Laser Scan

How a 3D Laser Scanner Works

By February 19, 2023 No Comments
A laser Scanner on a construction site in London.

Our laser scanner capturing a buildings layout and fittings on a large construction site in central London to create dense and accurate 3D pointclouds.



Laser scanners have revolutionized the way we capture information about the structures and layouts of buildings. These devices use a combination of laser beams, cameras, and specialized software to capture accurate and detailed 3D images of the built environment. In this post, we’ll explore how laser scanners capture reliable and fast information of a building’s structure and layout.


  1. Laser scanners use laser beams to measure distance

Laser scanners use laser beams to measure the distance between the scanner and the objects in its field of view. By firing laser beams in a particular pattern and measuring the time it takes for the light to bounce back, the scanner can determine the distance to each point on the surface of the object. This process is called “Lidar,” which stands for Light Detection and Ranging.


  1. Cameras capture color and texture

In addition to the laser beams, laser scanners are often equipped with cameras that capture color and texture information. This allows the scanner to produce 3D images that not only show the shape and position of objects but also their appearance.


  1. Specialized software creates detailed 3D point cloud models

The laser scanner’s data, combined with the camera images, are processed by specialized software to create highly detailed 3D point cloud  models of the building. These models can be used to create accurate floor plans, elevations, and even virtual tours of the building. They can also capture topographical information externally around sites.


  1. Laser scanners are fast and accurate

Laser scanners can capture large amounts of data in a short amount of time. This is because they can take multiple measurements per second, allowing them to scan large areas quickly. Additionally, laser scanners are highly accurate, with some models able to measure distances to within a few millimeters.


  1. Laser scanners are used in a variety of industries

Laser scanners are used in a variety of industries, including architecture, engineering, construction, and archaeology. They are often used to survey buildings and sites before construction or renovation, to create accurate as-built models/ drawings, and to document historical structures.

In conclusion, laser scanners are a powerful tool for capturing reliable and fast information about a building’s structure and layout. By using laser beams, cameras, and specialized software, these devices can produce highly accurate and detailed 3D point cloud models that can be used in a variety of industries. With their ability to capture large amounts of data quickly and accurately, laser scanners are sure to continue revolutionizing the way we document and understand the built environment.


You can see here a video showing you exactly how its done!