Photogrammetry vs 3D Laser Scanning 

Digital 3D models are used in a variety of industries, but there is more than one method to create them from a real object or scene. Photogrammetry and 3D scanning are the two primary methods for creating these models. At Hive Virtual Plant, we supply our clients with high-end innovative 3D laser scanning technology by Leica Geosystems. With this technology, we are able to collect accurate point cloud data very quickly and apply that data to a whole range of applications. In this article by Hive Virtual Plant, we share some information about using Photogrammetry vs 3D Laser Scanning for your company projects. 

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3D Laser Scanning

Laser scanning uses a laser to measure an object’s geometry and create the model through the data obtained. The laser beam is swept across the surface, and the device uses angle encoders of the beam projector and the return “time-of-flight” to calculate the location of each point in 3D space. Once all of the points are captured and recorded, a dense point cloud results. To capture a complete object, the laser scanner or object is moved, and the scan repeated. 3D laser scanning is perfect for companies that require a quick turnaround for the projects. This technology provides real-time accurate point cloud data very quickly. 


Opposed to 3D laser scanning technology, Photogrammetry is another method that can be used to achieve close to the same results. Instead of using active light sources, this technology uses photographs to gather data. All you need is a camera of your choice, photogrammetry specialized software, and a computer. To create a 3D model using photogrammetry, photos are taken from a variety of angles to capture every part of the subject with overlap from picture to picture. This overlap is necessary for the software to align the photos appropriately. Once all of the images are taken, they’ll be imported into the photogrammetry software, which aligns the pictures, plot data points, and calculates the distance and location of each point in the 3D space. The result is a 3D point cloud that can create a polygonal mesh, just like 3D scanning.

3D laser scanning and photogrammetry are excellent in their own ways. When deciding which is the best match for your needs, you want to consider your budget, the size of the area, and the level of accuracy you need. If you are looking for more information about 3D laser scanning technology and how it differs from Photogrammetry, then we encourage you to get in touch with a representative at Hive Virtual Plant today.

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