WLC has offered 3D high-definition scanning since 2011. 3D scanning uses laser technology to produce detailed, photorealistic, three-dimensional images of complex environments in a matter of minutes. This technology has allowed our firm to dimensionally analyze various infrastructure components and even show what was in place on a given day. 3D modeling has since elevated our 3D scanning services and the capabilities of our team.
First, what is 3D modeling and how is it used? 3D modeling is the process of creating a three-dimensional representation of an object, typically using specialized software or computer-aided design (CAD). Using CAD, we can then manipulate the 3D scan of an existing object to create a 3D model to precise specifications. In WLC’s case, we can create 3D models from our Focus3D high-definition scanner’s data points when we need an exact replica of a pipe fitting, model of intricate duct work or other structural components of a project.
When you consider the capabilities of this technology, 3D modeling presents a number of important advantages for engineers.
Because 3D high-definition scanning uses laser technology to scan and produce detail imaging, the scan and model result in much more precise spatial and geometrical detail than 2D models or drawings can. As a result, engineers don’t have to spend time triple-checking measurements or worse, spend time and money fixing mistakes. Furthermore, 3D modeling allows engineers to discover design issues or structural weaknesses as well as test their concepts before construction begins. It’s much easier and cheaper to change course in the design stage rather than after project steps are complete.
Similarly, 3D modeling saves time and money. With this precise technology, 3D scanning and modeling is able to virtually construct environments or structures faster than 2D drawings or models. Consequently, this precision further reduces inaccuracies and leaves virtually no room for interpretation the way a 2D drawing would, improving project timelines. Finally, 3D modeling can save time and money by confirming or predicting project needs prior to the start date.
Provides endless possibilities
If you can scan it, you can replicate or create it. Especially from an infrastructure standpoint, the possibilities are virtually endless with 3D modeling. With the ability to dimensionally analyze anything and even show what once structurally existed, 3D modeling allows engineers to construct nearly anything in a way they can’t with 2D CAD drawings. Perhaps most exciting, 3D modeling allows engineers and designers to “dream big” by providing a way to create and test their designs as well as help validate their plans and identify any problems before a project gets underway.