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Advantages & Disadvantages of 3D Laser Scanning

3D laser scanning is a fast and reliable way to create digital design files from existing parts, prototypes, or landscapes. It is used in many industries to streamline the design and production process. In this article, we will cover how industrial 3D laser scanning works, its applications, and the benefits and drawbacks of this technology. 

What is 3D Laser Scanning?

3D laser scanning is a type of digital modeling technology that creates accurate 3D models using laser light and simple mathematics. Depending on the 3D laser scanner, either a laser point or laser line is directed at the object to be scanned. Specialized software then uses either triangulation or time of flight to calculate and record data points where the laser comes in contact with the object’s surface. These points are rendered as cartesian coordinates (X, Y, and Z planes). Typically, thousands or hundreds of thousands of data points are recorded from different angles until a full 360° scan is constructed. Upon completion, this looks like a cluster of data points, called a point cloud, which provides engineers with the information to make a mesh and/or CAD file of the object. 

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