3D Laser scanners and point cloud technology has introduced new ways and dimensions in the current construction world. With the use of these techniques, the construction work has become easier than ever before. Right from the start of actual construction to the renovation and retrofitting of the existing structure, the 3D laser scanners, and point cloud technology proves to be efficient. There are many types of
and the 3D scanning software’s & tools available. Some are helpful for the short-range scanning while the others are best suited for mid or a long-range scanning. The 3D scanner needed to scan a small object differs from the 3D scanner required to scan a large aircraft. The experts also use various combination of technologies while scanning according to the project requirements.
In this article, we will determine the various types of 3D scanners and 3D scanning technologies that are used throughout the project lifecycle.
Let’s get started with the short-range 3D scanners
The short-range 3D scanners mainly used a Laser Triangulation or structured light technology to perform the task.
More about 3D Laser Scanners
The laser-based 3D scanners make use of the process called trigonometric triangulation to accurately capture a 3D shape from the millions of points. The laser scanners work by projecting a laser line or the multiple lines onto the object and then accurately capture its reflection with a single sensor or the many sensors. The sensors are located at a known distance from the scanners. The exact measurements can then be made by calculating the reflection angle of the laser light.
Many laser scanners come in many designs and shapes including the handheld portable units, arm based scanners, long-range scanners and single point long-distance trackers.
Benefits of 3D Laser Scanners
The 3D laser scanners are very beneficial in the construction industry because of its tremendous ability to scan and generate precise and accurate data. Let’s overview the benefits:
- They can scan tough surfaces
- The scanners are comparatively less sensitive to changing light conditions and ambient light.
- They often come handy and portable.
- Additionally, they are available in simpler designs and are moreover easier to use and lower cost.
What is Projected or Structures Light 3D Scanners?
In a simple language known as “White Light 3D Scanners”, most structured light 3D scanners, available today make use of a blue or white LED projected light. These 3D scanners are helpful in projecting a light pattern consisting of bars, blocks or other shapes onto an object. The 3D scanner has one or multiple sensors that look at the edge of those patterns or structural shapes to recognize the objects 3D shape. The structured light or the white light scanners can be tripod mounted or handheld to make ease of use.
Benefits of Structured Light 3D Scanners
- First of all it gives fast and easy scan and the time required is 2 seconds per scan.
- Includes large scanning areas in a single scan
- Has multiple lenses to scan small to large parts in a single system
- It is portable which in addition helps in relaxed and comfortable use
- 3D scanning is eye-safe and varies from low cost to expensive ones depending on the resolution and accuracy
Now let’s move on to the medium-range and Long-range 3D Scanners
The medium range or the long-range 3D scanners are used and are well suited for the objects such as high-rise buildings, structures, aircraft, military vehicles, large industrial equipment. These scanners capture millions of points by rotating 360 degrees.
Benefits of Long-Range 3D scanner
- Most of all, it scans millions of points in a single scan, up to 1 million points per second
- Covers large scanning area up to 1000 meters
- Provide equally excellent accuracy and resolution based on the type of an object
- Comes handy and portable thus, easy to use
Arm based 3D Scanners
As the name suggests, arm based 3D scanners are convenient to use, and it uses a touch probe to measure a part of an object. Many arm based systems also have a portable 3D laser scanners for collecting large number of points. The software keeps track of the join movements of the arm to know its location in 3D space.
In the Arm based scanner, the articulated arm is attached to a table or on a stable base. Furthermore, it is comfortably held by a hand grip at the end, and it can then be moved around on the object to scan. The main advantage of using the arm based scanner is that they are more comfortable and portable and can be used in a shop floor environment.
Benefits of Arm-based 3D laser Scanners
- It is portable and handheld
- Giving excellent accuracy on small to medium sized parts
- They can scan a single piece
What are optically tracked 3D laser Scanners?
In this type of scanning technology, a set of cameras is used to track the location of the 3D scan head or 3D space. These systems offer many advantages over arm based systems like freedom of movement, improved accuracy over distance and the ease of including dynamic referencing.
The dynamic referencing systems work by enclosing targets or the LED lights to the object you are scanning. As a result, a camera system is allowed to track the part and scan head separately from each other. There is no loss of accuracy as well as exactness, and no errors in data quality. Additionally, the camera system can also be moved around enabling you to scan large parts in a single setup.
Benefits of Optically tracked 3D Scanning
- Scanning of significant data is done quickly in a single setup
- Comfortable as well as handy to use
- Freedom of movement
- Ability to scan even while the part is moving with no loss of accuracy
Using numerous 3D Laser scanners, we can certainly create better opportunities for the designers and hence, raising the overall quality and accuracy required for project completion.