Recommendation Needed

Apple iPhone & iPad, Artec3D, ASUS Xtrion, Creaform, DotProduct DPI-8S &DPI-10, FARO Freestyle, G0-Scan, Mantis Vision, Microsoft Kinect, Noomeo, THOR3D, ZEB1 etc.
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Devonshire777
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Recommendation Needed

Post by Devonshire777 »

I'm an architect and I have been using scans of building exteriors and interiors from expensive Faro and Leica scanners which I then import the resulting point clouds into Revit (*.RCP and *.RCS formats). It's been a real benefit but I'd like to expand into capturing complex Laboratory equipment in much finer detail with minimal shadows so I can either use the pointcclouds directly in Revit or to model the equipment in Revit. Ideally the scanner would be able to handle several interior rooms or in a perfect world, something as big as a residential house too.

I've tried some tests using my iPhone 13 but it's way too inaccurate and has way too much data drift to be considered actually useful. I need recommendations for a reasonably priced handheld scanner that can export Autodesk ecosystem friendly file formats that can be imported into Recap and Revit and possibly shared with my consultants who are still using AutoCAD. I need to be able to scan all around, over and under a complex piece of equipment, so a handheld scanner is appealing as are the SLAM units I've seen. Sub millimeter accuracy is ideal. I just stumbled across the Faro Freestyle 2 which is intriguing because it's Revit/Recap friendly and can be merged into a building scan in spots that need higher detail.

I'm a 1-man office so cost is always an issue.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Recommendation Needed

Post by Leandre Robitaille »

Devonshire777 wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:31 pm Sub millimeter accuracy is ideal.
Slam and sub mm does not exist. You either get sub mm creaform type of scanners for small areas and reverse engineering or go for a slam solution and get in the cm range accuracy

I would recommand looking into a NavVis VLX that has about 10mm accuracy. For large areas consider hiring a surveyor and add control points for less drift.
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Re: Recommendation Needed

Post by jedfrechette »

Devonshire777 wrote: Sat Dec 03, 2022 7:31 pm expensive Faro and Leica scanners
...
something as big as a residential house
...
Sub millimeter accuracy
Good, cheap, fast. Pick 1, 2 if you're lucky.

If you're primarily trying to get more detail a good handheld scanner like the Artec Leo will get you into the sub-mm range, but will only be appropriate for relatively small areas, a few square meters. By integrating with other tools they can be used to cover larger areas but this can get to be complex. I'm not familiar with the current generation of Faro Freestyle scanners, but wasn't impressed with their original models when we looked at them.

Tripod scanners like you're familiar with cover the middle ground with sub-cm accuracy and the ability to cover large areas reasonably quickly.

SLAM scanners can cover large areas very quickly, but now you're looking at multi-cm levels of accuracy.

Upfront costs are generally going to increase in that order too, although that can be a little misleading. You could scan an entire house with sub-mm accuracy using an Artec Leo but the labor costs to do that would be astronomical.
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Re: Recommendation Needed

Post by Devonshire777 »

Hmmmm

So, there are no perfect solutions... so then it's a matter of choosing by least compromise right?

If the Faro Freestyle Scanner doesn't have greater accuracy but higher point density that isn't particularly helpful. More imprecise dots are just more noise, that's still fuzzy. For using point clouds directly/modeling smaller objects accuracy is a big deal. For example:
  • Is that a 2"x2"x1/4" steel angle frame or a 2-1/2"x2-1/2" x 5/16" steel angle frame?
  • How high is the base above the floor?
  • Is that a 1/4" tubing?
To fine tune my needs, I need a lot more accuracy over the tripod based scanners used to scan buildings for smaller & complex equipment/tools.

I do like the Faro idea of importing specific areas or objects of greater accuracy within a building scan. I just talked to a FARO Rep and he described a 2mm accuracy with the Freestyle 2; that's not horrible, but I don't think that's the order of magnitude improvement that I really need. If that accuracy is practically speaking more like 1/2" to 1" that isn't accurate enough for the fussy objects I need to capture.

