Over the past year, VIA has been getting to know our new favorite tool – the Matterport 3D camera. The camera has two basic functions – capturing scans of three-dimensional space and taking 360-degree photos. VIA primarily uses the camera to document existing buildings in great detail in a fraction of the time it used to take with a measuring tape, pencil, and paper. Scans created with the camera export directly into our Building Information Modeling (BIM) software, from which we can easily add corresponding details and measurements. This expedited process for creating existing conditions documentation allows us to spend less time (and fee) on documenting what’s already there and more time on design. An added benefit is that our clients and our consultants also have access to the scans and can refer to them for measurements or other purposes.
Jesse, who is VIA’s go-to expert with the camera, pointed out another useful function. Before the sheetrock went up in a recent residential project, he took a scan of the structure to document it “as-built,” creating an accurate, photographic record of the systems behind the walls. Should problems arise in the future, the scan can help pinpoint the cause. The 3D camera has proven to be a fascinating way to understand a building and is fast becoming an integral part of our design process. We look forward to further developing our skills with it.