3D laser scanning

The global 3D laser scanning market size was valued at $ 4.5 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 8.4% from 2019 to 2025, according to a study.

Behind this development, we can deduce that the adoption rate has increased.

A growing number of companies have indeed invested in 3D laser scanning technologies and taken advantage of their benefits, whether to improve product development and design, quality control applications, reverse engineering, or promting among others.

Despite these advantages, it is important to understand whether or not these technologies meet the needs of a business.

It should also be noted that there are many 3D scanners.

There are devices that are both affordable and others more expensive, which then offer very different capacities.

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What is 3D laser scanning or 3D scanning?

3D laser scanning is a method of non-contact measurement of the shapes and colour of the surface of an object to create a computer replica.

It is one of the many specializations of topography. Different tools can be used like a camera, LiDAR, or a 3D laser scanner.

More precisely, 3D scanning technology by laser or remote sensing is the process of measuring an environment using a 3D laser scanner or a LiDAR.

The data resulting from the digitization provide a virtual representation of reality in the form of a three-dimensional (XYZ) point cloud, whether colorized or not.

From the creation of databases to preventive maintenance, through technical expertise or the integration of projects in complex environments such as industrial factories, 3D digitization is emerging as the technology that is revolutionizing topography.

Pipetech Engineering uses two different technologies: 3D laser scanner and LiDAR.

The first is a static measuring device that needs to be moved as many times as necessary to obtain complete digitization of the area of interest.

The second is dynamic, onboard a vehicle, drone, or helicopter, it collects data by following a defined trajectory.

How to successfully integrate 3D laser scanning into your business? What is important to consider before investing? When to adopt 3D laser scanning?

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All industries need to think ahead to make better products as soon as possible. When it comes to a new product, it all starts with the design, the making of sketches and models, which will then be modelled by the first CAD model to make the first physical prototype.

This is where 3D laser scanning technology comes into picture. Today, metrology solutions offer many advantages. Among them are speed, versatility, customization, quality, measurements, and precision, as well as the convenience of three-dimensional reproduction.

The aerospace, automotive, dental, and medical industries have been benefited the most from these characteristics.

However, the main thing is to think about the application that will be made by the company.

It is recommended that companies purchase 3D laser scanning technology at the design stage to gain technical support throughout the product lifecycle.

I think 3D laser scanning should be adopted when it benefits the entire production process, whether it is to improve quality or time.

I think it would make sense, as a first step, to outsource this process and, depending upon the use, to see its economic viability ”.

3D laser scanning technology gives us another perspective, a global view of the parts to be analysed, and much more information than what could be obtained until now with conventional methods such as a three-dimensional machine.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) is a kind of measurement technology that works with the help of analysis of beam.

Our LIDAR AL3-32 system (Dual Echo HDL 32-E Velodyne LiDAR Sensor) is a cutting-edge technological tool.

It can be attached to a car but above all, it can, due to its size, be attached under our DJI M600 PRO drone.

We can thus perform aerial laser surveys and directly obtain a geo-referenced three-dimensional point cloud.

This tool allows you to perform 3D laser scanning of a defined area for the purpose of mapping it and modelling the natural terrain (DEM).

The advantages of the system are numerous:

No inconvenience linked to vegetation. The double echo makes it possible to pass through the vegetation (unless it is much too dense) and therefore to be able to carry out a very faithful digital terrain model.

Very fast scanning At the rate of 700,000 points recorded per second, large areas can be scanned very quickly.

What are the benefits of 3D Laser Scanning?

Advantages and limitations of 3D laser scanning The advantages are numerous: Saving of time in the field - Accuracy of measurements - Completeness of readings - Elimination of reading errors - Reduction of project-related costs - Saving of time and errors on engineering studies - Digital validation of a project - Night surveys possible - Work survey and roadway under track (no stopping road track).

The limits depend on the device (range and precision) and on the use which is made of it because the tool must always be adapted to obtain the desired result.

It should be noted that the processing of the data resulting from digitization requires the use of powerful and expensive professional software because the data acquisition represents only 20% of the work!

The structured light used for 3D laser scanning can be white or blue and generated by numerous types of projectors, such as Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology.

