5 cool trends in 3D laser scanning for 2021

Every year brings new and interesting surprises in the field of 3D laser scanning, but 2021 brings an extra dose. While not there yet, we are one step closer to 3D laser scanners taking over the world. Until they do, we can enjoy watching the 3D laser scanner manufacturers duke it out for the most cool and radical designs and dream of owning them

1. 3D laser scanner on a dog robot

Whether this makes any business sense or not, no one can deny that this tops the list of cool things to come out in the 3d laser scanning world. There is a whole subculture that has developed around those Boston Dynamics robots. Who could forget the ones where they kick the dog. There is also the one with the dancing robots. There are even some fake parodies that have been created – this one is one not to miss. Why carry a 3D laser scanner around when you could have a robotic dog do it for you? While our 3D laser scanning technicians may eye this new development with mistrust, we think its the best thing that anyone ever tried with a 3D scanner. 

2. Mobile 3D Scanning

There are some great options now for people who want to get scans done quickly. 3D laser scanners are very fast, and one can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time even with the tripod-based method. But for speed, nothing beats mobile scanning. When the scanner is mounted on wheels, scanning can be as easy as pushing a shopping cart around Wal-Mart and hitting every aisle. Or perhaps pushing your golf clubs around the course is a better analogy for you. Putting a scanner on wheels has a lot of appeal. It reduces the scanning time ten fold. A great example of this is the Faro Swift. That speed boost comes with a tradeoff however. Accuracy is less than fixed-location 3d laser scanning, and the resolution obtained is going to be more sparse. But when time is not on your side, the tradeoff is worth it. 

3. Automatic modeling

After 3D scanning is done, what do you do next? You create a 3D CAD model. It takes some effort to create an as-built Revit model from point clouds. There are a couple ways now that can make this easier.  One way is to utilize the services of this company, Faramoon. They can take your 3D scanning and run it through their algorithm to generate a 3D Revit model on demand. One stipulation is that the detail required must be low, such as LOD100. But beyond that there are few limitations. For us it seems the way of the future. 

4. Super speed

What seemed ridiculously fast, 2 million points per second is now the standard capture rate for a 3D laser scanner. It is hard to fathom that each point is carefully measured within millimeters and recorded to disk. We used to say that the alternative to scanning was hand measurements, and compare how much faster 3D scanning is. But It really is no comparison any more, there is such a vast difference in thinking. It would be like trying to sell someone a jet airplane by telling them it’s faster than walking. But whether you are a customer, and end-user of 3D scanning or one of our fine competitors, the rise of high speed scanning is a tide that lifts all boats and we can all enjoy the increased productivity. 

5. Virtual Reality

Not exactly new, but even more practical than ever. Do you want a game-like virtual reality environment of your plant, building, home, etc? One that you can put on a stereo 3D headset like Oculus and move around with the sensations as though you were there? Well now it is not just possible, it is easy. We can help you get that done at a reasonable cost. 

3D laser scanning – is it time for you to try it?

3D laser scanning has never been thought of being cheap. It probably will not be for some time. But there is increasingly more and more value to be gained by the service. Higher speeds, better data quality and more things you can do with a 3D scan. If you are interested in seeing if it is a good fit for you, give us a call and we’d love to discuss potential opportunities to benefit your business.

Keep reading: more articles about 3D scanning

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