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.
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:
- 90,000 sq. ft.
- ½ production, ½ warehouse
- 25 production lines
- 75,000 sq. ft.
- 2/3 production, 1/3 offices
- 25 production lines
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.
- These methods present difficulties in measuring to a specified Datum Point as equipment and building features get in the way. Good drafting practices include measuring from building columns; however, it is not always possible to get accurate dimensions from a column as equipment can be in the line of sight.
- This particular facility used light curtains on the equipment for safety. These light curtains would not allow us to measure machines on production lines while they are running. We were required to wait for a day where the machine was down or try to quickly measure the machines while the operators were on break.
- Oftentimes while taking manual measurements, dimensions get missed. The drafters have to pick up the missed dimensions on a return trip.
- Drafters can only collect a certain amount of data and dimensions on each trip.
- Overhead items such as lighting and overhead cranes were not included in the scope as they required a lift to accurately measure.
- Field Hours 130
- Office Hours 100
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.
- Less time spent in the field which reduces safety risk and cost. The only time spent in the field was at the beginning of the project to 3D scan the facility and then one day at the end to spot check the drawings.
- Quality Control – A lead designer is able to check the accuracy of the drawings by looking at the drawing overlaid on top of the scan. Traditional methods require spot-checking which can miss issues.
- 3D scanning does not interrupt production. The 3D Scanner uses an eye-safe laser so that scanning can be done during production hours. The laser can scan machines while running and does not interfere with safety devices such as light curtains.
- Able to safely measure overhead items from the ground. The scanner captures all overhead items up to the ceiling. Overhead cranes and light fixtures were picked up and drawn into the drawing.
Field Hours 24
Office Hours 178
- AutoCAD .dwg 2D facility layout
- .rcs point cloud file
- FARO Scene Project file and supporting files.