Leica announced a new laser scanner at Autodesk University last week. I attended and spent a few hours with members of the Autodesk and Leica teams. The new scanner from Leica and ReCap mobile workflow could usher in a significant shift in reality capture for buildings.
- Small (~1/2 size of the faro)
- Cheap (16k, ~300 a month with potential financing options per source from conference)
- Quality (data quality as good or exceeding p20 levels per source from conference)
- Ease of use (one button for scans, all wifi interface)
- Fast (1.5m scans, 1.5 min 360 imagery)
The scanner seems to check all the boxes. I'm still eager to check out the data (no data was available for review at AU), but discussions with engineers from Leica make me optimistic. We look forward to testing the unit as soon as we can get our hands on it.
BLK 360 + ReCap
I was never able to see the ReCap mobile workflow at the conference, only discuss it, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt. The ReCap mobile workflow will go like this. Connect to the BLK via ipad, start scans. Once complete the data will be aligned automatically and ready for review in the field. Export RCS for instant use in AutoCAD, Revit, etc...
This recap workflow has the most potential to be a game changer because its the first time I've seen someone try to make registration really easy with a laser scanner. However, it also represents the most unproven aspect of this announcement. The gold standard for target-less registration is Cyclone. Cyclone is clunky, manually intensive and expensive - designed for massive projects. BUT, it works really well with a expert at the helm. I think the market would welcome an autodesk workflow (especially for small simple projects), but it has to be right - and it needs to work without creating headaches.
Can Autodesk ReCap deliver on these promises? They will unlock a lot of value if they can tackle this problem. If I could give one suggestion to the team, take a look at matterport who has a mobile registration workflow that works very well.
Looking to the future
Written by Thad Wester and Ben Yoder, Their views are their own and not necessarily those of WeWork.