Journal article Open Access

Open‐source terrestrial laser scanner for the virtualization of geometrical entities in AEC classrooms

Carlos Ramonell; Rolando Chacón

This paper depicts a case study that shows an open‐source Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS) for use on the virtualization of simple yet precise geometrical entities in AEC classrooms. For bringing this technology to AEC classrooms, an open‐source TLS was developed. The physical model was built using digital fabrication, its connectivity was established using accessible, affordable, opensource sensors and actuators and its digital representation was developed using generative design tools. All elements together are synchronized in realtime and the TLS becomes live, digitally twinned, geometry generator. The points that are generated by the TLS are gathered in a 3D virtual space in the form of virtual points. The present digitally twinned vision of laser scanning has thus three identified educational uses: (i) illustration of the measuring principle using open‐source hardware together with mathematics and statistics, (ii) illustration of the generation and visualization of point clouds in realtime within a CAD environment, and (iii) perhaps with a vaster scope in AEC classrooms, illustration of the usage, analysis and identification of these point clouds. The development of this tool belongs to a vaster project for infusing Construction 4.0 technologies in AEC classrooms under development at the School of Civil Engineering of UPC‐BarcelonaTech. The illustration to students of all these concepts with accessible technological tools is expected to enlarge their vision of more advanced constructional technologies such as cyber‐physical systems for monitoring and surveying as well as digital technologies for reproducing “As‐Built” models.

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