3D Modelling Surveys: the basics


3D modelling is the process of creating a three-dimensional computer model which represents a 'real-world' object. It is used in a wide variety of industries. This includes gaming, architecture and product development. There is no surprise that the construction industry has followed in these tech-advancing footsteps and has adopted these developments.

The above 3D model, created by   SUMO Measured Building  , is an example of the various lighting conditions and backgrounds which can be applied to a 3D model. It is these details which help to create the most realistic visualisation of the building in various conditions and locations.

The above 3D model, created by SUMO Measured Building, is an example of the various lighting conditions and backgrounds which can be applied to a 3D model. It is these details which help to create the most realistic visualisation of the building in various conditions and locations.

What types of modelling do we do at SUMO?

There is a range of 3D offerings at SUMO including: Photogrammetry, and SketchUp, Revit and AutoCAD models. Each of which have a range of applications. In our opinion, the focus shouldn't necessarily be on which software you use to create the model. The focus should rather be the eventual use of the model (what will its purpose be?) and how the information is presented to the end client.

Why do we recommend 3D models for survey purposes?

3D models are a fantastic method for visualizing and rendering graphic designs. They are rapidly gaining popularity due to the benefits they provide. This includes: greater accuracy, efficiency, and reduced final project costs. With 3D modelling becoming the new 'norm', we are now able to pack 'more' into less.

At SUMO we see an ever-growing demand and interest in all things 3D. Our clients have always been willing to take the tech journey with us and enjoy numerous benefits to their projects.

So, what are the benefits?

  • Models are easily shareable and can be edited or updated.
  • Experience shows that our 3D models can identify potential problems for client much earlier in a projects timeline.
  • Easily accessible data which can be maintained throughout the life-cycle of a project.

What you need to know when commissioning a 3D model?

Establish what your models purpose will be. It may seem obvious, but you need to be clear with your surveyor about the usage of the model for example:

  • Is the model for verification?
  • A visualisation for your team or client?
  • For demolition purposes?
  • To aid planning?
  • For design purposes?


Being clear about aims such as these can mean vital information is not missed, or expenses unnecessarily incurred. It also means that the model you do eventually commission will have the accuracy that is the most suitable for the job. For example, a model of a site scheduled for demolition, commissioned with ‘all bells and whistles’, might incur huge costs to gain such a high level of detail, but may be entirely inappropriate considering the site is going to be destroyed. In this case, a lower accuracy, cheaper modelling option would be more suited.

 The above example of a SketchUp 3D model was produced by SUMO as the most suitable option for our client’s individual needs to visualise the property.  SUMO liaised with the client to tailor a 3D deliverable suitable for their needs. All whilst minimising the cost and time taken to complete the model by using the most appropriate software for the job.

 The above example of a SketchUp 3D model was produced by SUMO as the most suitable option for our client’s individual needs to visualise the property.  SUMO liaised with the client to tailor a 3D deliverable suitable for their needs. All whilst minimising the cost and time taken to complete the model by using the most appropriate software for the job.

At SUMO we aim to understand each of our client's individual project needs and to tailor our service accordingly. We pride ourselves on producing high quality 3D models at a competitive price, whilst keeping the client's best interests in mind. We achieve this by using the most appropriate, tailored models to suit their individual site and project needs.