The Future in Survey Solutions & Applications

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Laser Scanning

Understanding Laser Scanners

When complex or large environments need to be documented, Laser Scanners provide a practical and economical solution. 

Traditionally, capturing large environments relied on tools that produced single point measurements, such as tape measures, piano wire, plumb bobs, laser range finders and total stations. While they are familiar tools, they are often time-consuming, often taking days, weeks or months depending on the space. Additionally, traditional tools often produce inconsistencies in measurements from user to user and ultimately data often get missed, leading to potentially cascading inaccuracies.
In contrast, Laser Scanners are non-contact devices that capture millions of discrete data points to measure an object or space using laser infrared technology that produces detailed 3D images in minutes. The images comprise millions of 3D data points, known as a point cloud.
So, how do they accomplish all of that so quickly? The Laser Scanner emits a beam of infrared laser light onto a rotating mirror that effectively paints the surrounding environment with light. The scanner head rotates, sweeping the laser across the object or area. Objects in the path of the laser reflect the beam back to the scanner, providing the geometry that is interpreted into 3D data. In addition to the distance measurement, Laser Scanners also capture measurements on the horizontal and vertical planes, providing a full scope of measurement data.  
A Laser Scanner typically captures data through two kinds of systems:
Time-of-flight systems: Also known as a pulse measurement system, this works by emitting a single pulse of laser light and determining the distance to the end point by measuring the time it takes for the light to be reflected back to a sensor on the scanner.
Phase-shift systems: Similarly, this system also uses an emitted laser light, but in this system, the intensity of the light is modulated with specific wave forms. The reflection of the intensity patterns is displaced by the impact on the surface of the object. Measuring the displacement between the sent out and the received laser signal provides a precise distance calculation. Generally, Laser Scanners that use phase-shift systems are accurate, fast and provide high-resolution data.


[NEW] FARO Gage: Affordability, speed & performance for small & medium-sized businesses

FARO® Launches Latest 3D Portable Gage CMM: FARO Gage Boasts Unmatched Affordability, Speed, Performance and Accuracy Ideal for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Today we announced the release of our most affordable and accurate 3D portable coordinate measurement machine (CMM): The FARO Gage. Ideal for small and medium-sized businesses performing high-accuracy tasks, the Gage is the most intuitive, ergonomic, and versatile articulated portable FaroArm®, enabling machine shops to perform their most demanding 3D inspections in record time.
This all-in-one-solution also reduces calibration costs and minimizes clutter, replacing traditional hand tools such as calipers, micrometers, and height gauges, while providing 20 percent more reach than the previous-generation Gage arm. Lightweight and portable but with the precision of a lab instrument and the ruggedness of a shop floor device, the Gage sets up in seconds, reduces inspection time, and delivers quality results with exceptional flexibility, resulting in increased speed and productivity.
The FARO Gage improves efficiency and productivity like never before. That efficiency begins with setup. A universal quick-mount ensures compatibility with a variety of mounting options that allows it to be set it up anywhere, including on-machine. A simple 2-button design, 6-point articulation and built-in counterbalance deliver exceptional ease of use and fatigue-free operation. Its compact design makes the product lightweight and easy to transport. The Gage is compatible with FARO’s full line of metrology software, including CAM2 Probing, the simple contact measurement solution. The result is an advanced metrology device that delivers unparalleled performance.

Mobile Scanning

[NEW] FARO Swift mobile indoor 3D scanner aims to become industry standard in mapping speed & accuracy

FARO® is pleased to announce the launch of the all-new Focus Swift, the first fully integrated indoor mobile mapping solution. Designed to accomplish large-area as-built capturing tasks with minimal time and effort, this lightweight and highly portable extension of FARO’s renowned FocusS Laser Scanner delivers better data faster, enabling AEC industry professionals to balance between accuracy and efficiency.

As its name suggests, Swift is fast. Depending on accuracy requirements, the innovative device is capable of taking mobile scans of large complex areas up to 10 times faster than traditional static scans. Users can also directly import in any CAD system to simplify their modeling plan with automated processes and optimize their scan to BIM workflow. Internally, Swift is powered by revolutionary FARO SCENE software, which automatically processes data from Focus and ScanPlan 2D mapper into accurate 3D point clouds.

