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Débora Locatelli
Production Engineer at WRodacki
Maria Eduarda de Melo Altenburg Pierri
Architect at WRodacki

The laser scanner is a non-destructive technology used to digitally capture physical objects that, through the emission of laser beams, is able to measure the distance between the device and the surfaces that surround it. The equipment captures the XYZ coordinates of the objects around it and converts them into a point cloud with millimeter precision. Through this virtual replica, it is possible to extract planimetric and altimetric information from visible structures. There are applications for the laser scanner in all sectors that somehow involve the engineering process, with the aim of optimizing the work within a company or enhancing the decision-making process - considering that there is a greater volume of information.

The 3D laser scanning technology is a way to accurately acquire and record geometric and geographic data of objects, buildings and urban centers, and can be applied in order to detect conflicts, obtain quality control, create as built, as is, among others. The use of BIM (Building Information Modeling) comes to the fore as a way to represent and manipulate this information acquired by scanning in a more consistent and integrated way, allowing the realization of a series of studies and construction simulations.

The BIM methodology covers planning, design, building model, schedule, risk analysis, budgets, as well as execution. It provides, in an efficient way, the union of all the information of a construction in an integrated and organized way. Its use allows the participation of several specialists simultaneously who propose to produce, manage and change all the information of the life cycle of a building.

BIM allows for higher quality in the project, since it is composed of intelligent objects, linked to each other, ensuring greater reliability of information. When a change is made to the BIM project, it automatically makes changes to elevations, cuts, plans and details. The integration of the disciplines of structural, architectural, electrical and hydraulic design, helps to identify conflicts - such as a pipe crossing a beam, or a door not having enough space for opening.

Taking into account that the execution of the work is the bottleneck of the project, BIM also assists in anticipating changes in schedules, diagrams, planning, estimates and documentation, enabling greater quality control with the identification and correction of possible errors in the planning stage - moment of lower added value.


Laser scanners are being used more and more as an aid to BIM modeling of buildings, speeding up their performance - since the capture of the point cloud of an environment is extremely more accurate than conventional manual measurement, making this process more consistent. In this way, it is possible to visualize the differences of the project in relation to the virtual replica, such as flatness and levels of slabs, plumb of walls, rotation of pillars, plumb of the elevator box, location of electrical and hydraulic pipes, among others.

The scanner, allied to BIM, helps as a matrix in the analysis phase, mentioning, for example, the need to allocate large machines or equipment on the construction site, which may suffer some interference from the building - making it possible to foresee the need for interventions to release the flow. Another example of the complementation of these two systems, still in the analysis phase, is the study of simulations of the energy efficiency of a building - facilitating the identification of improvements to reduce energy consumption. For situations of expansion, reform and adaptation, modeling based on the point cloud serves as a guide for updating the as built model. In this way, the professional has a large amount of information available, saving his time in measurements and displacement - activities that do not add value to the product.

Therefore, it appears that it is possible to use the scanner technology combined with the BIM model for different purposes, in different phases of a project and different scales of scope and level of detail. These solutions and technologies tend to provide an exacerbated change in the current conceptions of practices, ways of working and managing a company. Despite the great demand for the use of the laser scanner combined with the BIM methodology and its significant interest in the area of ​​civil construction, the documentation of historical heritage and the industrial sector - this technique still has a lot to be explored in Brazil.

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