Applications and Methods of 3D Scanning

With the use of the technology known as 3D scanning, you may generate a digital 3D model of any actual object, structure, environment, or person by taking pictures of its shape and look. 3D scanning can be used for various engineering applications, such as design, quality control, reverse engineering, inspection and analysis. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most popular 3D scanning methods and how those methods are applied in various engineering specialties.

What 3D scanning techniques are out there?

Although there are many different kinds of 3D scanning methods, they all operate on the same basic idea: utilizing a sensor to gauge how far away an item is from a camera. A physical probe, a laser, or a light source can all be used as the sensor. The camera takes pictures of the item from various angles, and then uses triangulation to determine each point’s 3D coordinates. These points form a point cloud, which is then converted into a mesh of polygons and textured with color information.

The following are a some of the most often used 3D scanning methods:

Lidar: Light detection and ranging is known as Lidar. It scans an area or an item with a laser beam and
measures how long it takes for the light to bounce back. Lidar can capture large-scale and complex scenes with high accuracy and resolution. It is often used for mapping, surveying and geospatial applications.

Photogrammetry: Photogrammetry uses multiple photos of an object or a scene taken from different perspectives to reconstruct its 3D shape. Photogrammetry can capture fine details and realistic
textures, but it requires good lighting conditions and overlapping images. It is often used for cultural heritage preservation, archaeology and entertainment.

Laser scanning: Laser scanning uses a laser beam to project a pattern of dots or lines on an object and capture its shape by analyzing the deformation of the pattern. Laser scanning can capture small to medium-sized objects with high accuracy and speed. It is often used for industrial design, quality control and reverse engineering.

Infrared scanning: Infrared scanning illuminates an item with an infrared light source and records
its form by sensing the heat it emits.  Infrared scanning can capture objects that are transparent, reflective or dark, but it is sensitive to ambient temperature and humidity. It is often used for medical
imaging, biometrics and security.

How are 3D scanning techniques used in engineering?

3D scanning techniques have many benefits and applications in engineering, such as:

Design: 3D laser scanning services can help engineers create new products or improve existing ones by capturing the shape and dimensions of existing objects, prototypes or models. 3D laser scanning services can also help engineers visualize their ideas in 3D and test them in virtual reality or augmented reality.

Quality control: 3D laser scanning services can help engineers ensure that their products meet the specifications and standards by comparing the scanned data with the CAD model or the reference data. 3D laser scanning services can also help engineers detect defects, errors or deviations in their products and correct them before they cause problems.

Reverse engineering: 3D laser scanning services can help engineers understand how an existing product works or how it was made by capturing its shape, structure and components. 3D scanning can also help engineers modify or improve an existing product by creating a CAD model from the scanned data.

Inspection and analysis: 3D laser scanning services can help engineers inspect and analyze their products or structures by measuring their dimensions, geometry, deformation, wear, stress or strain. 3D laser scanning services can also help engineers monitor the performance or condition of their products or structures over time by comparing the scanned data at different stages.


3D laser scanning is a powerful service that is transforming engineering processes in every industry. By allowing engineers to capture the shape and appearance of physical objects, structures,
environments or people in digital form, 3D scanning can help them design, improve, verify, modify or understand their products or projects better. Depending on the size, complexity, and substance of the topic, 3D scanning techniques including lidar, photogrammetry, laser scanning, and infrared scanning have varied benefits and limits. Therefore, engineers need to choose the most suitable technique for their specific application.


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