Renovations made Easier with Point Clouds

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Problem: Renovating older buildings presents a unique set of challenges. Many buildings wereconstructed before the computer age, which means that, if construction drawings exist, they are hand-drawn and are not accurate as-built drawings.

CADLearning Expert Solution: Use a combination of a laser scanner, AutoCAD or Revit, and ReCap.

A detailed laser scan of the existing structure can quickly confirm existing clearances, structuralconditions, and the exact locations of mechanical and plumbing interferences. The 3D laser scansbecome an important design tool, exposing conditions that were not captured as part of the originaldocuments. In addition, these laser scans can then be imported directly into AutoCAD and Revit andused as a basis for developing the new project documents.

A laser scan of the existing conditions can also serve as a valuable tool to mitigate risks and resolveclaims for damages occurring during the renovation process. Since the point cloud is scalable, the designteam can even compare the size of existing cracks to post-construction cracks—much more accuratethan using photographs that lack scale.

While laser scanning can generate a huge amount of data, using the data intelligently requires anunderstanding of both the capabilities of the laser scanner and the use of the software to help analyzethe resulting point cloud. For example, you can use tools in Autodesk ReCap to reveal subtle variationsin a floor slab that could prove extremely problematic.

ReCap provides several visualization modes, including the ability to display surface variations using agradient color map. By switching to a display mode that shows changes in elevation, adjusting themaximum and minimum elevation range values, and then determining how to display points that falloutside the allowable range, you can quickly check the flatness of the floor.

ReCap also facilitates tying the laser scans to actual survey control points. By doing so, you can performadditional laser scans at a later date and incorporate the new scans into the same coordinate system.This also ensures the accuracy of the scan and provides a common reference for all building modelsduring design and construction.

- David Cohn, Senior Content Manager


CADLearning Playlist of the Week:
Renovations made simpler with point clouds.

1. Introducing Point Clouds
2. Controlling the Size of Points and Level of Detail
3. Using the Point Cloud Manager
4. Introducing Reality Capture
5. Opening and Viewing Point Clouds
6. Automatically Registering Scans
7. Working with RealViews
8. Importing and Exporting Scan Regions
9. Working with Scan Locations

Did You Know?

CADLearning offers courses for more than 40 Autodesk titles. Courses can be taken from start to finish, or lessons can be watched individually for help with the task at hand, improvingproductivity and limiting down time.

For more industry solutions, check out out the full “Did You Know?” series:

1. Make Civil Engineering Presentations Pop
2. Light Up Your Design
3. The Power of Programming without Coding
4. Clear and Concise Drawings from 3D Models
5. Organize Data to Better Manage a Product Lifecycle
6. Faster, More Accurate Product Design with 3D Printing
7. Simulations that Look More Lifelike
8. Create Roundabouts in Moments
9. Faster Steel Construction Documents

Send us your suggestions for future Did You Know solutions.
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