3D room scanner – a useful tool for spatial scanning

3D room scanners have many applications in the construction field, assisting in the design, analysis, inspection and project management processes. Here are some of the uses of spatial scanners in the construction industry, where they are particularly used to create as-built models, i.e. accurate 3D models of existing buildings, infrastructure and sites. As-built models can be used as a reference when designing new structures or retrofitting existing ones. The 3D room scanner is also used for quality control allowing for accurate measurement of the dimensions and shapes of building elements. They can be used to compare completed elements with their designs, helping to detect errors early and prevent costly corrections. They can be used to check and monitor changes in building structures, such as deformation or settlement.

With regular scans, potential problems can be quickly identified, allowing appropriate corrective action to be taken. 3D spatial laser scanners can be used to create accurate construction documentation, which can be used in negotiation processes, when obtaining permits, and for archiving purposes. The use of 3D spatial scanners in the construction industry contributes to improving the accuracy, efficiency and quality of the design, construction and maintenance processes of buildings.

Quality of a building scan made with a 3D spatial scanner

There are many other applications of the spatial scanner in construction such as:

  1. Planning and visualisation: 3D scanners allow the creation of precise models of buildings and infrastructure that can be used to visualise projects before they are implemented. This helps to understand the appearance of the final construction and identify potential problems.
  2. Safety and performance analysis: 3D scanners can be used to analyse the safety of buildings, such as cross sections and load analysis, helping to ensure an appropriate standard of strength and safety.
  3. Project and documentation management: 3D scanners can help to manage a construction project by providing accurate data on the progress of the work, changes to the project and any deviations from assumptions.
  4. Energy analysis: 3D scanners can help analyse the energy efficiency of buildings by creating accurate models to identify areas where insulation and energy efficiency can be improved.
  5. Restoration and renovation: 3D scanners are helpful in the reconstruction of historic buildings and architectural elements, as they allow the creation of accurate digital copies that can be used to recreate original details.

Improved scanning of buildings with markers

When scanning buildings with a 3D scanner, marking objects aims to facilitate the scanning process and improve the accuracy and quality of the results. Marking points are placed on key points within the scanned object at locations such as corners, edges, door frames, windows, etc. These points will help with calibration and determining the scale of the scan. Most scanners on the market require marking points and the most common are marking spheres (usually white spheres). Marking spheres (or reference spheres) are spherical markers that are placed in space at the locations you want to scan. These spheres have known and accurately measured characteristic points that the scanner is able to detect and record. Their main purpose is to improve the accuracy and quality of the scan. With these markings, the scanner is able to identify and track the movement of the spheres during the scan. The scanner compares the actual shape of the spheres with their known dimensions, which contributes to calibrating the scan and improving accuracy. Reference ball marking is particularly useful when scanning larger areas that may require several scanning sessions. There are also other methods of auxiliary space marking such as stickers with reference points – coded or plain. All of these methods are designed to lead to greater scan accuracy and combine the results of several sessions into a coherent 3D model.

Distribution of markers during scanning in the form of spheres

Is it possible to scan without having to set up cumbersome reference points? Of course, admittedly, this involves a degradation of accuracy parameters for most scanners, but the biggest problem is with scans of objects that require multiple sessions, where the algorithms have trouble putting them together…. This situation applies to most scanner models, where it is very common to have to ‘manually assemble’ the model in the supplied application. Consedering this problem, we decided to provide a solution to the problem in the form of an innovative scanner, the RIgelSlam. It is a scanner that has modern solutions that allow scanning on a walk-around basis, without the need for cumbersome taping of objects prior to scanning.

3D room scanner for professional use

An innovative spatial scanner designed for scanning rooms and entire buildings.

Distinctive features of the RigelSlam scanner:

  • Scans without reference points
  • High-speed scanning while walking (without setting up the scanner)
  • Automatically combines sessions of individual scans into a single object
  • High precision scanning – suitable for measurements


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3D spatial scanner for buildings – what to look out for?

