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Digital survey

  • 1.  Digital survey

    Posted 20 days ago
    Do you have recommendations for digital survey apps? We use Hover for residential renovation and addition projects, but the accuracy is not great. We must redraw the 3D model in Revit for most of our projects. We cannot use the app for commercial and institutional buildings. We are intrigued by moasure, Sensopia and Canvas.​ Does anyone have experience and recommendations for these or other apps?

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    Michael Raphael AIA, LEED AP
    Raphael Architects
    Doylestown PA
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    Call for Nominations


  • 2.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 19 days ago
    We are looking at the Zeb Revo RT by GeoSLAM. It is fairly expensive but very accurate and can scan quickly without a lot of setup. They provide training, software and hardware support, and can quickly general floor plans and provide really good point clouds.

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    Timothy Dearborn AIA
    Principal Architect | Managing Partner
    Architechnica
    Stockton CA
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    Call for Nominations


  • 3.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 19 days ago
    Tim, That's a pretty nice looking product. I am going to check it out. Do you feel it is worth it for just working in 2d for residential projects? I could not find the cost but will contact to find out more. My focus of work is additions and renovations.

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    Aric Gitomer AIA
    Principal
    Aric Gitomer Architect LLC
    Morris Plains NJ
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    Call for Nominations


  • 4.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 18 days ago
    I hope I'm not giving away any secrets that will make all of you rich at my expense, but the process of measuring up a project is so important to my developing a working understand of what I'm working on, that I would never leave it to someone else, or some point-cloud software.  I've learned a couple things over the years:

    1.  Use a good laser.  I use a Leica that displays the last 4 measurements which accelerates the task.
    2.  Do the drawing as you measure.  I have a rolling AV cart*, that is tallish like me which has 4 shelves and a top desk like surface.  A laptop with some way to easily draw on a laptop (tablet for me).  It all does into the project CAD software.---*this requires a pick up truck.
    3.  If you draw in the field you not only leave with a drawing requiring just minor touch up, but you will have already caught and corrected the "wait, it can't be like that" issues.
    4.  Take pictures even of the things that don't seem interesting.  Trust me, if you don't you will wish you did.
    5.  For small residential measures, I usually leave the cart at home and search around for suitable horizontal surfaces.

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    Donald Wardlaw AIA
    More Than Construction, Inc.
    Oakland CA
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    Call for Nominations


  • 5.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 16 days ago
    Most of the structures I work on are in such poor condition (dilapidated historic buildings, fire damaged buildings) that carrying a laptop and/or rolling cart is impractical.

    My tools: DSLR (long strap), Leica Disto, iPhone, graph paper pad with 4 extra fine Sharpies, level & tape measure, & a painters apron. The process takes much less time than in the just-a-tape-measure days but I keep looking for new methods and technologies to expedite the process while maintaining quality.

    Has anyone tried this one - $400 + I guess you have to hire them for cleanup? https://canvas.io/  

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    Lisa Selligman AIA
    Red Dot Studio, Inc.
    Saint Louis MO
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    Call for Nominations


  • 6.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 12 days ago
    I have used an inexpensive Bosch hand held laser measure from Home Depot for years. I usually use a laptop with Autocad to make a polyline plan for the each room on site then, back at the office, pick the plines to convert them to walls in Revit.Its quick, efficient and a one man job. Oh yeah, take lots of pics. God bless the smart phone.

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    Thad Broom AIA
    Architect
    Thad A. Broom AIA, P.C.
    Virginia Beach VA
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    Call for Nominations


  • 7.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 10 days ago
    I still use a steel tape and a large clip board with 11x17 sheets attached. I tried the Bosch laser but it was off too much for my taste. I need it exact for remodeling or renovation. We go in and sketch the rooms tp close scale and then add the dimensions.
    Don’t forget the overall dimensions.
    Good luck.!


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  • 8.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 9 days ago
    Whatever technology you choose, I recommend inputing your site dim's. asap.  Preferably, run back to the office, skip lunch and get started.  It's always easier with two people, one person measures the other draws.  And the one who sketches on site is the same person who creates the CAD file. My 2¢.

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    Gregory Holah, NCARB
    Architect
    HOLAH Design + Architecture
    Portland, Oregon 97232
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    Call for Nominations


  • 9.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 5 days ago
    I couldn't agree more, Gregory. The number of times that I was thrown chickenscratch by one of the office partners as a "survey" and told to create documents from it - only to be yelled at for all of the unknowns that cropped up in trying to decipher it...

