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An MEP Firm's Journey into 3D Scanning

Posted by Julie Matheney on 12/22/15 10:50 AM

We'd like to introduce you to our power users at Caveo Consulting Engineers!

The Backstory
In 2014, William Speakman, a spirited BIM Analyst, was determined to find a scanning solution for his MEP-focused firm. When he came across an article about Paracosm on, he contacted us right away, signed up for the beta version of our Professional Scanning Toolkit, and began his journey into 3D scanning.  

"When I first discovered Paracosm's technology, I was really curious to see what it could do. We’re very forward-thinking at Caveo, however, requesting to work with emerging technology was a pretty big leap for us. The tech was new, there'd be a learning curve, but the potential improvements that Paracosm’s solution could bring made it worth the risk," he said. "Fortunately, our leadership saw the potential benefits and gave me their full support."

Challenges of Laser Scanning 
"We explored several scanning methods, but they weren't a good fit for us. With laser scanning, you need a supercomputer to work with the enormous file sizes and hours in post-processing work to even use the data. Because we do MEP for healthcare, we're mindful of the sensitive environments we’re in.  A scanning crew with a tripod-mounted machine doesn’t work well in areas where patients are recovering. Also, many of our clients found it hard to justify the cost. It's really expensive," he explained. “But the benefits of having a scan are obvious, especially if you’re trying to make a precise 3D model in Revit based on hand drawn notes from the field. Since the quality of our product is paramount, it was clear that finding an alternative to laser scanning would be key to getting us there."

Working with Paracosm
A year and some months later, William and the engineers at Caveo are glad that they took the risk and they're reaping the benefits. "Even though we've been at this for a while, we're still discovering new ways that scanning saves us time and money on our projects." 

With more than 800 scans under his belt, William has perfected his workflow and successfully trained the engineers and technicians in his firm's two offices. Caveo now uses our scanning solution on nearly all of their projects.

"It's especially helpful in complicated environments, like mechanical rooms and above ceilings," he said. "Paracosm has saved us hours in survey time, eliminating the need to take hand measurements on every single item, return trips to a site because of something someone overlooked or forgot to mention, and of course, time spent drawing things over and over again because of misinterpreted field mark ups. It's hard to imagine my job without it," he said with a chuckle.

Software Development
Paracosm is focused on creating the best 3D reconstruction software on the market, so our relationship with Caveo has been extremely beneficial. As beta users, Caveo has provided valuable feedback to
 guide our development and helped us fine-tune specific features for the AEC industry.

When we learned that William was spending a lot of time getting our point clouds ready to use, we were able to fix the issue in less than 48 hours and added a new .rcp file download option so he can now import his data directly into the program he uses the most: Autodesk Revit. 

Beyond their role as beta users, Caveo is eager to help other AEC firms get started with our tools. "We've had a lot of practice so we're happy to help others implement this technology into their existing workflows. We’ve trained our people in-house, and we can’t wait to introduce others to scanning and working with point clouds," said William.

“Scanning shouldn’t be something that only large firms can afford to do. We model in 3D, coordinate in 3D, and we should be able to survey and begin our design in 3Dit’s essential to delivering an accurate BIM model to clients. Paracosm makes scanning accessible for firms of all sizesand that will revolutionize the way the AEC industry does business.”

To learn more about Caveo's hands-on experience with our technology, check out their User Story.

Download Caveo's User Story


Topics: AEC Industry