Lead Forensics

Revolutionising 3D Data Capture: The Impact of Portable Scanners

Sep 5, 2023 | 3D Scanning, Metrology, News

The development of portable and handheld scanners has significantly impacted the accessibility and flexibility of 3D data capture.

Where traditionally high-quality data capture was solely the preserve of static CMM machines and the larger scanners that require tripod operation, newer portable and handheld scanners can provide metrology-grade scanning solutions, more flexibly. Here are some key points regarding portable and handheld scanners:

Flexibility: Portable and handheld scanners offer a high degree of flexibility in terms of where and what can be scanned. Their mobility allows for scanning in various environments, whether it’s in the field, on-site, or in tight spaces where larger scanners cannot easily manoeuvre. This flexibility extends to the size and type of objects that can be scanned, from small intricate parts to large architectural structures.

Ease of Use: Portable and handheld scanners typically have a compact and lightweight design, making them easy to carry and handle. They often incorporate ergonomic features such as grip handles, adjustable stands, or mounting options, providing comfort and stability during scanning. These scanners are designed to be user-friendly, with simple setup and calibration processes, allowing scanning to commence quickly.

Rapid Data Capture: Portable and handheld scanners can capture 3D data in a relatively short amount of time. With fast and automated scanning processes,  large amounts of data can be quickly captured in real-time. This rapid data capture capability is particularly useful for applications that require quick turnaround times or on-site inspections.

Versatility: Portable and handheld scanners are versatile tools that cater to a wide range of applications. They are used on projects within industries such as architecture, construction, manufacturing, defence, and cultural heritage, among others. From capturing detailed measurements for design iterations to documenting as-built conditions and creating digital archives, these scanners can adapt to various user needs.

Integration with Other Technologies: Portable and handheld scanners can be easily integrated with other technologies, such as laptops, tablets, or smartphones. This integration allows for real-time data visualisation, on-device processing, or immediate feedback during the scanning process. It also facilitates the transfer and sharing of scanned data for further analysis or collaboration.

Overall, portable, and handheld scanners have revolutionised the field of 3D data capture. Their portability and versatility make them ideal for a wide range of applications and enable accurate 3D data to be captured in various environments and on objects of different sizes.

Find out about Portable 3D scanning can benefit your projects.


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The PES Scanning blog provides information and news on the scanning and engineering services we offer. The blog also includes views from our team and information about projects we’ve been working on.