The main advantages of the structured light technology for 3D laser scanning are its speed, resolution, and ability to do 3D laser scanning of people. One downside of the structured light technology is its sensibility to light conditions and issues to work outside.

Photogrammetric technology is also capable of reconstructing subjects of various scales, photographed from the ground or from the air. One downside of the photogrammetry technology is its sensitivity to the resolution of the input photographs and the time it takes to run the algorithms.

What are the most common mistakes while integrating 3D laser scanning?

It is clear that while investing in new technology, knowing the most common mistakes can prevent them from being made in the future.

Another way to prevent these problems is to have some knowledge of metrology, which makes the filtering process easier, as well as extracting the elements of the point cloud once it has been filtered and meshed.

The accuracy of the scanners and the part material could be one of the most common limitations.

" Today, in most cases, the precision provided by a contact system is a little greater than what a scanner can offer us. Another limitation that we may encounter is the material shine of the piece, as in some cases we will need outside help to mattify the surface and get a quality cloud. "

The two typical errors are generally the measurement time and the cost of a 3D laser scanning: “ Users who are not familiar with this technology think that by scanning a 3D object, this geometry can be easily modified.

This reverse engineering process is not an immediate process and requires some expertise to get a quality scan many users consider the result of the 3D data obtained by scanning to be equivalent to the original 3D digital model file.

“ The scanned point cloud or mesh data file is different from the original 3D digital model. Users need to undergo professional training to convert the mesh data le to a 3D digital model file. "

What should you consider before investing in 3D laser scanning technology?

3D laser scanning technology can play an important role in product development and design, quality control, batch test production, and intelligent manufacturing.

Once you have a clear idea of what role the technology will play and what kind of applications it will be used for, there are a number of key points to be considered before investing in a device of this level.

The most important ones, which are stability, efficiency and speed, scanning precision, and finally portability and return on investment.

With the exception of the advent of the digital age, their great profitability and extreme profitability make them a rapid development.

This greatly expands the application of 3D laser scanning technology, covering almost all areas of life, and is no longer limited to a precision mechanical inspection. 3D digital models are very important frontal data.

When we integrate a 3D laser scanning into our process, it is important to know the level of detail that we need to achieve in the result final. The choice of the most suitable scanner for each case will depend largely on it.

While choosing the equipment, it is essential to consider the size of the part, the type of material, the level of details required, and the necessary measurement times. This allows us to clearly delineate the different technologies. "

What are the main differences between structured light and laser triangulation technologies? For which applications should each method be adopted?

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The technology laser triangulation works by projecting a point or a laser line on an object, then capturing the reaction using sensors. This method is called triangulation because the laser point (or line), the sensor, and the laser emitter form a triangle.

On the other hand, structured light also uses trigonometric triangulation, but it works by projecting a pattern of light onto the object to be scanned and not a laser line (or point).

These two technologies are the most important today, with their advantages and disadvantages that should be known.

With these concepts in mind, let's find out what the experts think about which method to use in each case.

“In recent years, both solutions have been continuously improved.

Laser triangulation has certain advantages: when it requires precision and speed of measurement, it can achieve much better values than structured light.

In addition, it tends to create less noise on parts with refraction or reaction.

In the case of structured light, we have the advantage of being able to cover a larger working area, which makes it easier to measure large objects.

Laser triangulation scanners are normally more accurate than those for structured light, although capturing is generally longer and more complex.

It is common to use structured light on large parts and lasers on parts with tighter tolerances, but this should be evaluated in each case. "

3D laser scanning services can make the link between existing unknown conditions and complete documentation.

Having accurate data makes it possible to plan projects without having to deal with unknown interference and conflicts.

Range of Applications as designed for 3D laser scanning

Statement according to the execution, the capture of reality or statement of existing conditions Construction verification,

sequencing, Real-Time scheduling,

scheduling and simulations of the surface model,

Design engineering for upgrading or expanding facilities Collision detection Architectural documentation or heritage preservation Calculation of volumes, analysis of deformations and overhead clearances 3D laser survey for the coordination of installations Geospatial data collection Deliverables Cloud data point (raw data) 2D CAD drawings

Model modelling

Volume calculations

Some tips to conclude

Once all of the above points are clear, it's time to step into the world of metrology and be confident in the benefits it brings!

