3D Scan Case Study: Manual Measurements vs 3D Scanning


3D Scanning is often associated with 3D Modeling. While it is true that 3D scanning goes hand in hand with 3D modeling, it also works well with traditional 2D drafting. ABM recently completed an update to a 2D manufacturing facility layout aided by a 3D Scanner.

Our Task

ABM was hired to update 2D layouts of a manufacturing facility. The 2D layouts were then used to rearrange the client’s production lines. The client has two similar-sized buildings on their campus. One building (Building A) was measured using traditional methods (tape measures and handheld laser measuring tools). The other building (Building B) was measured by 3D scanning the building and using the point cloud to measure the facility and equipment. Each building has similar specs:

Building A
Building B

Location Chicago, IL

Building A Work Process – Traditional Manual measurements

Tools Used 30’ Tape Measure, 100’ Tape Measure, Bosch GLM165-40 Laser Measure, Smart Phone for photos
Software Used AutoCAD 2020

Work process We made multiple trips to the site each week to measure and collect data. Photos were taken of all areas and production lines. Two drafters went to each site visit to sketch and dimension the building features and production lines. The drafters then returned to the office and drafted the information collected using their sketches and the photos taken. After drafting, drafters returned to the site later in the week to check their previous work and collect more data for drafting. This process was repeated until the project was completed.

Hours worked

Building B Work Process — 3D Scanned the facility

Tools Used FARO Focus S-70 3D Scanner, Bosch GLM165-40 Laser Measure for checking scan accuracy
Software Used AutoCAD 2020, FARO Scene

Work Process One ABM 3D Scan tech spent 2 days on site to 3D scan the facility. One 3D Scan tech spent 2 Days spent registering the scans, generating the point cloud, and preparing the point clouds for use in AutoCAD. Drafters placed the point clouds in AutoCAD and traced over the build

ing features and equipment in a 2D plan view. All of the measuring and drafting was done in an office from the comfort of an office. Drawings were checked for quality against the point clouds in the office and then spot-checked in the field for an extra layer of accuracy.

Hours Worked

Field Hours 24
Office Hours 178