Laser Scanning FAQ

For those who use it as an integral part of their business, 3D laser scanning is a straightforward approach to capturing spatial data. But for those unfamiliar with laser scanners, its uses and technology can seem mysterious. If you think that your company or organization could benefit from laser scans but you have some questions before making your decision, we offer answers to some laser scanning FAQ.

Laser Scanning FAQ
1. What Types of Entities use Scans?
Scans are valuable to entities whose require the collection of spatial data. Some examples of entities that use scanners on a regular basis are: engineering firms, manufacturing businesses, construction companies, historical preservation societies, investigative units, architectural firms, and telecommunications companies.

2. How Much Does a Scan Project Usually Cost?
The price of a scan project depends on several factors, such as: travel required of the provider, the types of equipment involved, the number of sessions required, and the type of data delivery desired. Therefore, contacting a provider and describing your needs is the best way to receive an accurate cost estimate.

3. Is Buying My Own Equipment a Legitimate Option?
Companies, organizations and individuals often buy their own equipment, with the decisive factor usually being price. Companies typically buy their own equipment when scans are required frequently enough to make outsourcing it the less economical option. However, if you need a top grade commercial scanner, the price can be steep, exceeding $100,000.
4. How Accurate are Scan Measurements?
Providers often quote an accuracy range of between 1/4 and 3/8 of an inch, which would be measurements achieved at greater distances, such as with a time-off-flight scanner. Scanners that operate at closer ranges offer the greatest accuracy. Read more at 3d laser scanning.

5. Could Surveying Be the Cheaper Option?
Yes and no. For the least complex projects, surveying is often cheaper. But for projects that involve complex considerations, surveying is generally more expensive due to its un-editable data results, a fact that leads to more surveying costs over the duration of a project.

6. How far Away Would a Provider Travel to Do a Project?
Some providers operate on a regional basis; while others travel nationally or globally due to the portability of scan equipment and universal application of laser scanners. If you hire a company from outside of your area, hiring one that returns to its offices to create the finished product after scanning your subject is key to minimizing travel fees.

7. Do Providers Offer 2D and 3D Drawings?
In many cases, scan providers also offer traditional surveying services, such as the creation of 2D and 3D drawings. Even when the former is the preferred method of data collection, some entities prefer to receive drawings in addition to scan results for archival purposes.

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