Making a geometric measurement or visualizing the distribution of a space is the most tedious and requires a fine details process when laying the foundations for an architectural or industrial project. However, it is also a vital process, which, if done wrong, can cause millions in losses, permanent damages and even cost human lives.

First, defining the laser scanner and how we can take advantage of it will help us understand this technology. Accurate documentation is required to start a scanning process.

If you need to capture free-form shapes, the laser scanning process can help you with that task. Laser scanning consists of using laser light to scan an object or structure; when the laser beams have done their job, it is easier to obtain precise data.

Laser light

Laser light is a key element when performing a laser scan. Having structured light scanning can make it easier to make accurate measurements quickly compared to laser range finders.

Laser scanners use laser light to reverse engineer the scan data and use various software packages to obtain point clouds through data processing. Although the object's surface in the existing buildings is complicated by different light patterns, a clear and precise digital model can be obtained.

Laser scanners

What if we left traditional methods and started using new technologies, such as laser scanning?

Accurate data when using a laser scanner is one of the biggest benefits, even though it has complex geometries. The resulting data will have high accuracy, which allows it to be a reference for quality control and other manufacturing processes.

The scanned object can be represented as a three-dimensional object in addition to the entire surface shape. Applications in the construction industry collect data with multiple cameras and thus generate a three-dimensional representation of the area.

Point cloud data

A point cloud can also be generated by laser scanning and will be a highly accurate point clouds.

A point cloud can also be generated by laser scanning and will be a highly accurate point clouds. The measured distances of the scan objects and the reference points will represent precise measurements and fine details, even on small objects.

First, we must understand what Laser Scanning is; then, we can discuss its benefits.

Laser scanning is a process based on LIDAR technology, in which, with a laser beam, a 3D radiography is made of a space saturated with trajectories, interferences or obstacles, such as an industrial plant, civil engineering project; or a space with complex geometries, such as underground mines and mounds of material, medium-sized objects or any physical object to obtain precise dimensions through cad data points.

The scanner rotates 360 ° degrees and emits a laser that bounces off the surface, scanning any visible object. With the information collected, a 3D photograph is made, which instead of using pixels, uses dots and a cad model; this allows for endless possibilities.

Advantages of Laser Scanning:
  1. Laser scanning is a much more accurate measurement method than any other method, from a tape measure to a total station. Thanks to its geometric precision, it allows the creation of more exact plans and models.
  2. Capturing the actual condition of space provides clarity, which will help avoid errors in the design, construction and installation of equipment; this allows manufacturing in the comfort of a workshop, saving time, resources and money.
  3. Not only is it a more accurate method, but it is also much faster to measure and deliver the information; this is obtained almost in real-time.
  4.  It is also a much safer measurement process than a traditional one; it prevents having to access a dangerous place to measure an asset. The laser measures it more precisely, reaching where humans physically cannot.
  5. It allows collaborative work. Laser scanning makes it easy to share the model with work teams. Since the pandemic's start, this has become very important for remote work. The conditions imposed by the pandemic make it impossible to have large groups of people visiting a space.
  6. A space scanned on different occasions allows us to travel back in time, as we can see the exact conditions it was in when the original scan was made and compare it with the current one; this is essential when we talk about spaces that undergo constant changes, such as an industrial plant.
  7. Laser scanning opens up the possibility of making virtual representations of the scanned area. Imagine visiting a plant or a building from the comfort of your home or office without getting tired, without having to endure the plant's heat, and without having to request special permits to return to access the area.

Laser scanning is a technology that has evolved considerably in recent years. Thanks to all the advantages it offers, it stopped being the future to become the present of 3D measurement. It is not only a question of precision, speed and cost reduction; it is also a question of context, comfort, security and collaboration.

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