Frequent Asked Questions

What is 3D Laser Scanning?

Let’s make it simple; the technology works exactly like laser meters, but instead of measuring a distance, this technology generates a point of measured surface in a 3D environment. The laser scanner devices, generate millions of points for each surface. These points can be black and white or color, depending on the specification of laser scanner devices. Due to the number of taken samples (points) and utilized laser technology, the accuracy of this method is significantly higher than other measuring methods. All these points nearby each other, form a 3D environment of the scanned object (or space) called “Point Cloud”. In today's technology, the accuracy of point clouds can be ⅛-inch in 35 feet. Point clouds can be used as one of the most accurate references for developing drawings, 3D models or BIMs for the existing condition of buildings.

Terrestrial (or tripod-based) 3D Laser Scanning is a very quick and precise measuring technique which can be performed in a fraction of conventional surveying methods - timewise - with the highest accuracy.

Now imagine a project which involves upgrading a water/wastewater infrastructure facility. The existing condition shall be documented at the beginning and there are no (or inaccurate) historical drawings. Pipe galleries are spaghetti of pipes and it is impossible to measure them with conventional surveying methods. Laser Scanning is the quickest and easiest method to acquire on-site data for similar cases. 

What is the process of Scan to BIM conversion?

The laser scanning procedure consists of two stages: on-site scanning and off-site data processing (which includes scan registration, point cloud processing, and if requires point cloud geo-referencing). After having the processed and registered point cloud (which means placing various scan stations in their correct position), this point cloud can be imported in almost all of the computer-aided design software programs such as AutoCAD and Microstation. Various sections and line drawings can be generated from point cloud data. This data can also be imported into BIM platforms such as Autodesk Revit or Bentley Microstation for creating 3D objects. If the captured data, demonstrates the materials in a clear condition (light and weather conditions might affect 360-degree photographs within 3D laser scanning), the correct material can be defined in the BIM environment. If not, architect, engineer, or an inspector needs to provide information about materials and their specification. 

More advanced method of SCAN-to-BIM process is to utilize computational design methods in object conversions which semi-automatically detects and generates the objects in the buildings (e.g. wall or pipe detection and conversion).

What are the advantages of using 3D Laser Scanning compare to traditional survey systems?

Time of the operations (quicker than traditional surveying), tolerance (More accurate data), 360 HD color photos generated by the scanners, operations reliability (minimum human/operator involvement), Time saving during construction operations and minimum disruptions for the construction crew in active construction sites.

What is the difference between BIM and 3D Modeling?

There is absolutely no difference between the animation “Shrek” and a beautiful interior rendering of the palace from a well-known architectural firm!

While ago, these renderings used to be generated through 3D models developed in programs such as 3D Studio, Maya, or Rhinoceros. These processes generate only the geometry of objects and in most cases are not even scaled. This is called Building Modeling (BM) or 3D Modeling. 

The BIM technology, which stands for building INFORMATION modeling not only includes the accurate geometry of the building objects but also various user-defined information of them.

This information can be object’s specification, unit price, installation duration to be used in the construction schedule, manufacturer website, photos during construction and etc.

All this information can be used for pre-construction, construction, and post-construction (operations) phases. Also, 2D drawings of the projects can be extracted from the same BIMs without the need of re-drawing them in 2D platforms.

What is 4D and 5D Simulation/Schedule?

The easiest translation of this terminology is: “visualization of the project schedule.'' 

Every component in the BIM process (e.g. beams, columns, lighting fixtures, etc.) links to its related schedule activity in a platform such as Autodesk Navisworks. Project timeline can be defined in a scale of minutes, and each activity automatically scales based on total defined duration. After completion of the linking process, an animation with all construction sequences, scaled to the defined timeline will be generated which is called 4D Simulation (or 4D model, 4D schedule, etc.). If the associated cost to each activity also assigned to this process, the 4D simulation becomes 5D. Project timeline and cumulative cost in each time-frame of construction can be added into simulations for engineers review.

What is the computational design?

A series of codes in various programming languages such as Python, and in computational design process programs such as Dynamo BIM and Grasshopper is called computational design. Lines, points, segments, complex geometries, can be generated semi-automatically in this process. Other terminologies for this technology are parametric design, algorithmic design, and generative design. These technologies augment the process of design to make it more efficient while maintaining the required accuracy. Paul Jeffrey, a computational design expert defines it as “A change in the medium of design expression from geometry to logic”.

What devices do we use for laser scanning at BIMNYC?

  • FARO Focus 3D - S350

  • FARO Focus 3D - X330

  • FARO  Focus 3D - S70

  • Leica P40

  • Autodesk-Leica BLK 360

What software do we use at BIMNYC?

We are using the most up-to-date and innovative software, some of the most common ones listed as follows;​

  • Design, Drafting, and BIM: Autodesk products including AutoCAD, Revit, Civil 3D, Navisworks, Infraworks, 3D Studio Max, ReCAP Pro, BIM 360, Maya, and Inventor - Bentley products including MicroStation, AECOSim Building Designer, and Synchro - Trimble Tekla Structures - Rhinoceros 3D

  • Energy Analysis and Optimization: Autodesk Ecotect and Green Building Studios

  • Scheduling and Controls: Oracle Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project

  • Risk Analysis: Oracle Primavera Risk Analyser, @Risk

  • Point Cloud Registration, Processing, and Optimization: FARO Scene, Leica Cyclone, CloudCompare

  • Computational Design and Design Programming: Grasshopper, Phyton, Dynamo Studios

  • Rendering Machines: Vray, Maxwell, Enscape

In what industries we can offer our services?

Our services can benefit various industries, from small private sectors to large public ones. Our list of clients is as follows but not limited to architects and engineers, real estate developers, law firms, property owners, contractors, city and state agencies, facility managers, interior and furniture designers.

How can we help you to achieve your goals in the project?

​We offer you a one-hour free consultation. Let us know more about your projects, project requirements, and your goals. Do not utilize advanced digital design and construction techniques in your project only because of the RFP requirements. Indeed you can optimize your workflow with all these tools, save time and money. 

Before starting your project, we will explain to you different alternatives and their outcomes. Then, based on your understanding and decision,  we can staff your project, or perform required tasks from our office.

How can I get a quote?

To better assist you please fill out our contact form with full details of your project and a call-back number. Our team of specialist will contact you within 24 hours.