The Faro Freestyle 2 sounds like a possible solution for me for a smaller series of complex rooms or objects like a house that don't require higher than tripod scanner accuracy so I don't have to hire a consultant with a high-cost scanner system.

The Artec Leo warrants further investigation, but I don't know how well its workflow integration is in terms of file formats within the Autodesk ecosystem. (The scanner manufacturers and Autodesk seem pretty out-of-touch with our real-world workflow issues).

OK, a gripe and a challenge:
The ongoing agony is being left to make more and more investments in different and expensive hardware and software to perform specialized tasks that may or may not be well integrated into an efficient workflow. To justify the higher costs/investments there needs to be a notable increase in efficiency and quality of work to have a meaningful ROI.
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Re: Recommendation Needed

Post by Devonshire777 »

Slam and sub mm does not exist. You either get sub mm creaform type of scanners for small areas and reverse engineering or go for a slam solution and get in the cm range accuracy

I would recommend looking into a NavVis VLX that has about 10mm accuracy. For large areas consider hiring a surveyor and add control points for less drift.



I'm now thinking I need about 1 mm level of accuracy to achieve my basic goal of scanning fine detail and complex equipment. Based on your input, SLAM can't achieve that; +/- 10mm is too low of accuracy for what I'm trying to do.

Then I'm back to hiring consultants to scan architectural projects.

Thanks for your input, that is helpful!
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Re: Recommendation Needed

Post by TommyMaddox »

I Pm'd you, if you're on a budget there's a used P40 in my network that will probably achieve what you're looking to do at around the 25k mark. You'd be on your own for getting it back through service and software, but not a bad start at the noise/accuracy/price level.
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Re: Recommendation Needed

Post by TMillington »

Hi Zane
As others have pointed out, your search for a workflow to combine large volume scans with the flexibility of handheld kit - all at sub mm accuracies, is likely to be costly, compromised and probably painful.
For tripod mounted scanners at that level you should look towards Surphaser scanners (or the Surphaser derived Artec Ray), these produce significantly cleaner data than other scanners. Handheld options are Creaform, Peel, Artec Leo or similar systems. These are nowhere near the flexibility of SLAM systems but with care can give sub mm accuracy for smaller features or areas.
Combining data from both types of scanner is possible but may require some experimenting with export and import formats in order to register/align and merge. You could look at Artec Studio which claims to have the functionality to handle data from all their scanners in one project - I've not tried this yet, so can't comment on ease of use.
Practically, for the sort of job you describe, I think my first option would be to use a tripod mounted scanner to scan as much of the job as possible, even to the extent of doing several quick scans in the same room at different heights/positions to reduce shadow areas. The extra time spent processing and registering those scans, is probably going to be less painful than trying to combine scans from different systems.
The other factor to consider is that to achieve the accuracies you're looking for, you'll need to provide sufficient survey control throughout your scan project, so you're also going to need to invest in the kit (and skills) to do that.
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Re: Recommendation Needed

Post by cahern3d »

Hi Zane, Have you considered Dot3D?

This is exactly what you describe in every manner except sub mm. Sub mm across an entire residendential house is honestly a pretty high ask from any solution, especially an affordable one. While a terrestrial scanner could likely get you to 1 mm or maybe even better locally (for a hefty price as you know), Dot3D could get you as good as 2-5 mm with control (or even without for small areas / depending which hardware you use) and would only cost you from $300 (iPhone app) to ≈$5K total.

If you haven't already, I'd recommend you start with giving the iOS app a try. As you've already discovered, iOS LiDAR may not suffice for your accuracy needs no matter what, but if you haven't tried Dot3D yet, I think you'll at least be pleasantly suprised with how much closer this can get to what you're looking for from just an iPhone/iPad. Then, you might want to consider a DPI-10 or DPI-X kit for higher accuracy indoor Dot3D scanning from a Windows tablet.

In the end this may still all be a bit less accurate than what you're aiming for (especially if we're talking about any really thin piping in the equipement), but it's so well aligned with what you describe otherwise, I'd say definitely worth looking into / trying out!
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