Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

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Old Piper
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Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by Old Piper »

Hi, everyone. I have a question for the group.

First, a short introduction and background. I have been a Process Piping Designer for over 43 years. For the past 25 years I have been working for a chemical manufacturer with 3 plants. We have been designing in 3D for the past 20 years using AutoCAD and CADWorx Plant. I have played the role of CAD Administrator for the past 12 years. We have been using scanning services for the past 15 years on larger projects that can absorb the cost of an outside contractor.

Normally, we have a scanning contractor provide us with a solid model and registered and indexed Recap project (*.rcp and support folder.) Since the provided model does not cover the entire point cloud, we keep a library of models and point clouds for future use. We use EdgeWise to model areas on the point cloud outside of the modeled area as needed.

Now the question I ask of you professionals: Is there a simple, cost effective scanner or hand scanner we could use for as-building for smaller projects that can’t cover the cost of hiring a professional survey/scan? We do have a Total Station that we use to tie field surveys back to our plant grid. But we must rely on extensive field measurements for as-building prior to starting new designs/modifications. We have become very familiar with working with point clouds, but these smaller projects are a PITA when we must rely on hand sketches. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thank you for any help you can provide,
Ed (Old Piper)
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Re: Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by jcoco3 »

Hi Ed, and welcome :)

Yes, there are quite a few...see the Hand Held Scanners section here:
viewforum.php?f=21

Not exactly sure how much ground you are trying to cover and/or how accurate it needs to be, but you can take a look at the Faro Freestyle, and the Dot3D (Dot Product) scanners for small areas.
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Re: Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by JMontie »

I'm coming from a similar background. I don't think handheld scanners will be the way to go. We do a lot of revamp work, this requires a terrestrial scanner. Handheld scanner would work for a small skid, but anything bigger than that I think would be to much. Also most handheld scanners don't work in bright sunlight good.

It would be best to stick with the file format you've been getting from the third party.

Just my thoughts
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Re: Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by Old Piper »

JMontie wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:53 pm I'm coming from a similar background. I don't think handheld scanners will be the way to go. We do a lot of revamp work, this requires a terrestrial scanner. Handheld scanner would work for a small skid, but anything bigger than that I think would be to much. Also most handheld scanners don't work in bright sunlight good.

It would be best to stick with the file format you've been getting from the third party.

Just my thoughts
Thanks, JMontie. That's what I was concerned with. I was not sure a handheld would be up to the task. Our plants are all old, congested, open structures. The average cost for our 3rd party scans runs 60-120k USD. OK for large projects, but not justifiable on smaller ones.

Thanks for the input.
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Re: Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by landmeterbeuckx »

Old Piper wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:30 pm
JMontie wrote: Fri Feb 19, 2021 7:53 pm I'm coming from a similar background. I don't think handheld scanners will be the way to go. We do a lot of revamp work, this requires a terrestrial scanner. Handheld scanner would work for a small skid, but anything bigger than that I think would be to much. Also most handheld scanners don't work in bright sunlight good.

It would be best to stick with the file format you've been getting from the third party.

Just my thoughts
Thanks, JMontie. That's what I was concerned with. I was not sure a handheld would be up to the task. Our plants are all old, congested, open structures. The average cost for our 3rd party scans runs 60-120k USD. OK for large projects, but not justifiable on smaller ones.

Thanks for the input.
60-120k :o
What's the average amount of scans?
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Re: Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by max72 »

Probably you should better explain what is the "small" project size in your context.
You risk people reading your posts getting injured by dropping from the chair.. :-)
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Re: Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by rollorigby »

Maybe have a look at a used scanner? C10 will give very usable results and good accuracy with a simple workflow. Not as fast as the latest kit, but fine for smaller projects. Also more manageable file sizes which is a consideration.
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Re: Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by Old Piper »

[/quote]
60-120k :o
What's the average amount of scans?
[/quote]

The last included roughly 230 scan locations from grade to +80' elevation. It covered an area of the plant about 1/2 an acre and very congested. I should mention that 3/4 of that cost was to have it solid modeled.
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Re: Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by Old Piper »

rollorigby wrote: Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:42 pm Maybe have a look at a used scanner? C10 will give very usable results and good accuracy with a simple workflow. Not as fast as the latest kit, but fine for smaller projects. Also more manageable file sizes which is a consideration.
I had not considered a used scanner.

To clarify by what I meant by smaller projects, the last smaller scan we had done was around 12 scan locations, 2 elevations, an area roughly 120'x100'. Indexed point cloud only (no model) cost 7k USD.

At that rate, a used scanner would pay for itself after only a few uses.
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Re: Hi, everyone! Question for the group.

Post by jcoco3 »

Thanks Ed. That clarifies what your definition of small is quite nicely.

At this point, I would say that a handheld scanner would be a stretch for that situation. There is some overlap in what can be accomplished between hand held and terrestrial scans, but 12 scans from a tripod scanner in a unit of a plant tends to be larger area than what you might want to tackle with a hand held scanner. If you had only a particular piece of equipment like a pump and motor with its instrumentation cluster that you wanted to scan, then it would be a task that a hand held scanner could tackle. You can push some hand held scanners a bit farther, but trying to match 12 terrestrial scans is probably going to take another terrestrial scanner. Considering the cost of your contracted work and modeling I will assume that accuracy is on the upper end, so again, not likely in the realm of a hand held type scanner. Even "dynamic mapping" scanners, which could cover the same area with great speed, would likely not provide accuracy commensurate with projects of that cost.

In regards to you larger projects. I would like to mention that at least some portion of what you are paying for is an often unseen professional skill required to accurately register and tie/constrain with survey control a scan project of that magnitude. You may understand this better than most, but it still takes a good bit of hard work to obtain an accurately registered point cloud prior to the modeling effort. I am not defending anyone's prices, just trying to make sure you don't miss that step in between. Simply put, if you do decide to purchase your own scanner and do the smaller projects yourself, let it be known that there is still a good bit of learning and hard work in that step in between.

Starting small is a good way to go, and to give you perhaps a confidence boost my very first real project was only twelve scans, and even with my unbelievable ignorance at the time I managed to not botch things up. If I had to use the scans today, they would not need to be re-registered.
12 scans-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVkY6nlmj38
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