New 3D scanning solution and real-world data integration with BIM

Northrop has introduced a new 3D scanning and BIM integration solution into its technology stack. The new addition will enable the Northrop team to capture high-resolution 3D data of existing sites during a one-off site visit.

“We’re continually exploring how we can better service our clients,” says Bachir Kazzi, mechanical engineer – digital delivery specialist at Northrop.

“This technology will deliver more effective and higher quality outcomes.”

“Capturing 3D high-resolution digital scans, and converting them to BIM ready point cloud models, ensures we have captured all available visual data on site. This means relying less on potentially inaccurate drawings, sketches, photos, and enables us to work collaboratively within a virtual space.”

“Using 3D data capture means fewer site visits. All visual data and information can be recorded in one visit and uploaded to a virtual space for collaboration and analysis. Not only is this convenient, but it reduces health risks, too. Facilities like hospitals and aged care communities which are high-risk in terms of COVID-19 can be managed safely.”

When is 3D scanning and modelling used?

This technology can be used in a variety of cases, typically brownfield projects that require significant coordination with existing services, have a moderate to high-level of building complexities, or onsite access or visitation limitations.

Another useful application is to document projects at the final stages of completion to be used as a record for warranties and other uses.

What’s involved?

A relatively simple process, we offer our clients three related levels of service.

Level 1 – Browser version delivery

Northrop will visit the site and conduct a 3D scan of the area. Once the scan is completed it is uploaded automatically within approximately 48 hours. Northrop will check the scan and compare with physical measurements taken on-site to work out tolerances, flag any discrepancies and validate the model. The link to the browser version of the scanned space will be provided to relevant stakeholders who will be able to walk through, measure, analyse and collaborate within the virtual environment. There is also an option of using the scan to generate plan drawings.

Level 2 – BIM integration

Northrop will clean up the geometric model producing quality BIM-ready files. The point cloud data files are inserted into Revit models where the BIM teams can coordinate the existing environment scans with proposed designs. This step ensures a much better standard of quality as it utilises real world data.

Level 3 – Advanced stakeholder collaboration

3D scans and BIM models can then be exported to a digital platform where the models can be shared and reviewed by the internal design team as well as allowing full BIM remote collaboration with stakeholders.

Benefits for our clients

This technology enables the design team to develop efficiencies in the design process and enhances the ability to assist in coordinating with existing site-specific elements.

Stakeholders can access real-world captured information from their desktops and collaborate across digital platforms such as Teams and Zoom, as well as more advanced platforms to allow full BIM collaboration.

By capturing an environment scan at the beginning of a project, the design experience is enhanced and optimised allowing more time to focus on problem solving.

For more information on 3D scanning and modelling, you can contact Bachir Kazzi at 3dscans@northrop.com.au or 02 9241 4188.

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