3D laser scanning

Obtaining fast and accurate on-site measurement and visual imagery from a single survey.

How it works



By projecting a laser at an object the scanner detects and records changes to the wavelength as the light hits a surface.  Multiply this several million times and rotate through 360 degrees and you build up an accurate model of its surroundings.

This is a post-site process by which all the individual scans are knitted together to form a single model called a point cloud.  On-site targets and spheres are used to aid the registration process.

With an accuracy of up to +/- 2mm. Full colour imagery can be applied allowing for additional panoramic viewing and with a range of up to 330m entire sites can be fast and efficiently.


Traditional surveys may require equipment to be isolated or production shut down to allow a survey to be completed.  3D laser surveys can be accessed from a safe location minimising any  disruption or downtime.
Although surveys can only record line of site, several scans are taken from different locations and combined together to make a 3D model.


Survey targets and spheres are used on site  to collate multiple scans together.
Survey information can be registered to a local grid format. Where specified GPS data can be acquired to align to National Ordnance Survey coordinates allowing 3D modelling data  to be easily incorporated into existing applications.

Remote Operations

Digital on-site measurement data provides an almost limitless scan data sharing via webshare cloud makes the laser scanning solution truly mobile. Complement this with our in-house CAD resources, which are able to complete complex 3D models, inspection surveys through to finalized as-built documentation in multiple output formats.


Modern laser scanners are equipped with filters that enable then to operate in bright sunlight but because they generate their own light source 3D laser scanners are also capable of acquiring on-site measurement data in total darkness. 

Working at Heights

Reduce the need of working at heights. With a single scan capable of measuring up to 330m we can minimise the need for high level access by capturing 3D scan data from a safe working position on the ground.

Inverted Scanning

Prevent unnecessary entry into confined spaces, hazardous areas, chamber or tanks. 3d laser scanners can be remotely positioned and operated from a safer location.

View more 3D point cloud models on our YouTube Channel

Frequently asked questions

Most frequent questions and answers

How long does a scan take ?

 3D laser scanning can reduce on site survey times by up to 80% when compared to traditional techniques. Most scanning applications take between 3 – 8 mins per scan dependant upon the level of detail, location and distances scanned. Site may require a few to several hundred scans.

Is it expensive ?

When compared to traditional survey techniques 3D laser surveys offer excellent efficiency.  Survey times are reduced, 360 degree information and data returned can be interpreted visually so return site visits are minimised.  The long term benefits from acquiring 3D laser surveys could therefore exceed traditional techniques.

Can I use a point cloud ?

Point clouds offer a visual representation taken directly from the raw scan data. Made from millions of individual points they are not photo quality  but can be applied to CAD designs and presentations to provide a cost effective 3D modelling solution.

Can it scan through objects?

Sadly no. 3D laser scans provide surface measurement data. Unfortunately laser scanners are not able to scan through water. 

Is it dangerous?

PointSCAN operates laser scanners which use class 1 laser products.  These can be safely operated without the need to wear protective glasses.  The scan is no more intrusive than taking a photograph and there is no requirement to touch any plant, machinery whilst undergoing a survey.

Can I use the scan data on my software ?

3D laser scans and point clouds can be easily exported into multiple file formats which are compatible with most of the major software applications.