Quick Guide to Laser Scanning and Why Do You Need It?

Laser scanning may often be mentioned when we come across the topic of indoor mapping and may sound rather technical and complicating to many. However, this is not the case. 

So what is laser scanning and how does it work? In this quick guide, we are going to provide an overview on the technology and at the same time, explain how it can help to ease up your workflow - resulting in increased productivity and significant cost savings!

What Is 3D Laser Scanning?

3D laser scanning (also known as 3D Documentation) is a non-contact, non-destructive technology capable of capturing the 3D data (or LiDAR data) using laser beam reflected off objects in a set location. It enables us to document and analyse the real world scenario and objects in high definition - replicating it in photo-realistic textures, colours and geometrical information digitally.

During scanning, a laser light is projected onto the surface of objects. The reflected light is captured and recorded by sensor to calculate the distance, which provides dimensions and spatial relationship of objects. The scan data are generated into mass cluster of points known as point-cloud and are compiled by joining multiple scans data from different scan directions and positions together. The point-cloud file formats can be imported and accessed by professional software such as AutoCAD, Solidworks & Inventors (for engineers), Revit & 3DS Max (for architects), MeshLab (for meshing/tinning) and etc.

3D Laser Scan

Who needs 3D laser scanning and when to use it?

Not all projects/tasks require 3D laser scanning. Here are some scenarios/issues where 3D laser scanning can help:

1. You require great amount of measurement points

3D laser scanning is able to capture vast amount of details in hard to reach area. It also can capture area with high density of infrastructure (such as HVAC and MEP details) where massive amounts of measurements data are required for accurate depiction of the environment. It allows easier measurement compared to traditional method where manual measurement is ineffective and time consuming. 

2. Objects have complex geometries and contoured surfaces

3D laser scanning is able to capture objects of free-form shape and irregular surfaces contours such as statues and art pieces. Measuring and documenting such objects is close to impossible with traditional measuring method and can be instantly completed with 3D laser scanning.

3. It is inefficient, time-consuming and expensive to make mistakes

Measurement error from traditional measurement methods or miscalculations from estimations can lead to rework and modification, with drastic effect on the project timescale. 3D laser scanning can measure accurately and effectively, reducing the time and cost needed to revisit sites and rework.

4. You require accuracy up to millimeter range

3D laser scanning typically has an accuracy of +/- 2 millimeter per scan position, depending on range of object. It can be used effectively in cases such as alignment of equipment or 3D documentation.

3D laser scanning are commonly used for application in areas such as:

  • Construction and BIM
  • Architecture & engineering
  • Manufacturing and facility management
  • Marine, oil and gas
  • Heritage conservation and virtual preservation

How much does it cost?

The cost of 3D laser scanning service depends on the project requirements. Factors including complexity of area to be scanned, size of location, urgency of project and required deliverables & file format will affect the pricing.

Aries Geomatics practices a competitive pricing structure and only deliver the highest quality of work. On average, 70% of our projects are from existing clients who repeatedly receive great value-add from our deliverables.


Our 3D laser scanning service offers many benefits such as:

  • Ease of measurement
  • Mass measurement collection in minutes
  • Minimise exposure to hazards on site
  • Reduce cost over traditional methods
  • Reduction of manpower over manual measurement
  • Eliminate human error in field measurements
  • Allow project teams from different geographical area to work seamlessly on the same design
  • Able to design with accurate reference to on-site conditions in the comfort of your office
  • Allow you to have better communication with colleagues without the need of photographic interpretation
  • Earlier completion of project

Where do we start?

Not sure where to begin? Contact us now to get a free consultation session!