Scan to BIM terms

Every business is somehow digitized in today’s scenario, AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry is not an exception. With an industry that relies heavily on visualization to develop tangible ground realities, there has to be optimization in digitization efforts.

This can be implemented with Scan-to-BIM technology. Scan-to-BIM is an important aspect of the BIM automation process, which makes it a must in modern-age AEC practices.

Before working on the technology, pre-requisites are to get a detailed understanding of it and the terms related to it.

In the previous article, we discussed how 3D scan to BIM can help to reduce design and construction costs. Along the lines of the previous article, now we will discuss several Scan-to-BIM-related digital techniques that work together to ensure its effectiveness.

What is Scan-to-BIM?

Scan-to-BIM is a process of generating As-built drawings of the physical environment by the creation of Point cloud data. These point cloud data can be obtained through lidar and Photogrammetry. The point cloud data obtained through lidar (laser scanning) is referred to as Point cloud lidar.

After the creation of point cloud data, Point cloud to mesh conversion is followed for meaningful data extraction from the 3D point cloud data. Then with the mesh model CAD data is generated through Point Cloud to CAD conversion.

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Scan to BIM

The last step involves Model verification regarding the LOA and LOD required for the replication of the existing project. Some of the best Scan-to-BIM software includes TruView and Reality Capture.

One significant application of this Scan-to-BIM technology can be Scan-to-InfraBIM,optimizing infrastructure management across the globe.


Also Read: – Explore our Scan to BIM | Point Cloud to BIM Modeling Services

⏩ As-Built Drawings

Construction drawings depicting the actual state of the project are termed “As-built drawings.” Also, known as record drawings, these are periodically updated with progress in the phases. Scan-to-BIM ensures smarter and information-rich as-built drawings for facility management.

Both shop drawings and as-built drawings are important documents for contractors.

Shop Drawings vs. As-Built Drawings: What’s the Difference?

I hope this information is help for you!

⏩ Point Cloud Data

A point cloud is a set of data points in 3D space, typically captured through technologies such as laser scanning or photogrammetry. Each point in the cloud represents a location in space, often with additional information such as color or intensity.

Point clouds are commonly used in architecture, engineering, and construction AEC industry for creating accurate 3D models of existing structures or environments, as well as for other applications such as virtual reality, video game design, and environmental modeling.

These further can be processed with specialized software to create measured 3D models.

⏩ Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is a process of creating 3D models or maps from 2D images captured from different angles.

In the context of scan-to-BIM, photogrammetry can be used to capture 3D information about an existing building or site using a series of high-resolution photos taken from different angles.

This data can then be processed with photogrammetry software to create a point cloud, mesh, or textured 3D model, which can be used for creating a BIM model.

If you are looking for a high-accuracy 3D model, then 3D laser scanning is the best option. However, if you are looking for a less expensive and faster option, then this article will help you difference between photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning?

⏩ Point Cloud Lidar

Scan-to-BIM is a process of creating a 3D BIM model from data captured by 3D scanning technologies, such as lidar or photogrammetry. When an area is scanned through light detection and ranging techniques to develop a point cloud dataset then the dataset is referred to as LiDAR point cloud dataset

The lidar scanning process involves emitting laser beams to capture accurate 3D information about an object or environment, which is then used to create a point cloud dataset.

Point Cloud lidar

In the scan-to-BIM process, the lidar point cloud data is pre-processed to remove noise, outliers, and other unwanted data, and then used to generate a mesh model. The mesh model is then further processed to create a BIM model

⏩ Point cloud to Mesh

Converting a point cloud to a mesh is a process of creating a 3D surface model from the point cloud data. A mesh is a representation of a 3D surface consisting of a collection of vertices, edges, and faces.

Revit Point cloud to Mesh

The resulting mesh model can be used for a variety of applications, including 3D printing, visualization, analysis, and simulation.

In the context of scan-to-BIM, converting a point cloud to a mesh is often the first step in creating a BIM model, as the mesh model can be further processed to a BIM digital twin with pinpoint precision.

⏩ Point Cloud to CAD

Point cloud to CAD involves converting three-dimensional point cloud data into a computer-aided design (CAD) model. Point clouds consist of dense XYZ coordinates that capture the shape and spatial information of physical objects or environments.

If you are looking for ways to save money and time on your next project, then cloud BIM design collaboration is a great option. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get started.

Point Cloud to CAD

The transformation process includes creating a mesh representation where the vertices correspond to the refined points of the point cloud.

This mesh model is then converted into a CAD model, enabling users to analyze, visualize in simpler geometries, and manipulate the data using CAD software.

⏩ Data Extraction

Data extraction is a crucial step in the scan-to-BIM process, as it involves extracting meaningful information from the 3D point cloud data captured by the 3D scanner and using it to create a 3D BIM model of the existing building or infrastructure.

