Best Practices in BIM – Top 5 Steps for Scan to BIM
When you enter the 3D world of BIM, you need to understand the concept behind it. Building Information Modeling, often referred to as BIM, is the glue that connects the design process and the actual construction process together. Committing to using BIM on your next job will be a lengthy, but very crucial method and it’s your responsibility as the project manager to make sure your team doesn’t skip a step in the process.
Learn the Top 5 Steps for Scan to BIM:
Technology used to collect data has advanced two-fold in the last decade. The process used to collect your point cloud is a much easier and more accurate than it used to be, but you need to first have your process in place before you engage in a large BIM project.
– First find your inspiration for design
– Start to prepare your schematic model
– Create a walk-through or rendering
– Once the rendering is approved, the process can move forward to the design phase
Collaboration is crucial throughout the process of the design phase. Communication from the customer with the level of detail needed has to be conveyed to the designer as well as the engineer or architect performing the scan job. When using a scanner to collect measurement data, it is important for the engineer to know exactly what needs to be captured within specific parameters. When details such as these are unclear, the engineer may spend either not enough time, or too much time to capture the data needed to build the 3D model. Costs associated with the time it takes to scan a specific area can be greatly affected if the job outline is not clearly communicated and understood by both designer and engineer. Knowing ahead of time exactly what the end result needs to include will help to cut costs, time, and optimize your BIM performance to avoid any future confusion about job expectations.
When it comes down to choosing the right piece of equipment for the job, it depends on the specific requirements needed for the end result. If you simply want to gather data from specific areas within a discrete location, a Laser Scanner such as the Faro Focus or Leica HDS may be the better choice. Using a laser scanner can be more cost efficient and time sensitive depending on how much accuracy you are looking to retrieve. You may find that collecting data at a high density and high speed with 2mm resolution will meet your requirements for the job. But if you are looking for a more detailed set of data points with far greater resolution (.05mm) and lower density, you may consider using a Total Station or a Laser Tracker. This technology may take longer, but will be far more accurate for discrete point analysis. It is important you communicate these requirements to your metrology engineer and rely on their expertise to suggest the best piece of technology for the job.
When you think about the conversion process in BIM, most folks think that the scanner creates the model on the fly. This is a common misconception and the reality is the scanner only does a fraction of the work. After the data is collected, it then gets imported into special software such as AutoDesk REVIT which an architect or engineer will use to manually manipulate the data. They achieve this by using the raw data, in this case a very large point cloud, and following the lines created by that data to form a template within the software. This template is then used to fill in the blanks where no data was collected to form a wall, piping or conduit, or structural features for example. We often liken the creation of this 3D model to using a “tracing template” on a blank sheet of paper. Using the template, you can then connect the dots and create an even larger template, which then creates the frame of the space requiring the 3D model.
Though you may think Delivery is a self-explanatory phase of the BIM cycle, this phase is often the most important. It is also the phase that can make or break the result of the project. If even one step in the process is skipped or not thoroughly completed, this end result phase will cost you time, money and effort on your whole team’s behalf and it will end in frustration and tension between you and your BIM service provider. Following each individual step and completing them will save you from being sorely disappointed in the long run. The last thing you want to do is assume that your designers and engineers know what needs to be accomplished. It’s crucial that you have a set plan and follow every step within that plan prior to starting the scan job. If even one detail is miscommunicated or not communicated at all, the engineer will not be able to present you with data that aligns with your requirements. It is your job to communicate those requirements and expectations during your very first meeting. If you follow all these steps, you can be sure the delivery of your end result will meet all your expectations and serve as a platform for successful future projects.
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