3D Modeling & BIM Using Laser Scanning


    If you caught our last blog post here on storage tank inspections using laser scanning technology, you may have wondered about some of our other services. One of the most common uses of laser scanning is for purposes of as-built documentation of a site, then a creation of a 3D Model. The models can be “agnostic” or “intelligent” – meaning that one contains actual data about the materials and dimensions, and the other is simply a model.








    The intelligent model is known as a BIM in industry nomenclature, which is an acronym for Building Information Modeling. A BIM is a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is typically deployed internally as a shared knowledge resource about a facility which serves as a foundation upon which decision making can be made during the assets lifetime. Applus+ has helped clients make informed and cost saving decisions about retrofits, shutdowns, construction, and other scenarios by scanning their facility and providing them with a BIM.

    The process

    Here’s the process, broadly:

    First we will provide an estimate of your site from aerial imagery, or a site visit. We’re able to provide you with a GIS / KMZ file that you can then view on your workstation for proposed scan locations. Since we provide a fixed number of scans at a fixed amount of time, we can accurately estimate the cost.

    From there we visit the site and get to scanning! Once we have completed the field portion, the process of registration begins – which is where we assemble the data or “stich” it together. The registered point cloud then goes to the modeling program of your choice (NavisWorks, Revit, Cyclone, or AutoCAD Plant3D) and the modeling starts. P&IDS provided by the client are referenced periodically throughout the modeling process, and the information is plugged into the model so it becomes a true BIM. The end result is a true to life BIM of your facility, which you can use to make reliable decisions.

    Some uses for a BIM using Laser Scanning


    • As-built Documentation
    • P&ID verification / QA
    • Construction / Repair Planning
    • Decision making across business units
    • Mandated and or Jurisdictional requirements
    • Remote job planning
    • Remote safety planning
    • Contractor collaboration


    Thanks to the investments that Applus+ has made in the laser scanning / BIM industry and our diverse and inclusive geographical footprint, we are able to provide this service at low cost, high quality, and excellent turnaround times.

    Contact us at info.usa@applusrtd.com to learn more about how laser scanning / BIM modeling can help you with your current project.


    By Frank Shafer

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