An Interview With Robbins3D on Laser Scanning in Construction

I mentioned in a previous blog post about future construction technology trends that we’d be interviewing Ken Robbins, the President of Robbins3D, on 3D laser scanning in construction. Ken has a number of years of experience as a land surveyor, and founded Robbins Land Surveying over 15 years ago.

Over the last several years as technology became increasing more important in the construction world, Robbins Land Surveying became Robbins3D and the company got into the 3D laser scanning game.

Why 3D Laser Scanning?

3D laser scanning has a lot of uses in the construction field, from generating plans at the very start of a new project to creating working models during the remodeling process, and everything in between. Where once the technology was used primarily for very complex projects, Ken has seen an increase in its use for projects of all sizes and scopes.

According to Ken, two of the biggest benefits are that it decreases rework and saves time during construction. By eliminating assumptions, 3D laser scanning is essentially the most technologically advanced version of the old adage measure twice, cut once, except in this case the laser is taking nearly a million shots of the space before a single cut is made.

[Tweet “#3Dlaserscanning decreases rework and saves time during #construction.”]

Ken shared with us a case study of the technology out in the field. In this case, Robbins3D worked with a structural steel contractor.

The Process

Out in the field, Robbins3D first surveyed the laser scanning targets via conventional methods to obtain job site coordinates, and then performed 3D laser scanning of the existing building exterior.

Back in the office, the team then registered the individual laser scans into one project point cloud and aligned the new project point cloud to the obtained job site coordinates. Once that was completed, the point cloud was converted to the AutoDesk ReCap format for import into AutoCad, and then imported into AutoDesk Civil 3D software.

Utilizing kubit Software’s PointSense Pro software package, the team created point cloud “slices” at the design steel elevations. They then obtained the required dimensions from the proposed column lines to the existing building face where it was required. These dimensions were then provided to the structural steel contractor for fabrication.

The Result

An issue with a proposed beam terminating in a window frame was observed and corrected at this point. Remember how I mentioned the 3D laser scanning is great for decreasing rework? This is one of those times. The steel for the job was fabricated to the correct dimensions and delivered to the jobsite, sans rework and downtime for the contractor.

Below you’ll find great images from this case study, including images from both the on-site scanning and also the project in the AutoDesk ReCap software.

What do you think? Are you using 3D laser scanning in your projects?

Special thanks to Ken Robbins for taking the time to chat with us and share his work.