While the technology has been around for some time, recent advances in personal computer speeds and in the laser scanning equipment itself, have made laser scanners more widespread and popular, and for good reason. These scanners have the ability to save a lot of time and increase accuracy.
So, how does it work? The scanner works by sending millions of laser beams out in nearly every direction. These laser beams bounce off objects, then return and are recorded, tracking how long it takes. This time tells how far away the object is. Using the direction and the distance measured, the scanner is able to make a 3D model of what is in the line of sight of the scanner. Multiple scans can be stitched together for a comprehensive model.
After the scan is complete, it takes a panoramic picture of the area just scanned. It uses the individual pixel colors to assign each laser point with a color. When the model is brought into a software for viewing the realistic model will have your head spinning
Application and Uses
- As Built Models
- Retrofit & Replacement
- Feasibility studies & expansion
- Complex geometry mapping (equipment, pipes, ducts)
- Hard to measure areas
Plants are often complex and difficult to navigate with pipes, beams, and equipment running everywhere. When replacing equipment, it can be difficult to know just how the new equipment will fit in. Traditionally countless measurements and models will need to be taken and created. However, with a few laser scans, an existing model can be created and viewed for equipment integration with the existing system. Interferencechecking is taken to a whole new level. For complex geometries, this means less field work, finger crossing, and mistakes.checking is taken to a whole new level. For complex geometries, this means less field work, finger crossing, and mistakes.
Limits and Specifications
- Point accuracy: 3mm (1/8”)
- Range per scan: 70m (230 ft)
This level of accuracy is nothing short of incredible and at 500,000 measurements per second, it outpaces any of us with a tape measure. A few key hand measurements are still taken to verify the model. Measuring complex geometries can be near impossible by hand, the scanner easily interprets and models these. Distance and accuracy are related inversely so the closer you can get to an object the more accurate and denser the point cloud will be.
It is important to take sufficient scans of an area as to minimize “shadows” where you need information. Since the laser uses line of sight there will always be “shadows” behind objects from the perspective of the scanner. Multiple scans are stitched together and overlapping information reduces the “shadows”.
This technology is growing and has many applications. Self-driving cars utilize lidar to self-navigate. Powerful aircraft lidar systems create extremely accurate land models. What ever your need may be, this technology has revolutionized model creations and can be used in ways we haven’t thought of yet.
Please reach out to us if you are interested in viewing a model so we can you a sample. For many projects these scanners save money, increase productivity, and eliminate errors. Let Ingenium Design create your next 3D model.