The data extracted from the point cloud can include information about the geometry, structure, materials, and other features of the building or infrastructure.

⏩ Model Verification

Model verification is an important part of the scan-to-BIM process, as it ensures that the 3D BIM model accurately represents the existing building or infrastructure.

There are several methods for verifying the accuracy of a scan-to-BIM model, including: 

  • Comparison with the point cloud data: The first step in verifying a scan-to-BIM model is to compare it with the original point cloud data. This allows any discrepancies or errors in the model to be identified and corrected.
  • Clash detection: Clash detection involves checking the 3D BIM model for any clashes or interferences between different elements, such as walls, floors, and columns. This helps to ensure that the model is structurally sound and that there are no collisions or conflicts between different components.
  • 3D visualization: 3D visualization tools can be used to review and analyze the scan-to-BIM model in detail. This can help to identify any areas where the model may be inaccurate or incomplete. If it requires modeling, the detailed development of the existing project can be done through various BIM tools. Further, it can also be enhanced in terms of texturing and rendering.
  • Field verification: Finally, field verification involves physically inspecting the existing building or infrastructure to confirm that the scan-to-BIM model is as per the site chosen. This may involve measuring and comparing dimensions, verifying materials and finishes, and checking for any other details that may have been missed during the scan-to-BIM process.

⏩ Level Of Development/Detail (LOD)

BIM Level of Development LOD

Level Of Development/Detail (LOD) represents the detailing in the Scan-to-BIM process. How much detailed the scan is and the precision of data reflected back in the model.

BIM Levels of Development (LOD) is an industry standard and an integral part of the Building Information Modeling process that defines the details of the geometry of a building at each stage or level. It also represents the complexity of the detail of the project. LOD BIM varies from 100 to 500.

The level of detail increases with the increase in numbers. For example, LOD 100 shows the most basic detail about the structure whereas LOD 500 represents a highly detailed BIM model.


Read More: – Level of Detail & Development (LOD 100 -500) in BIM Modeling Explained

⏩ Level Of Accuracy (LOA)

The Level Of Accuracy (LOA) is for accuracy concerning the Scan-to-BIM process. It means how accurately the data is scanned and reflected back in the development of digital twin.

The Level Of Accuracy – LOA, is the measure of acceptable tolerance of errors in a building information model. The LOA number represents the accuracy level of a BIM model. LOA 10 is a model with the least accuracy. It is used as a rough measurement.

The tolerance range of errors in LOA 10 is between 5 cm to 15 cm. LOA 50 represents the highest level of accuracy of a BIM model. The range of acceptable errors is between 0 mm to 1 mm. LOA 20 to LOA 30 is the most commonly used range for scan-to-BIM workflows.

⏩ TruView


TruView is a free software application from Autodesk used for viewing, marking up, measuring, and collaborating on laser scan data in the form of point clouds and panoramic images.

TruView allows users to navigate and interact with 3D data captured through laser scanning technology in a user-friendly interface.

The software supports a variety of file formats and offers a range of features, including the ability to take measurements, annotate the data with text or markup tools, and share the data with others via the internet.

⏩ Reality Capture

Reality capture is a photogrammetry software solution for generating a 3D digital twin of the construction project from photography and laser scan point cloud data.

Reality Capture

In another context, Reality capture technology is the precise to-the-point replication of on-site dimensions, geometries, and real-life positioning of objects with respect to the scale of millimetre’s even. This is primarily for the generation of as-built drawings depicting the update in the project development.

⏩ Scan to InfraBIM

InfraBIM is an acronym for BIM for infrastructure modeling. Scan-to-BIM involves using digital technologies, such as 3D scanning and BIM, for infrastructure projects.

By using scan-to-BIM techniques in InfraBIM projects, it is possible to create more detailed 3D models of infrastructure assets, which can be used for design, construction, and maintenance purposes.

The use of InfraBIM and scan-to-BIM can also help to improve collaboration and communication between different stakeholders involved in infrastructure projects.

Scan-to-BIM in Today’s Market Scenario

Gone are the days of manual on-site documentation. Virtual Design Construction (VDC) is already a big 10 billion$ market. With virtual reality and Artificial Intelligence inching toward every paradigm of life, it is expected to grow exponentially.

Concerning the VDC, Scan to BIM technology empowers construction engineers and BIM experts to create highly precise building information models and as-built documentation using advanced laser scanning.

This article introduces 13 essential terms and concepts associated with Scan-to-BIM, which are closely interconnected and commonly employed in conjunction with this technology. By exploring these terminologies readers gain a fundamental understanding on the workings of Scan-to-BIM technology.