What We Do

Laser scanning, BIM and UAV (drone) mapping are cutting edge survey technologies that greatly benefit infrastructure projects ranging from civil, building and mining projects.

Laser Scanning and 3D Modelling

Cutting edge survey technology

Laser scanning, Point clouds and 3d Modelling for Revit/BIM

All new builds or refurbishment projects require accurate and up to date plans of the existing reality – On the commencement of a new build, refurbishment or facilities upgrade 

  • Do you have an intelligent 3D model of the existing structure, features and MEP components ?
  • Do you have the ability to overlay new design on the existing status and visualize the future ?
  • Can the project team walk the site and hold up an IPAD, visualizing virtual reality to establish if the construction has been done in the correct place and within the time and budget constraints ?
  • Have you minimized the project risk by utilizing an accurate representation of reality which is  available to the complete project team?


The basis for all of this is a good 3D Point cloud translated into an intelligent CAD or Revit model of the current reality.

A point cloud is a digital scan of reality. A tool for the cost efficient, rapid and precise high definition capture of 3-dimensional data. 3D modelling from the point cloud then allows for the visualization of complex structural interactions. Most importantly, it significantly reduces design ambiguity, making it more straightforward for you to get across your design intent and to be flexible and responsive to collaborative input.

Laser scanning and 3D modelling is a cost-effective tool that uses laser beams to capture the complete visible data of a building, construction site or facility – much like a 360⁰ photo with each pixel having an accurate position converted into a virtual reality intelligent model.


Benefits of 3D scanning and Revit / BIM modelling

  • The ability to REVIST this captured reality from the design office – additional information can be extracted as it is required without having to return to the site.
  • Improved project coordination, collaboration and communication between owner, project management team, architects, engineers and staff utilising facilities by having a shared digital information source that represents both the function and physical characteristics of reality
  • Risk mitigation. Early clash in 3D model prevents costly mistakes and reworks on site. Detailed model allows for better estimate of time requirements to complete tasks and will allow project team to design cost and time efficient work flows.
  • Improved cost controls. Improved detail and accuracy of model allows for enhanced cost estimating and more comprehensive understanding of components required.
  • Far more accurate integration of future design with existing structural and MEP reality
  • Plant life cycle support – an accurate 3D model from laser scanning allows for ongoing management of plant or building assets (BIM ). Laser scanning data enables the continuous management of asset and Building Information Management (BIM) data. It aids communication and collaboration between tenants, owners and facilities management crews.
  • Improved Quality control – through an ongoing 3D scanning program during construction phase superior “as built” records are obtained and the 3D model can effortlessly be overlaid on the design model to highlight where construction tolerances are not being met.
  • Improved health and safety regulatory compliance.
  • The integration of current reality with the future design allows for improved project timeline management and proactive schedule management– the 4th dimension of time.
  • Additionally, cost can be visualized across the model as the 5th Dimension, allowing for better and more efficient cost management and the “seeing” of cost overruns at an early stage.






How does laser scanning work?

A laser scanner sends out a million points a second that when a point reaches an object, the position of the object is recorded together with the points RGB value for a more intuitive display of point cloud information. After the fieldwork is complete the individual scans are collectively registered to create the “point cloud” of the building, structure or plant being modelled.

From this “point cloud we extract a 3D cad model in Revit or similar Cad software combine with intelligent extraction process. We currently find a combination of extracting individual elements such as a beam, a wall or a pipe automatically, combined with use of manual authoring of connections between these elements is the most efficient solution for crafting a Cad model in Revit, Microstaion or other formats requested by client.

UAV (Drone) Mapping

Efficient, safe and accurate mapping

Good detailed maps, site plans and terrain modelling are necessary components for all successful infrastructure development projects. Greenfields projects, infrastructure upgrades and the comprehension and management of assets all benefit from visual intelligence in the form of accurate 3 Dimensional geospatial data.  UAV (Drone) based mapping has become the most effective solution to improve decision making and increase productivity and effectiveness of project management and design teams.

UAV aerial mapping allows for the cost efficient, safe and accurate mapping of 1 – 15 Km² areas of mapping data. The mapping can be carried out without interrupting asset management, mining or construction operations in a safe manner.

For  use in:  Infrastructure planning, asset mapping, mining operations, stock-pile and quarry volume reporting, digital terrain modelling , site and route selection and agriculture planning and crop analysis and condition monitoring.


  • Improved safety:  The primary benefit of UAV mapping is the removal of needing “feet on the ground” in the generally hazardous conditions of existing mining or construction operations.
  • Conservancy and quality of data:  Due to the ability to collect both photographic and digital terrain information the ortho photo map produced provides a far clearer and accurate 3D resemblance of the site reality.  The data processing is a straight forward time efficient process providing high quality images and 3D modelling.
  • Cost effectiveness:  For most infrastructure projects the cost of obtaining good ortho photo mapping by UAV is considerably less than traditionally manned aircraft.   UAV mapping provides a cost effective accurate solution for all small scale mapping requirements. Further the resources to support UAV mapping operations is considerably reduced.


Create and manage project information
Create and manage project information

There is a common misconception that BIM means 3D design. In fact, it’s much more. BIM is a process for creating and managing all of the information on a project – before, during and after construction. The output of this process is the Building Information Model, the digital description of every aspect of the built asset.

BIM is an intelligent model-based process that provides an understanding of reality leading to improved planning, design and management of infra-structure.

“BIM is the visualization of data. You can be seduced by the visualization, but the real return on BIM is in the enhanced quality of the data. One of the ways you achieve that higher data quality is by being able to visualize what you’re doing. All of the data we exchange with architects and others on a project is now 3D. Everyone on a project works and collaborates better by being able to see and understand the project as a whole.”


We would love to hear from you!

You can contact us on:

Tel: +27 (0)11 463 0044

Email: info@5dsurvey.co.za