3D SCANNING, a new dimension in measuring

Convoi has embraced a new technique: 3D scanning. This innovative way of measuring is going to play a continuously bigger role in this profession.
Author: Maykel Boessen, Convoi engineer

What exactly is 3D laser scanning? Using this technique, you make a digitised model of an object, for example a building or machine. The 3D scanner consists of two main components: the laser and a camera. The laser registers millions of points in a 360 degree arc along its horizontal and vertical axis, thus creating a point cloud. Subsequently, using the pictures that the camera makes, each point is given a colour. This ensures the creation of a colourfast image. These data can then be processed in different CAD programs.

After extensive preliminary investigation, Convoi opted for a 3D scanner of the Faro brand. Faro is active all over the globe in the market of 3D measuring technology and by that also in 3D laser scanning.

The reason for us favouring Faro over other brands like Leica, has to do with the user friendliness and relatively fast data processing of this scanner. Our scanner, the Focus 3D X130, is a small, compact scanner with a weight of just 5 kilogrammes. At the moment, this is the smallest and lightest scanner on the market. Therefore, it is ideal to bring along to the work field. On top of that, this handy model allows for scanning in hard to reach places as well.

The scanner has a range from 0,6  to 130 metres with an accuracy up to approximately 2 millimetres. The built-in laser corresponds to class 1. This means that the laser is eye-safe under all circumstances. The scanner is able to register 976,000 points per second and has a 70 megapixel camera that creates crystal clear images.

The scanner has a range from 0,6 to 130 metres with an accuracy up to approximately 2 millimetres.

Currently, we are still in the process of determining where the 3D scanner can be of a highest possible added value for us. We have already employed the scanner on multiple occasions in order to gain a better understanding of the possibilities of the device. An example of this is during the work activities related to the high voltage switch station of grid operator Enexis (see figure).

Besides for accurate measuring, one can think of other uses, such as the extensive documentation for a client, a tool for checking during one-on-one transfer, or the simulation of future work situations for optimal preparation and training.

The possibilities are very diverse and extensive. In the future, we will increasingly often encounter this technique. For Convoi, it is not just an extra service for our clients, but also a way of improving the quality of our services.