Advancements in 3D Laser Scanning Services

Technology Has Changed Since the 1960s

You may not know this, but since the 1960s, there have been advancements in 3D laser scanning services. As a result, there are now various versions and alternative ways of tracking, all using the original technology. Each can have a unique impact on the way something is measured, tracked, and analyzed. In addition, each of the different types of 3D laser scanning equipment can be partnered with an exterior program that helps edit and digitalize the information. 

Many companies choose one based on needs. For example, for railroads, sometimes TOF or time of flight is the best option, whereas, for a manufacturing company, structured light is the best way to gather information. When this tool was created in the 1960s, it had one version, and the goal was to capture as much information as possible of a surface and convert it to a digital file. 

2D images do not provide the same amount of information on a railway or construction site. Instead, it gives a glimpse of what is going on. However, 2D imaging does not provide accurate details like textures, missing pieces, dimensions, and any other useful information. It used to be one of the only ways to capture and record a scene or structure, but now 3D laser scanning services has taken its place. 

Different types of 3D laser scanning equipment 

Curious to learn about the different types of 3D laser scanning? There are a few new versions, all meant for different situations and objects. 


Photogrammetry is as close to 2D photos as 3D laser scanning can get. It captures pictures from every single angle rapidly. In addition, it uses cloud points to figure out the dimensions and location of things. However, the only downfall of this version is that the photos have to be incredibly accurate photos for everything to be precise. 

Structured Light

Structured light is where geometric patterns are cast over an object while rapid pictures are being taken. It uses cloud points to analyze information. For this version, multiple scans need to be taken of a scene.

Time of Flight (TOF)

Time of Flight collects information by using the lights to measure the distance they’re traveling. The reflection of the lights is being measured. The precision will only get down to a centimeter, so they are not as accurate as some forms. However, they still have very sensitive and incredibly accurate sensors. 


Contact scanning is the least common and is mainly used in quality control—it’s when an object has to touch the scanner to get an accurate reading. The downfall to this version is that any vibrations or movements can throw off the accuracy. 

Final thoughts

3D laser scanning has come in so many forms and can be used for many different things. Some have drawbacks, but most are now made with highly sensitive sensors and ways to capture real-time information accurately. They have emerged in multiple areas helping manufacturing, quality control, railroads, and even road construction. 

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