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The Advantages of Laser Scanning and Point Clouds

go2bim | 21. September 2021.

3D laser scanning is a well-known term in architecture, construction, engineering, industrial and infrastructural projects, cultural heritage preservation, as well as other activities that require accurate 3D visualisation of spaces and spatial objects. Using the latest 3D laser scanning technologies, the laser scanner sends beams towards the objects to measure its reflection, making data gathering and creating BIM models accurate, quick and efficient. The aforementioned process provides us with a measurable 3D model in the form of point cloud, where each point has its precise coordinates that enable us to quickly determine the geometry and the type of objects in question.

Field work

During the field work part of the process, operators examine the field of interest with the goal of creating a schedule for the scanning process. Depending on the level of detail required, projects are created and the settings inside the scanner are defined in order to complete the job as efficiently as possible. 3D laser scanners are set on certain positions from which the points of areas / objects are collected. It is extremely important to set the scanners on locations that enable a sufficient amount of overlapping points between neighbouring positions. This way the processing becomes more successful and the end result is of higher quality.

Processing and registration of point cloud

Once the field work is complete, we move into the office and transfer the raw data from the scanner onto the computer where the processing and registration is done in a special software. The first step is automatic pre-processing, where raw point clouds are filtered and coloured (if needed), and the meta is searched (if used). All of this is done to prepare the scans for further use.

The term “registration” stands for connection the recorded point clouds (each individual position) into one unit with the goal of receiving the real image of area in question. Depending on the field work method and the evaluation of operators, certain automatic methods of point cloud registration are applied, and the entire process is hand-searched to avoid eventual errors.

Map of point cloud positions during registration

Once the scans have successfully been registered, a unique point cloud is created. It can be cleared if needed, in order to remove eventual visual interferences and excess data that are of no use in further modelling elements. Point cloud can also be georeferenced to set it on its actual location within the coordinate system, and based on point measurements in the field by using total station or GPS.

The final point cloud is further used to create 3D BIM models with the required level of detail.

Overlap of models and point clouds.

Advantages of modern methods

Perhaps the most known advantages of laser scanning are its time and accuracy. There are numerous other advantages, such as:

  • Precision of laser recordings – ±2 mm, which is incomparable to hand measurement.
  • Measuring is contactless.
  • Digitalisation of objects and infrastructure saves both time and money because you don’t need to revisit buildings to do extra measuring.
  • Laser scanning collects not just geometric data, but also information on visible materials, installed equipment and systems. Hand measurement can gather only the geometric data.
  • Modelling can be done right after the processing and registration of laser scans is complete. 3D models are made from point clouds, and the possibility of mistakes and deviations are minimal.
  • When performing hand measurement, some areas might be out of reach due to inaccessibility.
  • Different professions come together and cooperate on BIM models – architects, engineers and project managers can give information related to their area of expertise.
  • All costs are calculated in advance.

GO2BIM has three laser scanners at its disposal, as well as a drone which scans inaccessible parts. The technology we possess enables us to measure objects quickly and precisely, no matter their size, purpose and different kinds of infrastructure.


For more information on laser scanning, contact us. We will gladly answer your questions!

Contact info

GO2BIM ltd., Don Boscova 10

10 000 Zagreb



Graberje 18B,

42000 Varaždin,


PIN: 05071460297

VAT NUMBER: HR05071460297


IBAN: HR1724020061100871055


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The project was co-financed by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund. The content of this material is the sole responsibility of GO2BIM d.o.o.

The company is signed into a court registrar at Commercial court in Zagreb, MBS:080182165, under the number
Tt-14/1935-4. Base capital: 20.000,00 HRK, paid in full.