How 3D Scanning Can Help Your Business
The world of smart cities and intercommunicative technologies depicted in sci-fi movies is not that far off—especially with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing day-to-day operations to go digital. In this new reality, the role of 3D laser scanning companies and service providers is growing rapidly. Many on-site operators and technical specialists are finding new ways to intercommunicate in their day-to-day jobs, workplaces are seeking new and improved methods to get fast and accurate information, and buzzwords like as-built, digital twin, and BIM are becoming more and more prevalent. But before you jump on the bandwagon, it’s important to understand what’s involved in 3D scanning and what it can achieve.
The conceptualization process always begins with a reality capture of your facility using 3D scanners to provide a base point. From here, you can extract a point cloud with the facility’s XYZ. This XYZ has many uses: you can get a spatially and dimensionally accurate output of the facility, manipulate the interior design, or even reverse engineer specific parts of the facility. Or you can extract the data set and make an accurate virtual projection for installing part of a machine. For example, if a team needs to change piping in a food and beverage facility, the point cloud can accurately simulate the different possibilities. Another benefit of using point cloud is that a 3D scan of a facility can quickly show that your regular CAD drawings are extremely inaccurate. Thus, 3D scanning can help update and re-document your CAD drawings with millimetric precision.
Design and processing
Once you understand what you want, the design and processing phases can begin.
Like in the movies, we are able to manipulate reality using mesh modelling software, 3D editing programs, or 3D modelling software, all of which are readily available online today. The question is what you want to do with a 3D scan and 3D point cloud data. For example, if someone wants to predict if a piece of machinery fits in their facility, they can scan the information and create a model out of that. They can also use platforms like Prevu3D in order to detect collisions and visually simulate the addition of new machinery with relative ease. 3D scanning is the bridge between reality and the Internet of things.
In the design phase, you need to document what your operational and management teams require by using a checklist. As-built drawings will also allow you to document information while managing the facility’s day-to-day operations. In order to develop a streamlined approach, the organizational goals need to be clear and the budget needs to be transparent so that you can see what is a must-have and what is nice to have.
It’s also critical at this stage to keep everyday users in mind. Otherwise, part of the operational team will be excluded from collaboration, thus wasting a large portion of your 4.0 investment. Digital collaboration has never been as important as it is today. The more teams that are involved in a decision-making process, the better the organizational decision becomes.
Lastly, the implementation phase is relatively easy if the implementer has successfully conceptualized and created a workflow and developed their needs within the boundaries of the 3D scanning world. The flexibility of 3D scanning is vast and almost limitless. 3D technology can produce any standard engineering file, such as a Revit, AutoCad, or Naviswork file, or even a virtual training simulation. It simply depends on what you want as a deliverable.
For an organization to implement sophisticated technologies like 3D scanners, it helps to convert from traditional singular solutions to multiple flexible turnkey solutions. This allows the organization to do more with less and include more members of its team by centralizing information.
At the end of the day, interconnectivity happens when you convert the reality capture into the digital space on a communicative platform. The software is the conduit to developing your physical space: it all starts with a 3D capture, and the rest is up to your imagination.