When the P1 field associates working on electrical boxes for a confidential customer ran into a challenge, our Virtual Design & Construction department had the technology to address it.
Workers needed to run conduit to some electrical boxes placed in tricky spots, the tallest of which was around 50 feet high.
VDC Electrical Specialists Justin Underwood and Steve Gray came with a solution.
“With the boxes that high in the air, you couldn’t really see them well from any angle on the ground,” Justin explained.
They considered taking a lift to get a look, but only one of them could go, and had to be accompanied by one of the busy field associates.
“Between getting up in a lift, which would only allow one detailer, and the time it would take to get a measurement, it could take a couple days,” Justin said.
The alternative was using VDC technology for a more efficient solution.
That solution was the FARO 3D Laser Scanner, a piece of equipment VDC uses frequently – on the ground. This time, they needed to get it in the air.
Capturing the measurements of an object with conventional documentation methods can take days or weeks, and even then the data might contain errors or missing details.
FARO Focus Laser Scanners create accurate, complete, and photorealistic 3D images of any environment or object in just a few minutes. They operate as easily as a digital camera — with built-in protection from dirt, dust, fog, rain, heat/cold, and movement.
“Instead of ourselves, we put the FARO scanner in the lift and took it all the way up, where it was able to capture images from five different locations.”
Justin says putting the FARO that high in the air was unusual.
“There are probably applications where the FARO has been used in a lift, but I’ve never experienced one,” Justin said.
Fortunately the lift was pretty steady. The scanner sends out many millions of lasers at a time, accounting for the little vibrations or movements on a jobsite since no jobsite has a steady floor.
From there, electrical VDC detailers brought the images back into their drafting software ReCAP, where it is converted into an .rcp file. Then the scans go into Navisworks or Revit, so they can be seen from multiple angles, giving a “real life” view.
Justin says this gives the detailers a 3D model they use for drafting, similar to the actual architectural background they are used to seeing on most construction projects.
“Ultimately, we were able to route the conduit knowing the measurements were accurate,” Justin said.
“We knew exactly what would happen with every bend of the conduit and could plan it precisely, and it worked great.”
Pictured, from left: Boxes needing conduit more than 50 ft. high; VDC model of the exact conduit needed; finished conduit
The P1 VDC department remains on the cutting edge of the latest technology, and many of our construction projects are dependent on their skills every day.