The purpose of laser scanning device is typically to create a point cloud of geometrical samples on the surface of the object being reproduced. These points can then be used to reconstruct the shape of the object digitally.
Laser scanning equipment is very similar to a camera. Both have a cone-like field of view and can only collect data from the unhindered surfaces. The only difference between the two is that the camera captures objects in two dimensions only, while laser scanning equipment captures objects in three dimensions.
For most cases, a single pass of laser scanning equipment will not reproduce a complete model of the object. Tens, and even hundreds, of passes are usually needed in order to collect enough information on all sides and faces of the object. These passes are then brought under a common reference system, called alignment or registration, and are merged together for a complete model. This entire process is referred to as the three dimensional scanning pipeline.
Laser scanning service
use three kinds of models, which are polygonal 3D, NURBS surface, and solid models. In polygonal 3D, a curve surface is modeled from small flat facets similar to that of a disco ball. Also referred to as mesh models are generally useful for graphical representations, but are generally heavy in terms of data.
Another laser scanning service
is the usage of NURBS surface, which is great for curved surfaces. Through NURBS, curves can be realistic as they use mathematical equations to generate complex shapes.
Also, NURBS are editable; however, proper 3D programs must be used in order to do this properly.
The other laser scanning service
involves the solid or the CAD model. This is the most used of the three, and is the dominating medium for engineering and the manufacturing industries. This medium is highly editable and universal; since it is the common 3D language used in different platforms and can maintain its data with minimum loss. This is based on mathematical configurations, which makes it easily editable. In CAD models, curved objects are depicted through parametric features that can be easily edited by changing applicable values.