Advances in laser scanning and 3D CAD visualization

We at Enventure Technologies offer a range of CAD CAM CAE services, using the latest cutting-edge technology. An ambitious heritage project in Scotland is undertaking a 10 year project to digitally scan 500 UNESCO world heritage sites. Using the latest 3D CAD visualization techniques and system hardware has created the most detailed historical data files ever recorded.

Laser scanning is the fastest and most precise method there is for capturing complex 3D images. Urban landscapes, geological features and heritage sites are just some of the applications. Scanning from 0.5 to 300 metres, with a data capture speed of 50,000 points per second is possible, at extremely high levels of resolution. The system software allows point clouds to be integrated into other data sets such as photographs, thermal images etc, and even 2D to 3D conversion of archive images.

The hardware design for a portable laser scanner needs to be robust, light and compact, and able to survive field exercises without damaging the embedded firmware. In the field, the beam is ‘tuned in’ to the object being scanned, usually from a static position on the ground, or an aircraft (when it’s called LiDAR, short for Light Detection And Ranging). As the surface is scanned, the laser light being returned is analyzed by the system software, which calculates the distance of the beam to the surface of each point. The millions of points are then computed into a point cloud. Complex 3D objects must be scanned from several angles to ensure as much detail as possible is included.

CAD visualization by laser has many applications, from reverse engineering to making National Geographic documentaries.

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