Laser scanner is a device which releases a controlled deflection of laser beam and can be used for various purposes including scanning. Laser scanning is a technology in which a combination of controlled steering of laser beams and distance measurements is involved. Laser scanners can capture and measure the geometry of objects and the environment by using laser. They are applied in various industries for inspection and quality control and virtual simulation, among others. Laser scanners are more specifically referred to as 3-D laser scanners.
A laser scanner works by sending a beam of laser over the field of view which is reflected back to the scanner upon hitting a reflective surface. It also records the position of the captured object by using the polar coordinates consisting of the horizontal angle, the vertical angle, and the measured distance relative to the laser scanner’s position.
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All these individual scans are later integrated using common references. The resulting point cloud made up of the individual project scans is available for viewing and manipulation. In order to capture data pertaining to a particular object, multiple scans are required to be taken from different vantage points to ensure a complete set of data.
A controlled network needs to be established to join multiple scans together. This can be done by using the targets in the scan known as survey points or by allowing enough overlap in the scans to register on the basis of common features. Once the data is captured, it can be cleaned of noise or any unwanted points in order to gain the accuracy required in the project. The data is then loaded into modeling software which further converts it into a meshed or surface 3-D model.
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The high level of quality and inspection standards across various industries is the primary driver of the laser scanner market. The deployment of laser scanners across various industries and growth in the 3-D printing market are the other key factors expected to propel the laser scanner market. The key advantage of a laser scanner is the facilitation of measuring of soft or fragile parts and detection of many points within a short span of time.
Laser scanning also helps OEMs to bring down the cost as non-contact laser scanning has fewer restrictions and are relatively inexpensive. These factors are expected to positively influence the laser scanner market. However, the high cost associated with laser scanners is anticipated to restrain the growth of the market. Nonetheless, increase in demand from an increasing number of manufacturing plants provides ample growth opportunities to the laser scanner market.