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Best Method for Drawing Floor Plans: Pen vs. Laser vs. LiDAR

There are different ways to create floor plan sketches to get the job done, each with its own set of pros and cons. In this blog, we'll compare three common methods: traditional pen and paper, Bluetooth laser, and magicplan's LiDAR Auto-Scan. We'll dive into how each method works, how long they take, and how accurate they are. Whether you're a professional or not, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each approach will help you choose the right one for your project.

Floor Plan Drawing Methods

1. Traditional Pen and Paper Method

The traditional method of drawing floor plans involves using tape measures and sketches. This approach has been around for a long time and relies on manual measurement and hand-drawn layouts.

Step-by-Step Process

  • Measuring Walls and Features Manually: Use a tape measure to determine the dimensions of walls, doors, windows, and other features.
  • Drawing the Layout on Paper: Transfer the measurements onto graph paper or a notebook, drawing each wall and feature to scale.


This method is time-consuming and prone to human error. It can be cumbersome to juggle multiple tools, like a tape measure, pen, and paper while trying to take accurate measurements and draw precise layouts.

2. Bluetooth Laser Method

The Bluetooth laser method uses a laser distance measurer connected to an app for taking measurements. This method offers improved speed and accuracy compared to manual measurements.

Step-by-Step Process

  • Setting Up a New Project in the App: Open the app on your device and create a new project
  • Using the Bluetooth Laser to Measure and Input Dimensions: Point the laser measurer at walls and features to take measurements, which are then automatically sent to the app.

Efficiency and Accuracy

This method is faster than using pen and paper, as it reduces manual measurement and data entry errors and it's more accurate. However, it still requires some manual inputs to ensure that all measurements are inserted correctly.

Learn more: Bluetooth Laser Distance Measurer Buying Guide

3. LiDAR Auto-Scan Method

LiDAR technology allows for automatic room scanning, capturing detailed measurements quickly and accurately. This method uses the device’s LiDAR sensors to map out the space.

Step-by-Step Process

  • Initializing the Scan and Moving the Device Around the Room: Open the app and start the Auto-Scan, then move your device around the room, following the on-screen instructions.
  • Capturing Walls, Doors, and Other Features Automatically: The LiDAR sensors will detect and map out all the walls, doors, windows, and other features in the room, such as cabinets, furniture, and fixtures.

Speed and Precision

The LiDAR Auto-Scan method is significantly faster than both traditional and Bluetooth laser methods, often completing a scan in under a minute. It provides highly accurate measurements, making it an excellent choice for detailed and precise floor plans.

Results Comparison

In this table, we'll compare the three methods based on key factors such as time, accuracy, and ease of use.

  Pen and Paper Bluetooth Laser LiDAR Auto-Scan
Time Taken 5+ minutes per room 2-3 minutes per room Less than 1 minute per room
Accuracy Prone to human error 100% accuracy Highly accurate, <1% error
Ease of Use Requires juggling multiple tools Requires initial setup and some manual input Very easy, minimal user effort
Advantages Low cost, no need for electronic devices Faster than manual, improves accuracy Fastest method, highly precise measurements
Disadvantages Time-consuming, labor-intensive, less accurate Requires compatible device, some manual input Requires compatible device, higher cost


  • Pen and Paper: This traditional method is low-cost and straightforward but is time-consuming and prone to errors. It requires the user to handle multiple tools simultaneously, which can be cumbersome.
  • Bluetooth Laser: This method improves speed and accuracy compared to the manual approach. It involves using a laser distance measurer connected to an app, making it easier to capture dimensions accurately. However, it still requires some manual input and initial setup.
  • LiDAR Auto Scan: The most advanced method, utilizing LiDAR technology for quick and highly accurate room scans. This method requires minimal effort from the user and provides precise measurements in the shortest time. The primary downside is the need for a compatible device, which may come at a higher cost.

Each method has its strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice depends on your specific needs and resources. For quick and highly accurate floor plans, LiDAR Auto Scan is the superior option. However, for those on a tighter budget or without access to an iPhone with LiDAR technology, the traditional or Bluetooth Laser methods can still provide reliable results.




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