The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

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Eliot R
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The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

Post by Eliot R » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:39 pm

Hey guys,

We wrote a report on the benefits of 3D scanning for the built environment and reviewed some of the top scanners in the industry. The report is free and includes case studies from cutting-edge industry firms currently utilizing the technology. I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Were there any we missed?

http://www.builtworlds.com/research/rep ... ner-report

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Re: The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

Post by SAttaya » Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:53 pm

Z&F comes to mind

Eliot R
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Re: The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

Post by Eliot R » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:54 pm

Yes, Z+F is a good firm that could be included with those reviewed. We choose the scanning firms based on the interest and requests from the industry companies. For some reason, we did not hear as much about ZF-Laser when we were conducting the interviews. However, we plan on adding and updating the white paper as learn more about the market. Does Z+F have any specific features or capabilities that sets them apart?

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Re: The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

Post by bwx100 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:57 pm

Interesting piece. A bit more like a magazine article than a research paper but really glad to see people (you) doing stuff like this for our industry (I work for Leica Geosystems).

My thoughts. Not really criticisms, just observations I hope. You do really deserve kudos for putting this piece together.
1. I think you missed one big part of scanning today and that is the inclusion of images, not just point clouds. Imagery is a huge component of scanning and can have a big impact if used or not used. It isn't always appropriate to use imagery but I think many times just as important as the dimensional information.

2. One section where you mentioned the use of targets is kind of nonsensical. You may need to get a little better understanding of using/not using targets as part of a registration scheme vs or in conjunction with cloud-to-cloud, etc. Targets can also be useful for dropping your data onto control (which might be something else to learn about).

3. One of the people interviewed made some comment about size of computer and max number of scans. I would say this is pretty specific to certain software applications and not all applications have such direct limitations. Some applications (I won't give any specific names) can handle an unlimited number of scans and offer various technical innovations and mitigation options to keep things productive, even on real sized jobs.

4. The buy vs contract section seems just like comments from biased individuals without much additional thoughtful commentary. I would be interested to see a more indepth study of the real ROI and more clear determinations of when the various options really make sense.

5. The official company name is Leica Geosystems, not just Leica. Yeah we all say Leica but I hope you are being sure to get the rights to images and trying to use proper nomenclature, etc.

6. You included the Trimble VX as a "Scanner". I suppose they may call it such. In fairness, Leica also has a TotalStation line that has scanning capabilities, the Leica Geosystems Nova MS50/MS60 series.

7. You indicate Trimble "Makes" the Tx5 but I think Faro "Makes" it and Trimble sells it. At least they did. Are they still selling it? Anyway, no big deal, we used to sell scanners that somebody else would "Make" (the missing Z+F company) but just thought I'd correct the "make" statement.

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Re: The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

Post by Scott » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:57 pm

Another article for the same publisher:
Level Of Accuracy: When The Virtual World Meets The Real One
http://www.builtworlds.com/news/2016/1/ ... ts-reality

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Re: The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

Post by Scan-Ninja » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:36 pm

"Interesting piece. A bit more like a magazine article than a research paper but really glad to see people (you) doing stuff like this for our industry" -Bill Wallace.

I would agree with the above statement, especially when the "research" says that Leica scanner can work under -5 to 140 degree Fahrenheit. I think that they got that wrong. Anyway, interesting though.

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Re: The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

Post by Eliot R » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:49 pm

Bill Wallace – Thank you for your thoughts and feedback, I really appreciate your support. This feedback is helpful because would like to update our research as we hear from our audience (such as yourself) and more information becomes available.

As to your points: I agree that a section on imagery would be a great addition. I spoke with a few architecture firms who discussed the importance of utilizing imagery for their designs and displays.

On the software front, I was going to write a separate piece on this altogether as it is so complex and important. I have heard that the computing power issue is pretty variable and dependent on the software application used. The aim of this section was to just point out the issues surrounding computing power. I spoke with some firms who found they had to invest in more powerful computers to handle their scans.

As for the section on buying vs contracting, I agree it could be flushed out. A follow up project on a scanner’s ROI would be very valuable. As many firms use the scanners in different ways and have different cost structures, I wonder if there is a universal ROI. This section was aiming to inform the industry on other options if they were hesitant about the high upfront costs.

On your point about the “Leica” brand. I apologize for any confusion. I received approval from Leica professional before publishing the white paper. I will keep that in mind moving forward.

Finally, just to clarify, the overall purpose of this report is to educate and inform construction industry firms who are unfamiliar with technology. It is designed to get these firms to seriously consider adopting laser scanning in their workflow. We feel that this technology has the potential to significantly enhance the ways projects are designed and executed but many firms are unwilling or unaware of the benefits. Thank you again for your thoughts.

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Re: The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

Post by Eliot R » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:49 pm

Scan-Ninja:

Thank you for your interest and echoing Bill Wallace. To your point about the temperature range...from Leica's website.

http://hds.leica-geosystems.com/en/Leic ... 106396.htm

-20 Celsius to 50 Celsius = -4 to 122 Fahrenheit

Have you had different experiences with the functionality in harsh weather conditions?

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Re: The 4 Best Laser Scanners for the Built Environment

Post by pburrows145 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:05 am

There's a P40 working in Antartica right now with the UK's Severn Partnership - seems to be performing very well in the cold. All the P series are -20C to +50C operational temperature.

Interesting article and good feedback from the various parties.

I would not entertain the idea of using a VX for the built environment unless single point measurement is the required deliverable.

Cue debate.

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