3D Laser Scanning is quickly becoming the new industry standard as a way to make very accurate measurements in complicated environments. We have used our scanner with superior results when collecting data in areas such as roadways where safety and access are of concern. This is precisely why using this technology is the best solution for measuring as-built conditions. This instrument colects survey data points at a rate of 50,000 points per second. It has an effective range of 400′ to 500′. With several “scan” setups inside a room or of a building, a complete 3D model can be made of the existing conditions. These models are then used to create 2D civil or architectural drawings, 3D computer models, and final survey documents.
How does it work? In simple terms, our machine sends out a beam of light at a rate of several passes per minute over selected surfaces. As this light beam reflects off of one of these surfaces the time and angle of the return is calculated and converted into 3D data points. The scanner can be set to calculate these data points at a millimeter level of accuracy if needed. What results is a ‘point cloud’ of data that accurately models the scanned surface. An integrated digital camera meshes with the point cloud to provide real world colors. This assists in the final point selection and visual continuity.
The laser scanner is not unlike many technologies commonly taken for granted in science fiction movies. This technology is already in practice in such forms as LIDAR for earth and terrestrial scanning. And to a much smaller degree, modeling and artistry scans are used extensively for accurate recreations for movie props, and computer animation. The differences between these scanners and ours are the limits of range and level of detail possible. Our scanner falls comfortably in the middle of these two extremes.