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What The Future Holds For 3D Laser Scanning


With rapid advancements of technologies, the conditions are ripe for 3D laser scanning to become more useful and affordable for varied industrial applications.

3D laser scanning and its diverse applications have revolutionized the way industries operate. A 3D laser scanner provides pinpoint accuracy in data that can be used to create digital point clouds.

With ongoing research and development promising widening of applications, there has been an automatic increase in the demand for using 3D scanning laser system across businesses. Moreover, non-contact features in 3D laser scanning offer indisputable advantages when it comes to measuring fragile objects and detecting multiple points quickly.

What The Future Holds For 3D Laser Scanning

3D laser scanning technology is immensely advantageous because of its integrated freedom of movement offering accurate visualizations in real time. This is one of the key factors for the growth of adoption of the technology across industries.

The Growth and Applications of LiDAR

The LiDAR technology is here to redefine how we collect topographic data. With the LiDAR laser scanning technology, 3D measurements can be directed towards collecting information from objects, even beneath the ground.

The technology uses powerful laser pulses which are shot at a target while the backscattering signal is collected. Data collection is then conveyed using a selection of spectral wavelengths. The technology can be easily deployed in unmanned aerial systems (UASs) which may be used as the scanning vehicle.

The current trends indicate that LiDAR data will likely be used and enhanced with visual odometry from cameras. This will be made possible by way of miniature sensors and SLAM (Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping), which will come in very handy in locations where GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) data is unavailable.

Point Clouds

Laser scanners produce data. But, how are they stored? 3D scanned data is usually stored as appoint cloud initially. A point cloud is a ‘collection of spatial points each representing the scan measurements of a single laser pulse’.

Point clouds offer a wide range of applications owing to its versatility – in data, accuracy, density, and size. The future looks promising for point cloud data with a variety of platforms able to capture them, including ground-based, airborne and space borne platforms.

The diversified platforms will also enable the provision of data for different types of applications across industries. These include, but are not limited to:

  1. Environmental analysis
    2. Assessment of natural resources
    3. Development of urban infrastructure
    4. Critical services

The scanning data of the future will be based on the combined structure of semantic point clouds, temporal coverage, multimodal data sources, and automated processing. Data management will likely become the leading domain using point clouds to locally process data and directly upload to cloud services.

Multimodal Scans

The future will see increasing combinations of different types of data – scanning, sensor, and visual – to provide a complete picture of the object and environment under study.

For instance, a combination of UAV-based airborne sensors and mobile laser scanning technology with imagery will demonstrate how response times can be reduced and mobilization costs slashed using flexible mobile systems.

Applications of 3D Laser Scanning

3D printing services in Australia are bringing a world of possibilities to businesses and industries through their 3D laser scanning services.

  1. Reverse Engineering: 3D laser scanning helps to minimize the need for manual deconstruction of objects, allowing easy changes to design with precision and accuracy of measurements. Reduce the time and costs taken to reverse engineer a design.
    2. Quality Control and Inspection: The precision of 3D scanning helps to measure even the most complex parts, along with deformations and deflections (if any), in a fraction of the time taken by traditional methods of quality checks.
    3. Virtual Simulation: 3D scanning technology makes it possible for entire objects and sceneries to be scanned and imported across locations through detailed and faster scans.
    4. Face Body Scanning: 3D images and models of individual body parts, including faces, can be easily created, at no risk, using a 3D laser scanner.
    5. Rapid Prototyping: Owing to its phenomenal accuracy, 3D scanning is ideal for rapid prototyping applications, especially in case of freeform shapes.

Industries Using 3D Scanning Laser System

Here are a few examples of real-world applications of 3D scan technology, according to the industries it is being deployed in.

  • Automotive: Acquisition of relevant data for autonomous vehicles using vehicle-mounted kinematic mapping systems.
    Healthcare: Orthopaedic and orthodontic solutions, wheelchairs, prosthetics.
    Aerospace & Defence: Computer simulations to acquire CFD models, verifying structural integrity of lightweight parts, ensuring data accuracy during wind tunnel testing, wear and tear analysis.
    Architecture & Construction: 3D scan data from a variety of architectural entities – cultural heritage buildings and sites, streets, and physical terrain; 3D scanned tour of site.
    Oil & Gas: Creation of maintenance models, reverse engineering tools and replacement parts.
    Mining: Terrestrial scanning for accurate representations of mining environments.

An Eye on the Future

The super advanced and ever evolving LiDAR technology will be increasingly used to operate various vessels of data accumulation. These include aircraft, drones, unmanned vehicles, and handheld mapping systems.

Multispectral information generated through dense point clouds will further contribute towards automating workflow processes. Additionally, the possibility of direct visualization applications will provide an impetus to the development more applications in the future.

Online 3D scanning in Melbourne is poised to provide a boost to businesses focusing on savings costs. This will be made possible through increased automation of mapping, without compromising on the quality of the output data.

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Shirley is a passionate blogger. She writes about her life experiences in the form of words. She had done masters in technology & working with a leading technology organization as an analyst. Moreover, if you want to follow her, then subscribe to the feeds.


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