and run a collision detection report eliminating all the error-prone methods of the past.|
|Using the 3D point cloud data and AutoCAD software, we are able to cut a cross section anywhere in the point cloud. This can then be used to create accurate 2D drawings of the existing facility layout or to simply take the dimensions in question, saving valuable time in the field drawing and measuring each individual cross section required. This avoids issues such as missed dimensions, poor legibility, and lost notebooks which often necessitate the need for additional site visits.|
The overall project timeline will accelerate because there will be just one “data set” that all employees are working from, which includes accurate “as is” conditions. All shareholders have the ability to understand the exact conditions of the environment and adjust, schedule, react, etc. to those conditions. The scanning process is an accurate tool for all contractors to work from, eliminating the error-prone manual process. Without laser scanning the entire environment, each contractor would have to do their own manual field checking process and then move the field checks into their CAD environment as their starting point. Laser scanning allows all stock holders to understand and work directly in that environment when designing their process.