KS Associates was among the presenting companies at the Annual Cleveland Engineering Society (CES) Design and Construction Conference. The one-day conference took place on Thursday, March 3, 2016, at LaCentre in Westlake, Ohio. Mark A. Yeager, P.S., KS Associates’ Director of Surveying Services, led an informative breakout session entitled, “Applying 3D Laser Scanning to Public Infrastructure Design Projects.”
Yeager explained how 3D laser scanning can be a game-changer in the way design professionals approach public infrastructure projects. “3D laser scanning technology is more than a tool that makes the surveyor’s job safer and more efficient. It can offer the designer greater detail on existing conditions while advancing the design process.”
Using real-world bridge and roadway projects as examples, Yeager walked attendees through the workflow process — from how to easily import scan data into software that the design professional may already be familiar with, such as MicroStation or compatible freeware, then using that data to augment the design.
Attendees learned how point clouds generated from scanning operations can bring a site to life on the designer’s desktop. Yeager noted, “Rather than working with two-dimensional CAD files, designers can see existing site features in virtual reality, with three-dimensional representations.” The demonstration will show how distances, heights, and elevations can be extracted from the scan data to answer questions quickly, giving designers much more confidence in matching existing conditions.
The discussion will also shed light on practical uses of 3D laser scanning and considerations that should be taken into account when requesting the application for a project. Explaining 3D laser scanning benefits and limitations will help determine the cost effectiveness of the technology for engineering and design projects. Understanding the application and the best use of laser scanning is ultimately the key to elevating the design process.