Do you find your current land surveying techniques aren’t as accurate as you need them to be? Are your construction projects falling behind schedule because you regularly need to perform new surveys to reconfirm specific details? Traditional limitations of manpower, time, and manual procedures have created the need to simplify the land surveying process while increasing its accuracy and cutting lead times. 3D laser scanning benefits construction.
Emerging technologies are continually changing how construction jobs are completed. While laser scanning has existed since the 60s, it wasn’t until recently that construction companies made use of it for themselves.
We at Construction Technology Partners are at the forefront of laser construction tools and techniques — and today we will take a look at how this technology is reshaping the construction industry for the better. Alongside applications on the construction site, we’ve highlighted some of its advantages as well as its challenges so that you understand how this technology applies to you and your business.
How Can 3D Laser Scanning Help Construction Companies?
Laser scanning is an incredibly accurate method of land surveying. Also called high-definition scanning (HDS), this 3D mapping technique uses lasers to capture highly detailed data of an area’s topography. Every captured point is given three coordinates and reconstructed in what’s referred to as a point cloud database. All the captured images are then combined in the database to create a detailed 3D map of the scanned area.
Traditional construction equipment powerfully restrains the land surveying process in some form or another. For example, aerial survey companies that create drone topographic mapping only create a singular perspective. While it’s possible to use drone topography to create more detailed maps, it requires much more time. At present, laser scanning is the fastest form of highly accurate construction surveying and layout preparation.
However, laser scanning’s benefits go beyond land surveying. Once construction has started, you can use scans to streamline the process, coordinate teams to avoid complications, and devise ways to spend time more efficiently. Upon project completion, scans can create a perfect, final record of the project.
Laser Scanning: The Pros
The chief advantage of laser scanning is how detailed the results are. Rather than capturing just a photograph, laser scanners use reflected light to image surfaces and determine their size and distance from the scanner itself. Scanners capture small parts of a target area simultaneously, but quickly capturing an entire area takes only a few moments.
You can mount laser scanners on other pieces of equipment. With some planning, you can get angles from a unique perspective for a broader picture. You can even map areas that are otherwise difficult for a crew to access and use that to change plans as needed. Crew members no longer have to risk their safety as part of the surveying process.
Of course, all of these factors mean a reduction in your overall costs. Between reduced labor costs, reduced equipment costs, time saved, and more detailed planning thanks to detailed mapping, you will save money without sacrificing quality. Your projects stand to be more efficient and more profitable as a result.
Laser Scanning: The Cons
Laser scanning, like any technology, isn’t without its limitations. While its use has a tremendous upside, you may experience hurdles when you first introduce it to your projects, chief of which is cost. Though it will save you money over time, laser scanning has a high up-front investment.
You should also know that laser scanning is limited to gathering data about surfaces, which is fine for most land surveying but may feel limited when coordinating work during the building phase. Other devices can provide x-ray imaging, whereas laser scanning cannot.
Additionally, there’s a learning curve you and your crew will need to overcome. Because learning to execute scans and read data is a unique skill set, you’ll need a specialized training program to educate your team or a third party service who can take on the task for you. These training costs can be steep, but if you choose to go with a third party agency, you stand to save considerably on those costs.
You can mitigate most of these cons just by tempering your expectations. Suppose you don’t expect laser scanning to save you time, money, and effort immediately and accept that it will take practice to reap its benefits. In that case, you’ll encounter fewer frustrations while learning the ins and outs of laser scanning. If you expect it to change your work overnight, you risk overlooking what it can do for you in the long term.
Adopt Laser Scanning with Construction Technology Partners
With laser scanning and other innovative technologies changing how construction projects get done, it’s an exciting time to be in the construction industry. However, it can be challenging to analyze the changing landscape and assess where you fit in. But with a knowledgeable guide on your side, you don’t have to risk falling behind.
At Construction Technology Partners, our team of experts can help you adopt laser construction and other growing construction technologies, like aerial mapping and survey services, 3D data design and prep, GPS site setup and calibration, dedicated team training, consulting, and more.
We’ll work side-by-side with you and your team to find the best ways to streamline your projects, keep your crew safe on the job, and save you time and money. Contact our experts now to discover all the ways we can help you.