Truepoint Laser Scanning

3D Laser Scanning Frequently Asked Questions

3D Laser Mapping
3D Laser Mapping

What is 3D laser scanning?

3D laser scanning uses laser light technology to reality capture millions of real world data points for a building or object within seconds. Laser scanning is non-intrusive, faster and more accurate than traditional measurements.
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Is TruePoint an Experienced Company?

TruePoint is the industry’s most experienced 3D laser scanning service. TruePoint has provided laser scanning and modeling services for clients in many industries and can quickly mobilize to any site in the United States. We have worked with some of the best-known firms and companies scanning industrial facilities, historic buildings, stadiums, hospitals, universities, municipalities, waste water treatment facilities and more – even new construction verifications. We are a licensed engineering firm that focuses solely on laser scanning. Our team of in-house scan technicians and engineers work with each client to develop an accurate understanding of the existing conditions and create custom deliverables, ranging from point clouds to 2D drawings and 3D models.

What are the benefits of laser scanning?

• Millions of real-world data points—A single laser can capture up to a million 3D data points per second, providing incredibly rich detail of every aspect of your project.

• Eliminate error—Individual measurements acquired by tape measures or hand-held devices are subject to errors. Laser scanning is the most accurate form of measurement available, delivering accuracy of a few millimeters or less.

• Answers unanticipated questions—How many times have you left the job site only to discover you need a few more measurements? A 3D BIM scanning will capture extra data, eliminating the need to return to the project to answer unanticipated questions.

• Reduce change orders and waste—The cost of a laser scan pales in comparison to the cost of change orders and construction delays. Incorporating a laser scan into the design of your project assures accurate and complete information, avoiding costly headaches, clashes and wasted material during the construction phase.

• Minimize shut-down times—Laser scanning is quick, safe and non-intrusive – eliminating or minimizing operational shut downs and client inconvenience.

• Increase safety—3D scanning can obtain measurements in hazardous locations while keeping workers out of harm’s way.

How do I request a quote?

At TruePoint, our objective is to capture, analyze, and define the data accurately and efficiently, delivering it the way that you want it. Due to the high-level of detail and accuracy which TruePoint provides in our 3D laser scans, we will need several pieces of information to provide a cost for your job. We know that your time is important, so we will work with you individually to provide you a quote quickly. Both the amount of time and number of scans required depends in part on the structure itself, on the number of levels or rooms, square footage, and whether or not the space is occupied (with people, furniture, fixtures, etc.).

Whether you are new to laser scanning or experienced; we offer two ways to request a quote.

Why Choose TruePoint?

Many of our clients are relatively new to laser surveying, so we offer comfort and assurance by walking them through the entire process, from pre-planning to the final deliverables. We believe this is why we have had the opportunity to work with some of the best known and recommended firms and institutions in the United States.

We know that you have other options when it comes to laser scanning—renting or buying equipment or using a competitor. However, TruePoint offers our clients what many of the other options cannot. Among the many reasons to choose TruePoint are:

  • Cutting-edge technology—TruePoint uses the latest technology, equipment, and software.

  • Industry trends—Laser scanning is a relatively new technology and, like so many other technologies, the industry changes quickly. Because TruePoint uses the technology on a daily basis and because it is our sole specialty, we keep up to date on the trends in the field. Our clients, then, can focus on their core competencies.

  • Training—Not only do TruePoint technicians receive formal training from the scanner manufacturer, but they also receive thorough instruction from an experienced technician. Furthermore, because our team of professionals are devoted solely to scanning and processing the scan data, we are able to work quickly, accurately, and knowledgeably.

  • Expertise—To each project, our TruePoint team brings combined expertise in many areas, including engineering, architecture, information technology, and construction. Having this combination of knowledge is integral to providing our clients with the best service and optimal deliverables.
  • Professional support—Since our scan technicians spend most of their time in the field, we have a trained office support team that is available to assist clients with questions and other information.

