Effective project management relies on leadership, communication and knowledge. Project managers must have a clear understanding of the processes and challenges in order to overcome obstacles and achieve the objectives set in a limited time frame. Ensuring that tasks are performed effectively requires the ability to communicate with rigorous precision. For projects that require detailed physical measurements, 3D imagery and point clouds can help meet these two objectives.
3D modeling based on laser scans and processing of point clouds allows teams to store and access detailed and immersive information on an environment. Valuable information can be integrated and easily accessed. Engineering, construction, renovation and design of facilities are all areas where the return on investment can be extreme. However, the application of this technology is only limited by the imagination of project managers. Advances in processing point clouds have significantly reduced the cost of generating point clouds. The procedure has become simple and quick. It is up to individuals to determine the best applications for this technology.
Point clouds allow you to access key information from anywhere
As a contractor, for example, you may need to return to a construction site several times to confirm the measurements, take additional notes, or simply have new ideas or proposals when viewing a location. Imagine if all these cross-checks and revisits could be done from your office!
When you scan, you don’t just collect the metrics you need. You collect almost every conceivable measure of an area and then you can decide how to use it. This greatly reduces the need for people to visit a location. Rather than each specialist taking the measurements they need, a scanning team can take all the measurements and subsequent teams can use this information to complete plans and prefabrication.
You can revisit, measure and interact with a location in rich detail anywhere, anytime. High-resolution scans contain enough detail for you to analyze supply points, piping, valves, fixtures and fittings – all from your desk. The ability to access this information remotely greatly improves your efficiency on your projects. This lowers costs and improves logistics planning. You are able to optimize the time spent on site. Teams know exactly what to expect before setting foot on the scene, minimizing errors, delays and false assumptions.
Additional analyzes can be performed throughout the construction process and referenced successively against your model to compare planning with results – giving you better control and visibility into the end result.
3D imaging improves coordination, communication and design
Point clouds can be shared between teams. Information and tasks can even be integrated into 3D models. New scan data can be integrated into existing BIM (Building Information Modeling) digital mockups, or used to create a new BIM database. This simplifies the establishment of commercial proposals and facilitates 3D visualization and collaborative design. The teams on site can communicate with their colleagues in the office while exchanging on the same data. No more sending site photos, 3D models can be shared with project stakeholders.
When point cloud data is used in conjunction with 3D imaging software, the design applications are almost limitless to test the viability of the designs. Designers can create and share experimental plans before investing in building materials. If you are looking to limit site visits, this data can be combined with VR (virtual reality) technology. With or without VR extension, 3D modeling improves your business relationships and allows you to delegate tasks to your team members. They will therefore have access to all the information they need to make decisions on a project and optimize the time spent on site.
The use of 3D imagery and point clouds for your projects will inevitably result in significant savings in time and money. This technology allows you to reduce your site workforce while working on larger projects, thereby opening up new business opportunities. When working in dangerous or inaccessible environments, point clouds improve security for your teams and expand communication.
Point clouds avoid errors
For a renovation project, it is necessary to spend time evaluating the existing architectural data. In some cases, such as renovations of modern buildings with updated BIM data, this can be easy and accurate. For older buildings, contractors may be forced to redesign models based on old and potentially erroneous information.
During a 3D laser survey campaign, you collect your own data. This means that you can guarantee the quality of your information and generate files in formats and structures known to your teams. In addition, with the progress of registration and targetless processing, this entire procedure is greatly simplified and can often be accomplished in less than a day.
Summary: the evolution of point cloud processing methods improve the efficiency and coordination of your teams allowing you to greatly improve the management of your projects
Point clouds provide project managers with quality information and better communication methods. These are two major factors that contribute to a quality result and to the delivery of a project on time and within a limited budget. In construction and engineering, this type of data can be used as the basis for demolition and renovation projects. Demolition teams can define their exact requirements for demolishing target areas and the types of collection facilities that will need to be put in place. Construction teams will be able to plan diligently around existing structures.
Point clouds improve efficiency and coordination between construction teams. The ability to leverage these techniques for smaller projects has been made possible by lower costs for laser scanning and point cloud generation. The scanners themselves are becoming more and more affordable and can be rented flexibly. What has really changed, however, is the speed and efficiency of data processing using targetless recording. Projects that would have taken a week of billable time can be completed in less than 2 days – greatly increasing the accessibility of this technology by lowering the cost. It is now simply up to project managers to find the best ways to apply these opportunities to their specific sectors.