The digital age now means that it is possible to see any building in amazing digital 3D without leaving your computer. This is thanks to the great technical leaps forward in Laser Scanning, and particularly 3D Laser Scanning Surveying techniques and equipment that have meant that ever greater amounts of data can be handled very quickly to produce more accurate representations of any building or physical object.
But what exactly is Laser Scanning Surveying?
Essentially, when we are looking at the world through our own eyes we are collecting enormous amounts of visual and spatial data, which our brains then process into interpretive 3D images of the world around us.
Laser Scanning Surveying adopts exactly the same processes, only this time it is sophisticated machinery that are collecting the images, spatial and geometric data, and a computer processor that is doing the processing.
The result is a point in time, very large, 3D database which accurately represents the environment that has been scanned. The ‘point cloud’ laser scanning data is geometrically rigid and can be used and brings benefits to a multitude of end users.
So how does Laser Scanning Surveying Work?
The way this is achieved is by ‘bombarding’ the building, rail, tunnel, road or subject with millions of safe laser pulses to obtain precise measurement information. This is done by setting up ‘state of the art’ equipment that sends out these laser beam pulses that are designed to bounce off the subject and then be reflected back between two mirrors in the laser scanner.
This allows the scanner to measure three things very precisely:
1. The exact time it takes to bounce the beam back.
2. The horizontal angle of the beam as it returns
3. The vertical angle of the beam as it returns.
This simple sounding process in effect provides extremely accurate X, Y and Z co-ordinates of the surface or object the laser points hit. When repeated millions of times, these co-ordinates can then be processed by ‘ 3D point cloud software’ and then can be exported into a variety of different 3D software – revit, autocad, microstation, 3D visualisation software that allows a precise 3D image of the building to be built up.
It is a high-tech process that produces amazing results and has applications not only in architecture, but anywhere where a digital representation of reality could be useful.
As a conclusion, what are the benefits of laser scanning technology?
There are as many as a fertile imagination can conjure in reality! But here are three immediate areas where laser scanning may be beneficial:
1. Accuracy – This process removes much of the human error that is often to blame for complications at the building stage of a project. A laser scanner does not get tired or make errors due to a heavy workload, so the results that it pumps out are much more dependable as well as being many times more accurate than normal surveying methods.
2. Speed – Measuring at 1,000,000 points a second enables an enormous of data to be collected very quickly. Information can be obtained almost instantly allowing decisions to be made at a greater speed than utilising traditional surveying techniques
3. Allows People to Focus on What People Do Best – The third big benefit of laser scanning is that it frees up people to focus on other aspects of a project and rids them of much of the tiresome burden of crunching the numbers. This almost inevitably leads to better designs, happier and more productive members of your team, and happier clients as the end results improve.
As you can, there are many great benefits of 3D Laser Scanning over traditional techniques, and it is well worth exploring for yourself if Laser Scanning Services are a good fit for your business.