3D LASER SCANNING – THE MAGIC EXPLAINED
Although there is no actual magic involved in 3D laser scanning surveying, that doesn’t mean the technology used isn’t really impressive.
In this article, we are going to talk about the different types of 3D scanners that are available, how they operate and more.
If you’ve never come across 3D laser scanning before, you may be surprised by how widely this technology is being used. 3D laser scanners are currently being used in medicine, crime, construction and many other industries.
We could probably spend hours writing about all the benefits that 3D laser scanners bring to each industry, but for the purposes of this article we will try to concentrate mainly on the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry.
Why using 3D Laser Scanner
In the AEC industry, laser scanning has certainly worked its magic by improving speed, accuracy, cost and convenience. Just imagine how long it would take to create accurate, detailed plans and elevations of a church, for example, where there is a lot of detail and walls and ceilings at an angle. It would take an experienced team days or even weeks to manually record all the details and angles of the building and then convert this data into drawings and elevations. More calculations would be necessary to plan the scaffolding, and it would then take even more time to verify the accuracy of the drawings against any potential human error. Now the whole process can be carried out by one person in just a few hours using a 3D laser scanner.
Faro: 3D Laser Scanner
There are many types of 3D scanners available. They all have their advantages and disadvantages and unique applications, from scanning a small object for 3D printing to air-scanning forests and large land areas.
To demonstrate, let’s look at a terrestrial Faro class 1 laser scanner. The ultra-portable Faro Focus 3D laser scanner enables fast, straightforward, accurate measurements of façades, complex structures, production and supply facilities and large-volume components. Combining the most accurate precision scanning technology with authentic mobility and ease of use, this device offers reliability, flexibility, and real-time analysis of recorded data, enabling us to make sure all data is recording correctly and eliminating the chance of needing another site visit.
Our Faro 3D laser scanner uses a time-of-flight principle of recording data with a range of 130 metres and an accuracy of +-2mm.
3D Laser Scanning: how it works
The simplest way to think about “time of flight” laser scanning is to approach it as something like a laser rangefinder. Laser rangefinders work by measuring a distance by shooting a laser beam out to an object and measuring how long it takes that laser beam to bounce back. As the 3D laser scanner is positioned in multiple positions and shoots lasers in a 360° horizontal plane and approximately 330° vertical plane, this allows us to capture x, y and z coordinates.
Once the 3D measured survey is complete, all scans are processed and stored together into a single point cloud file.
3D laser scanning technology has a wealth of advantages that are revolutionising traditional survey methods. Its cutting edge technology enables you to create plans, elevations and 3D models from point cloud and saves you valuable time and money.
If you’d like to learn more about how 3D laser scanning technology can benefit your project, get in touch with us today.