  • Client-focused approach— We pride ourselves not only in listening to our clients' requests but also in anticipating their needs in ways that allow us to offer ideas and add value to our service.
3D Laser Scan
3D Laser Scan

What is BIM?

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling and is more than just a 3D model. 3D BIM scanning gives engineers the ability to manage the building data throughout its whole life-cycle. It provides accurate spatial relationships and manufacturer details, as well as geographic information and other pertinent aspects of the building.

What is High Definition Scanning?

TruePoint offers high-definition 3D laser scanning for accurately capturing 3-dimensional data in a wide variety of settings, from laser scanning buildings to hospitals or universities to refineries, regardless of size and surface features. We can survey large-scale structures providing you with high definition 3D data quickly. High definition surveying is ideal for digitizing as-built construction and proposed additions or reconstructions. It can also be used to survey large projects during construction, to make sure the design is being executed properly.

Cost of laser scanning vs. the cost of traditional means to "As-Built" a site?

Weighing the benefits of laser scanning versus using traditional means to “as-built” a site:

  • Safer— Eliminates the need for lifts, safety harnesses, etc.
  • Faster— Less people are required and more area can be covered.
  • Reduces costs— Associated with field trips to gather initial information or additional details that were missed originally.
  • Saves time— Eliminate time out of the office when you could be doing other things while the scanning is being done.
  • Saves money— Travel costs, rental of man lifts, and loss of productivity in the office while technicians are in the field.
  • Streamlines work-flow— When the client receives the deliverables, they are ready to begin their work immediately.

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What industries does TruePoint serve?

  • Architectural Documentation and Historical Preservation
  • Commercial Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP)
  • Engineering Professionals
  • Construction Laser Scanning
  • Hospitals and Universities
  • Oi & Gas: Refineries, Process Areas and Distribution Facilities
  • Municipalities
  • Energy Manufacturing Plants
  • Water and Waste Water Treatment Facilities
  • Manufacturing and Process Facilities
  • Educational, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical
  • Office Buildings
  • Athletic Stadiums, Arenas and Complexes
  • 3D Gaming and Software Development
  • Overhead Clearances
  • Power, Process & Plant Applications
  • Telecommunications

The data collected from laser 3D scanning can produce as-built verification, reality capture and SCAN-to-BIM modeling solutions to support analysis, design, engineering, clash detection and prefabrication.

What is the difference between LIDAR (time-of-flight) and Phase-based scanning?

LIDAR stands for Laser Imaging, Detection, and Ranging (commonly called Light Detection and Ranging). LIDAR is based on a principle referred to as time-of-flight, which uses a pulsed laser that emits the beam, a mirror that deflects the beam towards the scan area, and an optical receiver which detects the laser pulse and reflects it back to the scanner from the object. Time-of-flight refers to using the known speed of light with the amount of time it takes the laser pulse to be emitted, bounce off of an object, and return to the scanner to determine the distance the object is from the scanner (Distance = (Speed of Light x Time of Flight) / 2). LIDAR scanning collects data at a slower rate than phase-based scanners but is able to be used at greater distances than phase-based scanners.

Phase-based scanners emit a constant laser beam into multiple phases and compare the phase shifts of the returned laser energy. The scanner then uses phase-shift algorithms to determine the distance, based on the unique properties of each individual phase (Time of Flight = Phase Shift / (2π x Modulation Frequency)). Although phase-based scanners collect data at a much high rate than time-of-flight scanners, their effective distance is much shorter. Additionally, phase-based scanners tend to have more "noise," or false data, than time-of-flight scanners.

LiDAR vs. Phased Based Scanning
LiDAR vs. Phased Based Scanning

What if my project is limited within the physical setting?

Some projects require special applications due to limitations within the physical setting. Often times this is due to line-of-sight issues and when a scan must be done safely from the ground or with precautionary distance. Some of these applications would include above-ceiling MEP features in hospitals where it is necessary to maintain negative airflow or interstitial spaces that are congested with limited access. Since laser scanning is a non-contact measurement tool (i.e. we can scan from a safe distance or location) this becomes a powerful tool for solving these complex challenges.