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    Thomas Bank AIA
    Principal Architect
    Simply Stated Architecture, P.C.
    Lemoyne PA
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    Call for Nominations


  • 10.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 18 days ago
    I was able to rent the ZebRevo and used it for a very tough assignment: document in 3d the branch structure of some huge, mighty oak trees, and other features of a riverfront property in Sacramento.  It worked well for that purpose.  We also used it to document existing conditions in a multistory downtown historic building - and lost many of the scans due to file corruption; the mfgr rep diagnosed this to a problem with the battery mounting plate which apparently affects models made during a certain time frame. These are expensive tools - well north of 30,000 as I recall even though they are hand held; we had to get special insurance put into place just to rent it.  THe challenge if you are getting info in 3d (like those oaks) is to make the point cloud into a bim object.  We tried a number of different sofware tools and none were simple or easy.  In the end, though, we got these amazingly accurate 3d trees into our bim model (Vectorworks) which allowed us to design around them very accurately.  I'm not aware of any other products that could have produced this result for us. I plan to use the ZebRevo for future large projects but it's too costly to make sense for simple, small projects, or to justify a purchase at least for our firm.

    We have tried a number of the other new apps and found them to be more hype than function.  Our go to tool are the leica disto laser measurements - those with built in viewer allow use in bright sunlight outdoors, and high accuracy, including use for field topograpy, and measuring things you can't get near (like top of tree; roof dormers, etc.

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    Michael Malinowski FAIA
    Sacramento CA
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    Call for Nominations


  • 11.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 17 days ago

    It's looking like the Zeb product is < $10K? I see some prices of $3500~$4500 for the unit and software and then another $3500 for software like PointCab to work with the point cloud?

    Compared to the "big boys" that are still around > $55K, it seems reasonable if it can provide a good end result for smaller projects. I'm interested in how you progress with this.



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    Thomas Bank AIA
    Principal Architect
    Simply Stated Architecture, P.C.
    Lemoyne PA
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    Call for Nominations


  • 12.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 17 days ago

    Hi Thomas

    Another ready just posted a quote of over 50k for the unit ... maybe difference is new or refurb?  If buying refurb, be careful of the manufacturing issue that causes unpredictable scan glitches; once the unit 'glitches' the scan is lost.  We were told this is a defect in the battery mounting plate ...

     

     




    Call for Nominations


  • 13.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 16 days ago
    Michael,

    I had done a quick Google search for prices and found this forum post: https://laserscanningforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11507

    That seems to be the only thing I could come up with that was giving prices. I'm not sure how they could be that far off, but it did seem like a lot less than other similar products.

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    Thomas Bank AIA
    Principal Architect
    Simply Stated Architecture, P.C.
    Lemoyne PA
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    Call for Nominations


  • 14.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 19 days ago
    There are companies that do this for Realtors. It is done with cameras…I only remember the name of Leitz, Set up the camera and it’s software generates models from which accurate plans can be taken. I have a feeling the cameras and their software are not cheap. I bet there are a couple of companies who do this work and you could talk with them about what they use.


    Call for Nominations


  • 15.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 19 days ago
    I was going to try moasure, but I downloaded the app to my phone before the gadget came out and was not impressed. You have to run to the next point for each measurement or stop and pause midway or in segments to get long distances. Was not that accurate to boot..
    I was really excited for the Leica BLK3D and purchased it, however this was not as great as I thought it would be either and at the price tag it was well not worth it for residential projects. Leica was kind enough to give me a full refund.
    My go to tools are sketching, using a hand held laser and transferring data to paper and then inputting back at office. My big time saver in field is the Spike by Ike! I love this little gizmo that hooks onto my phone. I think it is great for exterior elevations and a huge time saver. I have been using this since 2013 and it is my favorite in field tool.
    For my residential projects it's perfect.
    If anyone finds something better let me know always looking for a way to expedite the as-built phase. I'm looking forward to adding the roomba one day to my toolbox:
    https://www.aricgitomerarchitect.com/architects-fear-roomba/

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    Aric Gitomer AIA
    Principal
    Aric Gitomer Architect LLC
    Morris Plains NJ
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    Call for Nominations


  • 16.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 18 days ago
    For documenting existing conditions I use a Leica Disto, sketchpad, and then input into Revit at the office.

    Last year I bought the Leica S910 Propac and I've found it to be of great help when doing multi story exteriors.

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    Rudolph Beuc AIA, NCARB, CBO
    Architect
    R. Beuc Architects
    Saint Louis MO
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    Call for Nominations


  • 17.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 18 days ago

    As an aside –and perhaps of interest to any Leica users – when I chatted with Leica at A19 in Vegas about the problems we've had with Bluetooth on our 7500i (unusable) – they offered to move me up to the D810 for a few hundred dollars – AND KEEP the old 7500i ... I jumped on it so now we have a useable blue tooth device – with an even greater feature set including taking photos and getting measurements from images taken on the device – as well as our original 7500i. 

     

    I had the impression that was reflective of generally how they take care of their customers.  They said they don't fix these tools in fact; perhaps they are simply too complex to make that workable.

     




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  • 18.  RE: Digital survey

    Posted 7 days ago
    Has anyone used the Structure Sensor scanner? It attaches directly to the Apple tablet. Manufacturer states after downloading the associated application, you will be able to scan 3D models autonomously for up to 4 hours. $379 or $499 for the complete bundle.

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    Patrick Williams AIA
    Principal | Owner
    Workshop for High Performance Architecture
    Washington DC
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    Call for Nominations