Laser Scanning Companies: Why Who You Choose Matters
Many designers have had experience with using point clouds at some level, but those experiences are not always the same. Why is it that some architects use laser scanning companies for every project, and some use them once, and never again?
The most common reason people quit on 3D scanning is that they had a bad experience with it the first time. Not all laser scanning companies are the same. Below is a list of three reasons why some architects may have turned away from laser scanning and why to reconsider.
The First Scan Was Not Accurate
This should never be the case. Unfortunately, there is a wide range of laser scanning companies that start with a great entrepreneurial spirit, purchasing a scanner without any education or survey background. These companies will usually purchase lower-grade equipment and software and then sell their services at lower costs. These providers are everywhere and call themselves “lidar scanning companies” but deliver lower-cost scanning because they are not using the best equipment or the best people. Unfortunately, many first experiences with scanning come from these types of providers because of cost.
Like most things in life, you will usually get what you pay for. If you don’t have a good ‘go to’ laser scanning company, you should always request multiple quotes. If one is much lower than the others, ask questions. It’s most likely because they don’t have the same operating standards. Claiming the accuracy statement from the scanner spec sheet does not mean that your project will be ‘accurate’.
As with any type of measurement, there is an unavoidable human factor. If you don’t use good practices, it doesn’t matter how accurate the scanner is. Someone with the right knowledge and experience can overcome systematic errors by conducting and maintaining excellent methodology. This is essential while collecting data in the field, as well as during the scan registration process. This will ensure your project is within an acceptable tolerance and is accurate to your standards.
The Point Cloud Was Too Big to Work With
This is a common complaint from clients who were turned off from laser scanning. The laser scanning company finishes a project and then delivers something that requires a super-computer to open. This usually results in stashing the hard drive in a file cabinet while designers fight their way around the project without ever using it. A good Lidar scanning company will offer many different types of deliverables and will take the time to ensure that the client can use the data. In today’s world, a basic laptop will allow you to efficiently work with the point cloud of any size building.
The Scan Was Too Expensive
Unfortunately, when comparing the cost between laser scanning and traditional as-built measurements, many architects only consider the time it would take for an employee to take basic field measurements with a tape measure. But scanning has the potential to introduce some important savings in the long run! Architects should also consider the cost of repeat visits to the site, errors in the measurements, and complex spatial geometry not recorded — all of which can be avoided with scanning.
Too often with traditional measurements, sloppy as-built drawings end up becoming the foundation of the project, and the designer is left making assumptions. This leads to re-working and massaging the design after noticing there are 6 inches missing needed for egress. With laser scanning, there is a quantified upfront cost that may come with some sticker shock, but there’s no guessing or repeat visits. What is the value of getting it right the first time? What is the value of making a project budget, and then meeting that budget? It is immeasurable.
The Right Laser Scanning Company Helps You Avoid Common Pitfalls
With the right 3D scanning company, the scan should be accurate, easy to work with, and cut project costs. TrueScan is a proven leader in the laser scanning and reality capture space, with thousands of projects under our belt. At TrueScan, We wholeheartedly believe that having the best equipment, best software, and the best people will bring value to your project; letting you do what you do best, without the headache. Contact us and let our experienced team help you.