Building information modeling (BIM) represents a significant step forward in the world of design, engineering, and building. Unlike CAD drawings, which are essentially just digitized versions of paper blueprints, BIM models give architectural, engineering, construction (AEC) companies a leg up by modularizing and connecting critical data to drawings and other information related to designs.
Taking that a step further, scan-to-BIM lets surveyors provide up to date, as-built models to engineers and other stakeholders – meaning projects can be tracked accurately and efficiently, reducing costs and build times. The last piece of that puzzle is point cloud visualization software.
What Is Scan-to-BIM?
In its simplest terms, scan-to-BIM is the process of digitizing information about a physical space using laser scan data. That data is used to create a BIM model, which can contain data representing not only the physical makeup of the space but also pertinent data such as materials or maintenance records. BIM models represent an evolution from simple CAD in that they can connect important information to drawings and represent real, as-built physical space.
How Point Clouds Allow for More Detail
BIM models are the next step up from CAD, and point clouds take this concept further. Once a point cloud is created, point cloud visualization software can turn that data set into an as-built 3D model, or digital twin. Digital twins give stakeholders an accurate, up-to-date view of the actual space – whether that’s a job site, physical plant, or other facility – connecting BIM data to a virtual version of the real facility. Engineers, facility managers, owners, builders, and other interested parties need not travel to the site every time they want to do an inspection or check progress against original designs.
All BIM data can be connected to the digital twin, as well as needed information like maintenance records, operational KPIs, facilities changes, build progress, even analytics. Virtually “walk up” to any asset – machines, rigging, pumps, anything – and instantaneously find out everything about that asset. This kind of centralized detail wasn’t possible before point clouds and scan-to-BIM, and most asset management was done haphazardly with spreadsheets, paper, or even in the heads of long-time employees.
The Key: Point Cloud Visualization Software
The key to putting point clouds to use is the right point cloud visualization software. That’s where JP Interactive Viewer comes in. No matter the nature of the project, surveyors and AEC company stakeholders need to properly visualize projects, seamlessly collaborate, and view and maintain crucial data. With JPIV, a centralized, cloud-available platform houses an up-to-date digital twin along with all pertinent information – even original CAD designs and previous scans during the build phase. When you’re ready to find out what JP Interactive Viewer can do, contact us to request your free trial.