When selecting a spatial scanner, it is worth looking at a number of key parameters that will affect scanning efficiency, accuracy and quality. The most important consideration when selecting a real estate scanner is scanning accuracy. This is one of the key parameters, as it determines how precise the data obtained will be. Accuracy is usually specified in millimetres and the best scanners on the market achieve an accuracy of 0.01 mm. We should also pay attention to the scanning range, which determines the scanner’s field of view, i.e. the space the scanner is able to capture in one scanning cycle. It is important to choose a scanner with the right range to avoid having to scan the same space multiple times, which is particularly important in property scanning. Another feature is scanning speed. Speed is important, especially when scanning larger areas, and its absence can negate the previous attributes of a spatial scanner. Last but not least important parameter for scanning objects such as buildings is resolution, which refers to the number of points scanned per unit area. Higher resolution can give more detailed results, but it can also increase the amount of data to be processed, which not every computer can handle. It can translate into a lack of real-time rendered preview. The mobility of the scanner is also worth mentioning. It is a result of the scanning method and the size of the device. If you plan to scan in various locations, it is worth paying attention to more portable models. Software will also help us to work efficiently and here it is worth checking what software is included in the kit or available for purchase with the scanner. Good data processing and analysis software can make work significantly easier. Remember that choosing the right scanner depends on your specific needs and applications. Therefore, it is worth thinking about these parameters in the context of what you want to achieve with spatial scanning.

Textured room scanning – choice of spatial scanner

3D laser scanning is one of the most popular spatial scanning techniques in construction and engineering. It allows accurate and fast 3D models of rooms, buildings or grounds, so a laser scanner should be the first choice for scanning. Some 3D laser scanners have the ability to scan and photograph the environment simultaneously. Such scanners allow you to obtain point data (geometry) and photographs of textures. It is worth looking for models that have a ‘photogrammetry’ or ‘colouring’ function for full room data. Photogrammetric scanners, which use cameras to capture colours and textures, are a very popular choice, especially in the property industry. By moving the scanner or cameras around the area, you can get 3D data including colours. This is a great option if you want accurate textures and colours, but has the disadvantage of worse surveying capabilities. The most common form of texture mapping when working with precision scanners is a rendered image from a point cloud containing additional colour information from the RGB palette.

Texture reconstructed from a point cloud with additional RGB information

3D terrain scanning – the use of a spatial scanner in surveying and geology

3D terrain scanning with a scanner in surveying is an important tool for obtaining precise topographic and terrain data. Using a 3D scanner, surveyors can create accurate terrain models, elevation maps and point clouds, which are useful in many fields such as urban planning, civil engineering, land change monitoring, infrastructure construction, hydrology-related analyses and many others. For this purpose, a volumetric scanner with high scanning precision and high speed will be useful. The obvious choice will be a laser scanner, which is not vulnerable to lighting pressure as much as other scanners based on other techniques.

3D spatial scanning for precise measurements

For surveying purposes, the most important parameter of a scanner is its precision, so a laser scanner with a scanning precision close to 1 mm would be the natural choice. Here, the decisive parameter for choosing a scanner will be its speed, range, software and all those factors that allow us to speed up our work. Achieving such parameters is possible with stationary scanners, i.e. mounted on a tripod, as a single session can last several minutes and cover a small section of the object being scanned. Most budget scanners require additional marking with reference points during such scans, which help the software to combine individual sessions into a whole. Much more expensive scanners allow you to scan without these points, but even here you very often have to use manual correction and the individual scans are combined in the supplied software. This is most often the case when the part of the object being scanned is a wall without special features or repeated objects. One of the best scanners for this type of work is the Leica RTC360 scanner, with which we provide survey services. The spatial scanner is fast and precise and therefore our services with this scanner are of the highest quality

Precise spatial scanner for scanning rooms and entire buildings

Distinctive features of the Leica scanner:

  • High-speed scanning – a single session takes approximately 2 minutes
  • Precision – scans large architectural objects to an accuracy of 1 mm
  • Functional application to combine individual scanning sessions as soon as they are completed

Contact us. We have a huge amount of experience with all scanners on the market and would be glad to advise you on a scanning service or scanner purchase