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Drones and 3D Modeling – How Can They Help Your Company

One use for drones is to create accurate 3D models of buildings and assets. The use of drones in this way is relatively new, but is starting to spread across a variety of industries and use cases. Here are a few industries that are starting to use 3D modeling:

Architecture and Design

Architects are now starting to use drones to create 3D models of the site on which they intend to build. These models can then be used to assist in design and also to make more accurate and attractive backgrounds for concept models.

By combining drone 3D modeling and building information modeling (BIM) software, accurate models can be created that allow a build to be planned from start to finish and provide detailed concept art that can even be photorealistic. Ground-based scanners and small drones can also be used to model a building’s interior.


Construction companies are now using drones to monitor the progress of buildings, demonstrate to owners and investors that they are on schedule and spot errors early while they are still easy to correct. Some companies are actually taking scans every single day to ensure that any errors in measurement are detected immediately.

They are also using 3D modeling to ensure that a site is suitable for construction. 3D modeling can also spot things such as potential archaeological sites that may have to be investigated before construction starts and can help model water flow over the site and thus predict and mitigate flooding.


3D modeling can be used to monitor changes in assets. For example, drones have been used to perform close up inspections of wind turbines, which are nearly impossible to inspect manually. By comparing each scan with the previous one, tiny areas of damage can be spotted before they become much larger problems. Similar techniques can be used for both internal and external inspection of oil and gas pipelines. As with construction, 3D modeling can be used to get detailed terrain maps. In this case, they’re used to determine optimal routing.

Another use is to create 3D models of buildings that allow for accurate assessment of things like wall thickness and roof issues, which can be used to assess whether a building is properly insulated. Laser scanning can be used to create energy models that are then deployed to help improve climate control, etc.

Real Estate

Imagine being able to check out every aspect of a house before you even go look at it. Realtors have been using 3D modeling and virtual floor plans for a while, but drone-based techniques allow for better accuracy. In the future, we may even be able to put on a VR headset and “walk through” a house. By reducing the number of physical tours, realtors are able to better respect the privacy of sellers and can also show homes that are not yet completed.

Virtual tours are particularly useful for people who are relocating considerable distances and want to narrow down their choices so as to shorten the length of a scouting trip.


Because of their small size, drones operate well underground. Drones are used for mine surveying and to gain data which is then used for virtual modeling to assess risk and mine stability.

Drones are, in fact, the modern mine canaries, establishing safety before human miners go into a space. Geological modeling is also useful for mine planning and can make use of drones as well as ground penetrating technology.

Drones can be used for planning, asset management, long distance inspection and creation of virtual environments across a variety of industries, not just the examples above. If you are interested in how drone-based 3D modeling can help your company and want to know what kind of hardware and software you need, contact Mile High Drones today.

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