Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

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nubrun
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Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by nubrun » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:25 pm

Good morning,

New member and new person to laser scanning, and I am sure that this question has been asked, but searches 4 pages deep didn't show anything. We are a smaller MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) engineering company that specializes in retrofit work for universities. We have been exploring the integration of laser scanning into our workflow for as-builting existing conditions. We see the possibility of increasing the accuracy of as-builts while decreasing manhours in the field with tape measures, and CAD time to then recreate those as-builts, and of course offsetting that one missed measurement that requires and additional field trip.

Based on my googlefu, I have found that Faro, Leica, Topcon, R+F (and I am sure many more) all make scanners for this purpose, but from my initial contact, Faro seems to have the best pricing. What I am looking for is if the mroe experienced people here have any other recommendations based on the following requirements:
  • Budget ~$25K including hardware and software. This could go up if there is a compelling reason, but hoping to stay around here to start
    Accuracy to +- 1" (I know most of the equipment will meet this no problem)
    Range of at least 150 feet. Most of our work is in mechanical rooms that are significantly smaller than that
    Easy to learn and setup. We are not a dedicated survey company that has experience with this type of equipment
    Needs to be able to integrate with Autodesk Revit MEP
I am sure I missed something important, but if anyone has any input it would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Nick

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Re: Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by SAttaya » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:04 pm

Sounds to me like BLK360 if Leica ever actually releases it.
Guess you're looking at a used 120/130 from Faro.

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Re: Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by Scan-Ninja » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:29 pm

SAttaya wrote:Sounds to me like BLK360 if Leica ever actually releases it.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :D :D
I would agree that the BLK360 would be a better option out of that 25k. 16K for scanner, ipad, software, and you still have 9k to spend on other stuff. Wouldn't wanna spend money on a used equipment.

nubrun
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Re: Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by nubrun » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:34 pm

Thank you for the quick replies. I had not seen anything on the BLK360, but that looks like it will be very intriguing product. I like that it would keep the workflow within the Autodesk family of products, theoretically that should make the process simpler.

Does anyone have any experience processing through ReCAP? It seems like most people are using the scanner software, cyclone, Scene, etc.

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Re: Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by tbwester » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:00 pm

this will be a long journey with a year or more of learning. I would suggest hiring this process out for a few projects and having conversations with a local provider to better understand your needs. The process is extremely complex, and errors can be costly.

There is a new faro for 25k including software that sounds like it could be a great choice for you. The blk is interesting kit, but much more niche and maybe would not be fit for 100% of your projects.

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Re: Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by Rikore » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:09 pm

With your budget the BLK360 would be the best bet. The workflow from the scanner into ReCAP and into Revit is not that hard to get use to. A hand held scanner might be another way. We don't do it that way often, but Leica should have the work flow down when the BLK360 comes out.

nubrun
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Re: Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by nubrun » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:11 pm

We have been reaching out to local providers and are learning that response time is slow and in most cases the service is fairly expensive to obtain the point cloud file, and even more expensive if we want that converted into usable native files. We understand that the expense is there for a reason and there will be a significant learning curve with any new workflow, but we see the ability to provide this service to our clients as another selling feature. As I mentioned above, about 90% of our work is retrofit work in existing lab buildings where trying to route anything is a challenge.

And are you referring to the Focus 70? I saw that one and was intrigued but didn't know the difference between the M models and the 3D models. My one concern with the BLK is that it looks like you are then married to Autodesk software to support the device. This may not be a bad thing, but I have seen them struggle with new product releases in the past.

As always I appreciate the insight.
tbwester wrote:this will be a long journey with a year or more of learning. I would suggest hiring this process out for a few projects and having conversations with a local provider to better understand your needs. The process is extremely complex, and errors can be costly.

There is a new faro for 25k including software that sounds like it could be a great choice for you. The blk is interesting kit, but much more niche and maybe would not be fit for 100% of your projects.

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Re: Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by walkerrichard » Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:59 pm

Of course I will mention that GeoSLAM Revo is used for applications like that. We too are looking forward to BLK data to join up with current practices (hello, Autodesk......its almost April..... :)

But with no mobile capability, the BLK is not a Super Scanner with a capital S. Preparing for Leica salesman snowball volley in 3...2...1....

Cheers
Richard

nubrun
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Re: Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by nubrun » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:06 am

walkerrichard wrote:Of course I will mention that GeoSLAM Revo is used for applications like that. We too are looking forward to BLK data to join up with current practices (hello, Autodesk......its almost April..... :)

But with no mobile capability, the BLK is not a Super Scanner with a capital S. Preparing for Leica salesman snowball volley in 3...2...1....

Cheers
Richard
Thank you for the information Richard. What is the accuracy of the GeoSLAM Revo and do you have any data or whitepapers about it being used within a central plant or building environment? Also are there any software add-ons to aid in converting point cloud to native revit file? And do you have a ballpark price point?

Thanks,
Nick

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Re: Laser Scanner for MEP Firm

Post by KDersch » Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:09 pm

I took a look at your company and it looks like you are located in CA - If you were more local i'd be more than willing to demo our equipment for you.

However, I we utilize an X130 for similar work, on a larger scale generally with great results. I would recommend looking into the newer FARO models to see if they fit into your budget better.

Thanks!

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