I Scanned My Building, Now What?

June 10, 2020

I Scanned My Building, Now What?


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As terrestrial scanning becomes more common within the AEC industry a new challenge has emerged. What do we do with all the scan data?

Many Options

Once you’ve completed the field scanning there are a number of ways the scan data can add value to your project. From the most basic, as a visualization tool, to the very complex, achievement of design certainty and elimination of field orders.


The simplest way to use scan data is as a visualization tool. The scans can be posted online and reviewed as a 3D images all within a web browser with no special add-ons. You can even take simple dimensions. This is a great first step into having scanning provide positive results for your project with very little training.

Detroit Laser Scanning PMC Digital Twin Laser Scan

Modeling Options

Although typically converted to 3D it is possible to convert scan data into 2D as well. The best decision will be governed on what is right for your project. 2D Layouts from Scan Data On some projects it can make sense to simply convert the laser scan data to 2D layouts, sections, and elevations. This is epically helpful when you have a tight timeline or a team which is not yet comfortable with 3D workflows.

3D Model Development

It is now possible to develop 3D models to any LOD in almost any format. Although some automated tools exist most model geometry is still created using tracing techniques. Cost effective options of generating 3D models typically involve having portions of the model completed by overseas partners.

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