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Is nationwide service available?

TruePoint's clients range from small companies to large nationwide or global firms. TruePoint is ready to mobilize to any site in the U.S., usually within the lead time of only one or two days. Additionally, we have the ability to be on-site short-term or long-term, depending on our clients' needs. We can provide 3D scanning services and 3D laser modeling services.

Areas We Serve:

Alabama Indiana Nebraska Rhode Island
Alaska Iowa Nevada South Carolina
Arizona Kansas New Hampshire South Dakota
Arkansas Kentucky New Jersey Tennessee
California Louisiana New Mexico Texas
Colorado Maine New York Utah
Connecticut Maryland North Carolina Vermont
Delaware Massachusetts North Dakota Virginia
Florida Michigan Ohio Washington
Georgia Minnesota Oklahoma West Virginia
Hawaii Mississippi Oregon Wisconsin
Idaho Missouri Pennsylvania Wyoming
Illinois Montana    

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What equipment will be used?

Data will be captured with industry-leading survey-grade Leica equipment. Leica ScanStations can tie to survey control, achieve 2-4mm accuracy and have real time liquid filled dual axis compensation to help mitigate movement and ensure level scans. TruePoint scan technicians receive formal training from the scanner manufacturer, plus instruction from an experienced scan technician. Our laser scan technicians are highly trained on the following equipment:

  • Leica P40
  • Leica P20
  • Leica C10
  • Leica HDS7000
  • BLK360 Drone DJI Inspire 1 Pro Quadcopter
  • DOT Product Tablet Scanner
  • Surphaser 3D Laser Scanner

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What deliverables can we provide?

We can provide 3D modeling in many formats such as:

  • Point Cloud Data (Raw Data)
  • 2D CAD Drawings
  • 3D Non-Intelligent Models
  • 3D BIM Models
  • TruViews
  • Key Plan
  • Fly-Thru's
  • Other Customizable Options Upon Request

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What software do we use?

Our engineers and CAD technicians are trained in the following software:

  • Autodesk Recap
  • Autodesk Revit
  • Autodesk 3DS Max
  • Autodesk Navisworks
  • Autodesk Autocad Civil 3D
  • Autodesk Autocad Map 3D
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • Bentley Descrates V8i
  • ClearEdge 3D Edgewise
  • Kubit
  • Leica Cyclone

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Considering purchasing a LiDAR system?

It's important to consider the many costs above the purchase price of the scanner that exist including: qualified personnel, software, training, scanner calibration, and legal fees. Click here to learn about the true costs of purchasing your own laser scanning equipment and the savings associated with hiring a qualified professional.

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Is 3D Laser Scanning Right for My Project?

Almost any project that requires as-built information can benefit from a laser scanning survey. Talk with our experts and start your 3D laser scanning survey project today.

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What is the Difference Between a Design Model and As-Built Model?

An as-built model is created from the exact data points collected from the laser scanner. It shows the true representation of the pipes, walls, etc. as they are reality captured. If a wall is not plumb or floor is not level, it will show these exact dimensions. This could be problematic to a professional who needs the best-fit dimensions of a building or room. Conversely, a design model shows the theoretical dimensions of the data captured, meaning the walls or floors are level and meet at 90 degrees. It is easier for architects or engineers to take dimensions from a design model. TruePoint Laser Scanning’s in-house team of CAD technicians and engineers are experts and can help you determine the best type of model for your project.


Site Last Updated August 30, 2017
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©2017 TruePoint Laser Scanning, LLC. TruePoint Laser Scanning, LLC. ® is a Registered Trademark
*DISCLAIMER: 3D Laser scanning is a measurement tool to assist in capturing as-built conditions of existing spaces and should be used in conjunction with other sound industry practices for verifying these conditions, including but not limited to: site visits, manual field measurements and verifications of scan data, to ensure its accuracy prior to design and engineering. Because this data can be used for various applications and disciplines outside the scope of the original field scanning and beyond our control, we cannot guarantee that the data is accurate for these uses.
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