Can Canvas scan a space that is still under construction or partially built?

Yes! Canvas was not optimized for this purpose, but we do have customers that use Canvas to regularly scan spaces like this, even if it's just framed. Here is an example: 

There are a handful of things to keep in mind when using Canvas to tackle this kind of space:

Sunlight Interference: If the walls are not fully built and exterior-facing, you may get a ton of direct sunlight coming into the space, which can interfere with Structure Sensor's infrared projector. You can read more about how to handle this here.

Errant Geometry: If the walls are just frames, Canvas will scan into the next room, which can create a messier looking scan because there's a lot of geometry beyond the room you're scanning.

Difficulty Tracking: If the wall is just frames, there is less actual geometry in the scene for Canvas to use for tracking - so you may find that the model being built as you're scanning can jitter or "slip." This can make the scan (and therefore the resulting CAD file) less accurate, so if you notice it happen, you'll want to re-scan.

Scan To CAD Oversimplification: Some "partially built" elements of the room might get oversimplified in CAD format vs. the scan. For example, a concrete wall that has many small depressions from damage over the years may appear as just a normal flat wall, or heavy electrical wiring may not show up in your CAD file. Additionally, if frames are similar but not identical thickness, you may find that they are oversimplified to be the same, or that the count of frames is not 100% exact.

Lighting: Canvas uses both Structure Sensor and the iPad camera for tracking and reconstructing a scene. If  a space has no light and the camera sees only pitch black, there are no differences from frame to frame, and tracking can suffer. The same is true if there is so much light that the camera becomes overexposed, and you only see blank white on-screen (which can happen if the room doesn't yet have real walls and there is a ton of sunlight). This is actually the same reason why you need to remember to keep features in view while scanning, and shouldn't scan a blank white wall up close — if one frame to the next looks the exact same, Canvas can lose track of where you are in the 3D model it is building. As a result, you may want to bring extra lights (if  the space is particularly dark) or try to scan when it's a cloudy day or at dusk (if there are no walls to block out the sun).

Accuracy: Any of these issues can cause accuracy to be slightly worse than our typical expected tolerances, which we outline here: What kind of accuracy can I expect from Canvas?

All that being said, generally the customers that we have worked with that use Canvas for scanning partially-built or under-construction spaces have been happy with the results. More often than not, the biggest issue is keeping other people at the construction site out of the room when you're scanning!

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