3-D Scanning

A Unique Point of View

3-D laser scanning is a very cool option in our survey toolbox especially where conventional surveying may be time intensive or costly to capture site survey data. 3D laser scanning is ideally suited to the measurement and inspection of contoured surfaces and complex geometries which require massive amounts of data for their accurate description and where doing this is impractical with the use of traditional measurement methods or a touch probe. This method of survey becomes increasingly effective when a project is highly complex, a safety hazard, or has challenging access.

0100,000 data points per minute



3-D scanning often generates millions of data points that are then imported into a model and provide the imagery shown on this page. Once modeled, the 3-D image becomes a tool to visually show the project accurately for planning and design alternatives development as well as final design and construction. 3-D scan data can also be merged with Building Information Models for use by design and construction professionals. It is particularly useful when a project involves restoration, modernization, or renovation.

How it works

A 3-D model is a digital representation of a physical object. 3-D laser scanners work by sending a laser beam all over the field of view. Whenever the laser beam hits a reflective surface, it is reflected back into the direction of the scanner. To determine the position in space of the captured object, the laser scanner uses coordinates relative to the laser scanner’s position. Individual scans are later merged together using common references and the resulting point cloud made up of all the project scans is able to be viewed and manipulated. The surface data is also captured by a camera mounted in the laser scanner which can be viewed within the point cloud or separately.


Some Benefits:

Safety – Survey crews do not need to stand in the street, climb on a roof, or other potentially hazardous positions common with traditional survey

Access – Scans are easily made of a roof, soffit, cave, roadway, pump house, pier, hangar…the list is long.

Cost – In the field, conventional surveys take hours, scans take minutes. Office work will increase with scans because of the technology translation. In balance, cost savings are experienced.

Complexity – The more complex the site, the better. A 3-D scan provides detailed mechanical and structural components.

Visual – Real data of existing conditions in a visual 3-D format aides in identifying project parameters and enhances communications as well as comprehension.

BIM – The dominant tool in today’s built environment, 3-D scans can be merged into a building information model.

Accuracy – At upwards of 64 points per square inch, accuracy is a key benefit of this technology. Our survey team has become proficient in managing the immense amount of data generated involved in this level of accuracy.

Interested in having a 3-D Survey of your project? Give us a call

Jim Purkey, PLS