Swift is ideal for indoor scans of factories, office buildings, hospitals, and retail shops. Its intuitive, easy-to-use functionality, simple push operation with comfortable handles, and continuous cable-free operation without external power means that operators can work faster and smarter while delivering better quality scans and enjoy a significant reduction in on-scene and processing time.

A ‘Focus’ on ‘Swift’ Performance
Swift enters the 3D mobile mapping market at an opportune time. At present, there are handheld devices, wearable backpack products and bulkier vehicle-bound systems. Swift is a lightweight, highly versatile alternative that delivers the best of both worlds and will set the new industry standard for affordable, high-precision 3D scanning technology.

It also comes down to product demand. Last year, the 3D scanning market was valued at $1.2 billion. And, assuming continued rapid economic recovery, it was expected to reach nearly $4 billion by late 2025, with a combined annual growth rate of 22 percent from 2020–2025. The bottom line: 3D scanners are among the most innovative products that have transformed—and will continue to transform—the world. Not only architectural, engineering and construction firms, but also insurance agencies, mining companies and potentially many other market segments will look to adopt these technologies. Thus, getting in the game now makes long-term money-making sense.

Compact for transport and crafted to fit in only two carry-on sized cases, the carbon fiber tripod and three-wheeled vehicle that accompany Swift can be easily folded for travel. Its features like this that make the 39lb device a high-value cutting-edge product, destined to increase productivity and reduce inefficiency. Additionally, its user interface is compatible to run on any mobile phone, so operators have real-time awareness of how much of a job has been completed.

Swift is designed for a wide range of challenging industrial operating conditions (5C to 40C) and can run for two hours on a 14.4-volt internal battery, or longer using additional battery packs. It is also well suited for scanning service providers eager to generate the most accurate as-built models and building documentation, while ensuring construction quality control. So, whether it is a large construction company, general contractor, facility and plant manager, or someone else, Swift will deliver uncommon accuracy wherever clarity and precision is needed.


[NEW] As-Built Modeler Software for AEC professionals

The fastest and most direct path from reality data into any design system. 
Meet the new FARO® As-Built™ Modeler Software, a solution representing a substantial leap forward in the conversion of as-built reality data into meaningful CAD (Scan-to-CAD) and BIM models (Scan-to-BIM). It provides a suite of powerful evaluation tools at competitive pricing.
This next generation software tool is the first of its kind, enabling scanning service providers, craftsmen and other AEC professionals to extract building information, such as CAD and BIM geometry, out of 3D reality data to be used within any CAD system available on the market, even if it does not support point clouds.
Now, users have at their hands the fastest and most straightforward tool available for managing point cloud projects of unlimited size, regardless of source. As-Built Modeler accelerates design productivity and cuts rework by creating highly accurate CAD models for as-built workflows — saving time, money and frustration in the process.

Image 1 above: Automatically extract cylindrical objects. 

With As-Built Modeler, users enjoy:
Open workflows for reality data of any kind
Freely import as-built reality data as point clouds and meshes from FARO and other scanning solutions without any constraints in data size. 3D data render with the highest detail in 2D, 3D and Virtual Reality, no matter the source.

Image 2 above: Import and visualize point cloud projects of unlimited size. 
Direct streaming into any CAD system
Measurements, coordinates and self-defined commands like macros can be directly streamed into Word, Excel and supported CAD systems, allowing AEC professionals to work efficiently with design systems most familiar to them.
Supported design systems include, but are not limited to:
⦁ Allplan®,
⦁ BricsCAD®,
⦁ Dietrichs CAD®,
⦁ HiCAD®,
⦁ Rhino 3D®,
⦁ and many more.
Fully automatic extraction tools support easy and extremely fast streaming of relevant building information, eliminating time-consuming manual processes.

Image 3 above: Visualize CAD geometry with point cloud data in 2D, 3D and Virtual Reality views.
Easy to use and intuitive evaluation tools  
Easily extract planar regions of complex geometries from point clouds to be integrated into proven and closed surface models, which can be exported into any CAD system by supporting common exchange file formats.
Create sections and slices from point clouds, automatically extracting line models and generating ortho-images for creating floor, elevation and facade plans. With only a few clicks, distances, areas and volumes can be quickly measured.
Projects that are worth seeing
Video renderings and fly-through videos from the imported and modeled data can be created, providing an impressive visualization of the project status and retrofitted designs that can be easily shared with partners and stakeholders.

Image 4 above: Extract fast and accurate closed surface models.