This is why our three experts wanted to give a final recommendation for the integration of 3D laser scanning technology.

“ Understanding and using 3D laser scanning technology quickly will bring great value and benefits in a wide range of elds. It's really great to love and enjoy 3D laser scanning technology. "

“ I encourage you to take an interest in this type of technology, the advantages it brings are multiple and it is a good way to supplement what you already have.

My advice is that in case of doubt, you should turn to an expert who will assess the viability of acquiring this material, its punctual service, or its non-acquisition. "

Whether it's the first photo visuals to help you convince investors and find your first customers.

But also, thanks to our industry experts, the technical design of your object so that it is functional and can be manufactured at the lowest cost.

All this with the management of your project by one of our experts as well as support and regular monitoring.

you might be thinking about 3D laser scanning cost.

Don't Worry! Pipetech offers you a high-quality visualization, modelling, and 3D printing service and laser scans with focus laser scanners at an affordable price.

Our artists usually bring clients' ideas to life but are also ready to help you develop your design.

Our pricing system is simple and will allow you to estimate the costs yourself, but we invite you to contact us in order to obtain an offer adapted to your 3D project 3D MODELLING GIVE LIFE TO YOUR IDEAS .The 3D modelling is used to display your products in the environment of your choice with a high-end technology that creates images of the most photorealistic!

Easily creating variations of colors and materials, viewing your models from all perspectives, and making changes easily are just some of the many benefits of 3D rendering.

This is the ideal option for the quality, flexibility, just-in-time, and economy achieved compared to traditional photoshoots which require prototyping, rental of props and studios, and which limit the color options, environment, and much more.

Another advantage of 3D rendering is to make sales even before having created a first model; the perfect solution to visualize the product, it becomes an essential tool for research and development. 3D rendering avoids the costs associated with the numerous prototypes required and allows the objective to be reached more quickly.

In addition to a large bank of objects and materials at your disposal, we are able, samples in hand, to reproduce the materials used in the design of your own products.


With suitable 3D modelling software, the 3D Modeler or computer graphics designer is responsible for recreating as faithfully as possible the idea, drawing, or 2D plan provided.

EXAMPLES OF APPLICATIONS OF 3D MODELLING Here are some areas: Examples of 3D modelling applications Architecture:

Model your plans to visualize in 3D your interior decoration or your real estate projects, they can then be printed in 3D. Art & Design:

Imagine the most amazing shapes, we model your ideas in 3D.


Immortalize your children's drawings, we transform their drawings from 2D to 3D in order to print statuettes, key chains industry:

We create 3D models of your products and projects from your 2D sketches or plans, taking into account your industrial constraints.

3D substation modelling helps simplify the engineering process by leveraging state-of-the-art software for an integrated design approach

A revolution is on the horizon in energy sector.

Since the 1970s, computer-aided drafting (CAD) has been the almost exclusive means used in industry to design substations.

But today, three-dimensional models are changing the way things are done.

3D models combined with the power of advanced software simplify substation design and enable an integrated approach.

1. Precision and quality are improved.

2. It also reduces the execution time and reduces design.

3. It also reduces expenditure

4. We can also create reference models

For example, once a substation design is complete, it can be saved as a standard model and reused for other similar projects.

A saved model can thus be used as a starting point to quickly start the design of a station.

Once changes are made based on site requirements, it is then, easy to produce the design deliverables.

As libraries get filled with components, modelling time decreases.

The goal is to automate the process of creating standardized models and unique designs using advanced 3D modelling techniques.

Since a large proportion of existing substations were built over 50 years ago, detailed plans for these infrastructures are sometimes incomplete, outdated, or completely non-existent.

Terrestrial LiDAR, a laser data acquisition tool, is particularly useful for substation expansion projects.

It allows the acquisition of extended data of the elements of an existing substation (equipment, structures, building, foundations, conductors, lines).

Technicians only need a few hours to digitize the substation using LiDAR laser.

The point clouds collected to make it possible to create a 3D model that can be used as a virtual electrical substation for engineers.

This model is transferred to software packages

Have you integrated 3D laser scanning into your business? What do you think? Do not hesitate to share your opinion in the comments of the article

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