Architectural metal design and fabrication companies are tasked with designing, producing, and installing metal cladding panels on the exterior of buildings for protective and aesthetic finishes. These companies have a critical need for accurate and timely measurement of as-built conditions, but creating these records has traditionally been somewhat of a pain point for projects.
Here’s the issue: as-built data facilitates the efficient design and manufacture of architectural elements. But this data, and the metal panels and other architectural elements created from it, can’t be captured until the building project has reached a certain level of completion. Once that particular phase is reached, time is of the essence: the as-built structure must be measured as quickly as possible so that the metal cladding panels can be manufactured, cut to size, and prepared for installation.
Unfortunately, traditional measuring methods are slow and unwieldy. If your company designs or fabricates metal cladding panels, you’ve surely looked for ways around this bottleneck and perhaps even tested out a few different approaches for speeding up the production and installation processes. But have you considered implementing 3D scanning technology into your operations?
3D scanning and modeling presents an effective alternative to traditional hand measuring. Whether you’re designing and crafting simple metal cladding for insulation or complex, free-flowing architectural elements, this advanced technology can provide the edge you need to differentiate your business from the competition.
The Limitations of Hand Measuring for Metal Cladding Panel Design, Production, and Installation
Capturing as-built measurements for cladding on buildings often requires dangerous work conditions and entering difficult-to-reach or even inaccessible areas. Measurement teams might have to ascend to great heights, for example, to get an accurate measurement of a building side. Depending on the size of the structure, this method can take a considerable amount of time.
The results of hand measuring simply aren’t worth the cost in time, manpower, efficiency, and accuracy—and yet, this is how architectural metal design and fabrication companies have functioned for years, for lack of a better alternative. Projects and entire companies are regularly set back by inaccurate data that results in ill-fitting panels.
3D Scanning for Metal Panel Design and Fabrication
Efficiency, accuracy, and speed are vital to staying within time and budget constraints for metal panel design and fabrication, and 3D scanning can help you achieve all three. 3D laser scanning is a non-contact, nondestructive, quick, and accurate process. Not only does it negate the need for measuring teams to work under dangerous conditions, it also cuts what might otherwise be hundreds of hours of labor down to just a few hours.
In short, this valuable technology fills a clear gap in the design, production, and installation process throughout the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. We fully expect to see laser scanners become more popular on job sites as companies realize the benefits of shortened lead times, a reduced need for field fabrication, and a safer site.
Long-Range 3D Scanners and Scanning Services for As-Built Documentation
The benefits of 3D laser scanning are clear—but how, exactly, does this technology work? Can anyone operate a scanner? And can this equipment really be used to capture as-built data for massive structures?
Let’s begin with the first question. Terrestrial scanners use laser technology to capture “point clouds,” or millions of XYZ coordinates that can be manipulated and used for a variety of applications, from CAD modeling to as-built documentation. These types of 3D scanners are able to scan very long distances, in virtually any environment. This makes them perfect for quickly capturing highly-accurate scans of large structures, such as buildings. And because terrestrial scanners are able to record data from a significant distance, they can be used safely in lieu of sending a measuring team into a dangerous or difficult-to-access environment.
Next: how can you incorporate this technology into your own metal panel design and fabrication process? You have a few options here, from choosing to partner with a 3D scanning services bureau, to purchasing your own laser scanner. At Laser Design, we offer both an excellent 3D long-range scanning system and comprehensive 3D scanning services capabilities. Our goal is to help companies wanting to advance their capabilities and gain an advantage over competitors that might still be using inefficient and inaccurate hand measurement techniques.
Long-Range 3D Laser Scanners for Metal Panel Design
Ready to streamline your company’s design, production, and installation processes? Looking to leap ahead of the competition and become the go-to for architectural elements in your area? 3D scanning is more than a convenient shortcut to your end goal. It’s a method of creating more accurate as-built documentation that will boost your company’s efficiency and productivity.
If you’re interested in purchasing your own long-range 3D scanning system, incorporating 3D scanning services into your workflow, or learning more about the scanning process, contact us today. The Laser Design team is packed with passionate industry professionals who are prepared to help you identify and implement the best 3D scanning solution for your needs.