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NavVis M6 is Streamlining Scan-to-BIM Workflows

The M6 mobile mapping platform from NavVis provides a highly efficient means of collecting the as-found conditions for the interior of a building.

From a NavVis blog post by Stephen Cousins

Image of NavVis M6 Mobile Scanner

NavVis M6 Mobile Scanner

Scanning technology is becoming a critical function of integrated Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflows and the process of capturing existing buildings and converting the data for use in intelligent design software is often referred to as Scan-to-BIM.

This emerging field has come to rely on the use of static 3D laser scanners to record internal and external environments in high detail, ready to import into BIM authoring tools like Revit or AutoCAD.

However, recent advances in scanning hardware, such as mobile laser scanners, and advanced software and other processes are helping usher in a new level of scanning utilization for the industry.

Today it is possible to generate scan data for BIM that is not only accurate and reliable, but also turned around as fast as possible, covering vast environments, available in multiple formats and providing more functionality than simple 3D coordinates.

Capture Big, Capture Fast

In outdoor surveying, drones fitted with scanning equipment provide a convenient method of capturing large construction or infrastructure projects in a fraction of the time and cost associated with using humans to move and set up static laser scanners at numerous locations.

The potential of the tech was demonstrated in the UK last year (2018) when unmanned SUAVs were deployed to quickly map 230km of the planned High Speed 2 train route from London to Birmingham, making it one of the largest drone surveying jobs in the world.

Digital topographical surveys were needed to plan enabling works for phase one of the £53 billion project. Using traditional static 3D laser scanners would have taken several months, requiring workers to cross hazardous terrain. The autonomous drones, meanwhile, completed the job in just three weeks capturing a massive 18.4 billion data measurement points.

In indoor environments, the application of simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology has opened up the potential to use mobile systems in places with no GPS signal.

SLAM was originally developed for robotics applications and allows mobile devices equipped with sensors to incrementally build a map of their environment and pinpoint their location within it. Measurements are recorded and chained together to estimate the device’s real-time movement and build a map.

The tech utilizes algorithms to automate the positioning process that normally requires surveyors to reposition static scanners every time they scan at a new location. Mobile scanning solutions that use SLAM, such as the NavVis M6 indoor mobile mapping system (IMMS), can therefore offer time savings in large indoor environments while also delivering a point cloud quality that meets the requirements for BIM modeling.

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