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Scan to BIM for Absolute Beginners by Dan Edleson

Image of Office Scan to BIM

Scan to BIM

The first time I ever saw someone modeling off a point cloud, I assumed it was just an inefficient workaround. I thought I had seen everything Revit had to offer and looking at the pixelated images in the Revit browser I mistook the crude blocks of color for a remnant of past processes, rather than the future. It took me almost a decade to learn how wrong I was. It was only a few years ago that I started my first Scan to BIM project. It was intimidating at first, and I didn’t even know what I was looking at when I linked the point cloud into Revit. But after doing my first project and getting more acclimated with the process it became significantly more enjoyable. Soon enough point clouds started making me more confident in my as-built work, not less.

It can seem overwhelming looking at the billions of variegated dots that are crowding your screen, but in the end point clouds are just highly accurate as-built measurements. If you can make a Revit model with old AutoCAD plans, eventually you should be fine with Scan to BIM. These tips have made the process easier for me and hopefully will help you as well as you begin your first Scan to BIM project in Revit.

Scan to BIM Beginners

  1. Don’t try to be a hero. Leave the scans to the experts.

You are a Revit expert. Stick to that for now. The most important thing to remember when you are starting out with Scan to BIM is that there are people who have decades of professional expertise in LIDAR scanning. It’s okay to leave the scanning to them. Furthermore, while it’s great to build up your experience working with Scan Data, on high-stakes projects you should let the Scanning Professionals parse the data and geolocate the linked point cloud in Revit as well. If you try and be the hero and set up the point cloud in Revit yourself, or assemble the scans in Recap and then bring them into Revit, you may find yourself on the hook for completely redoing the as-built model if you incorrectly assembled or geo-located the file. There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious but learn to walk before you can fly.

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  • This Rivit and BIM is all new to me. I need to get back to college and study moreremote sensing. Please, let me know what BIM and Rivit are. I am ignorant of these two POINT CLOUDS.

  • REVIT and BIM are not point clouds. A point cloud is the data obtained from a scan or other type of measurement process, such as LiDAR or photogrammetry. BIM can be either Building Information Management (or Model), and Revit is an Autodesk product that is designed for working with and extracting information from point clouds.
    The combination of points clouds and Revit can be very powerful but unfortunately there are not many architects that fully utilize it for that.

  • Hello, I read your article and your information about scan to bim and it’s really amzing and so much helpful for me. Keep it up and Thank you very much.:)

  • I really appreciate that there are people like you out there that put out introductory articles to BIM. I meet a lot of people in my line of work who consult with us at our BIM Construction company in Portland that have no idea what Scan to BIM and BIM services are as a whole and don’t even know where to start. I’ll direct them to this article next time!

  • I think it’s actually good that you point out that we should leave Scan to BIM to the experts at the end of your article to remind us that sometimes it’s better to have someone experienced to help. I would imagine someone who is new to the field to have lesser experience and thus need more time to observe before they can do it themselves. I will definitely need to do more research to learn about Scan to BIM!

  • Awesome one article and i ilke your content for a Scan to BIM services and Keep it up your content for BIM services . And the Blog content which described very well. So thanks for sharing and it is informative for us in future.

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