3D Laser Scanning Saves Time

Laser technology in the fields of engineering and land surveying is sweeping across the country. By using lasers to map coordinates, shapes and elements of an area that will be constructed upon, engineers can quickly, accurately and effectively capture the full breadth of an area. Laser scanners produce point clouds that can be turned into 3D or even 2D models of buildings and landscapes that can be used for planning and other data collection. Laser technology is definitely the future of engineering and surveying and schools are jumping on the bandwagon with high tech engineering firms.

For instance, this technology is being taught at the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, according to The Chronicle Herald. Students at the school are learning how to use the laser scanning tools to create models of structures automatically from hard resin, instead of paper. The article explains the process:

“Brandon Smith, a mechanical engineering instructor, waves a laser wand around an angular piece of metal in a workshop at the Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth. A few metres away, the information from the laser sensor appears on a computer screen, slowly building into a three-dimensional replica of the object, which was once part of an airplane. That computer image will be fed into a large “printer” on the other side of the room and in a matter of hours, an exact three-dimensional replica of the part — made of a hard resin material, not paper — will be produced for the aviation company IMP.”

This type of process would have taken weeks without the technology now available to students studying engineering in schools all over the world. The article goes on to say that the skills associated with using these types of tools will help students get acclimated with real-world “customers, deadlines and engineering challenges.”