• Nhut Pham

3 things you should know about scan-to-BIM.

Hello my friend, have you ever heard about the term "scan-to-BIM" recently?

No? Don't worry, let me answer your questions right below!


1. What is scan to BIM?

Simple. It is just a 4-step process involving some techical hardwares, softwares and experienced technicians.


First and foremost, you must have a scanning equipment. It can be your phone camera but it will take weeks to scan a building, and result an inaccurate photogrammetry model. Therefore, a proper laser scanner with an experienced operator is mostly preferred.

Experts from Leica Geosystems showing our technology team how to scan a building for rennovation using a Leica P40.

Don't know what laser scanner is? For example, here is the famous BLK360 Imaging Laser Scanner from Leica Geosystems:


Complete this step, you will have some point-cloud models in hand. But "what do I have to do with them?"


Yes, the second step is to process these point-cloud data into something useable. Usually, the scanner gives you separate files representing the scanned zones, including your building, and abundant objects like people, vehicles, animals, etc. too!


Consequently, we have to use specific software like Leica Cyclone or Autodesk Recap, etc. to merge these files into an integrated model. Then you can continue to remove those obstacles above.


Are you also the scan operator? Chances are, you may have to wipe out your own face in this model, time to time 🤣


Processing the point-cloud data using Leica Cyclone.

OK, after getting all of your faces removed... I mean tidy up the point-cloud, you can finally use it into your BIM process.


As a reference, the BIM technician will use this refined model to build up Building Information Models which geomatrically aligned with the point-cloud data. This is the 3rd step.


Our BIM technician is modeling based on refined point-cloud model.

Finally, they will do quality check the resulted model in accordance with the point-cloud data, and maybe also as-built drawings.


Our BIM coordinator is checking the final BIM model.

2. Why do we need scan to BIM?

It's all about how you want to use your resulted BIM models.


Imagine you are using BIM to achieve either of these:

  • Site analysis

  • Design vs. Built verification

  • Facility management, especially

Then you definitely want to do it based on a precise BIM model representing the real building. And the fastest way to make it happens? Scan to BIM.


Design vs. Built verification

3. Who can get the most benefits from this scan to BIM process?

Apparently, it is the one who interact the most with both virtual model and real building. So if you are one of these:

  • Asset/ facility manager

  • City planner and manager

  • Contractor

Then definitely scan to BIM should be considered to your daily workflow.


Wanna know more about this scan-to-BIM topic? Stay tuned!



BIM starts at the end.

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