What’s the Difference Between 3D Laser Scanning and Photogrammetry?

3d model architecture

It’s hard to imagine a world without digital. But as you look around you, much of the physical world was designed and constructed using traditional 2D blueprints and is yet to be captured in a digital format. This creates a challenge for AEC professionals to incorporate these as-built designs into re-build or renovation projects.

Traditional imaging techniques like photogrammetry aided in this process by allowing engineers to piece together photographs of as-built conditions and weave in GPS coordinates to create interactive 3D models, see below:

3D model with GPS

But while photogrammetry lets you cover a large amount of ground quickly, it does so with a low degree of accuracy. 3D laser scanning on the other hand typically has a smaller footprint of data being collected, but it’s collected to a higher level of accuracy. Laser scanners gather surface data using a laser beam pointed at the surface, often using drones or UAVs (eliminating costly LiDAR collection processes) and then converts that data into a point cloud. The point cloud data can then be imported into tools like Autodesk ReCap which converts it into a 3D model or 2D drawing that’s ready for further design in a matter of minutes. In addition to laser scans, Autodesk ReCap also converts aerial and object photographs to 3D models.

Which Should You Deploy – 3D Laser Scanning or Photogrammetry?

Many users are unsure which option to deploy and when, for answers, check out the short video below from DLT partner, IMAGINiT Technologies.

Grace Bergen Autodesk Tech Writer