Luminous Group has over 20 years’ experience in the digitization and surveying of complex process plants and factories, providing the latest 3D laser scanning services to the UK and blue chip clients globally.

What is laser scanning

3D Laser scanning provides a way to very accurately and quickly capture detailed 3D dimensional information of complex environments. Historically measured surveys would be carried out using single point measurements and a total station or theodolite. 3D Scanning has superseded this allowing millions of measurements to be captured in minutes with millimetre accuracy. The results are an incredibly detailed and accurate 3D site survey and source of truth for all future design works.

Eliminate error and reduce project costs

How does it work

There are a large range of 3D laser scanning devices available these include, tripod (terrestrial scanners) mobile, hand held or even devices attached to drones. However for most survey projects Luminous utilise a tripod mounted scanner. These currently provide the most accurate solution for large industrial environments.

To carry out the scan the surveyor will come to site and place the scanner at key vantage points around the facility. Scanning works via line of site so the more complex the factory the more scans will be required. Once a scan is started it fires out a laser, for every surface the laser hits it records a point in space (x,y,z) value, an intensity value (the reflectivity of the service) and if the scan is in colour then it will also take 360 photos and use this to add an rgb value.

Projects can range from just a few scan to hundreds or even thousands. The surveyor will then process this data to register all the scans together into a complete dataset called a point cloud.

MOBILE SCANNER TERRESTRIAL SCANNER HAND HELD SCANNER DRONE PHOTOGRAMMETRY REGISTRATION Whichever device is used the results are the same: 3D POINT CLOUD this is converted into an optimised model for use downstream BIM MODEL PLANTMODEL MESHMODEL GAMES ENGINE MODEL APPLICATIONSRefurbishments &Upgrades, Space Planning, Asset Mapping & Management, Visualization & Virtual Tours, Clash Detection,Interactive VR / AR Training


Plantroom Pointcloud

Laser Scanning Applications

There are many reasons why you might want to utilise 3D laser scanning on a project. However, for Luminous most projects we work on are refurbishments, retrofits or upgrades to existing facilities. Factories and manufacturing plants are complex ever-changing environments and often have old or outdated 2D plans. If you are installing news lines or machinery and something doesn’t fit, it can cost thousands of pounds in rework and delays to production. By having an area 3D laser scanned new equipment and layouts can be designed in 3D using the pointcloud as a reference. Any clashes can be easily identified and designed out at this stage ensuring a smooth first time fit strategy.

Improve project coordination and ensure equipment fits first time

Laser Scanning Deliverables

A 3D Laser scan can be used as the basis to create a range of different deliverables. Many of our clients choose to work directly with the raw point cloud data. If you are using Autodesk products such as AutoCAD Plant 3D, Inventor or Revit then we can provide the results in a native .rcs pointcloud file format.  Allowing your team to begin working with the data immediately.

However, some clients prefer the data to be converted from a pointcloud into a 3D Model. To create a 3D model requires an experienced architectural technologist to trace around the point cloud, manually best fitting surface and geometry to the scan data and modelling items to a pre-determined level of detail (LOD). Our preference for this is to work in Autodesk Revit and to UK building Information modelling standards and specifications.



Scan data is invaluable for understanding and visualising complex facilities

Visualisation and simulation

A 3D scan provides a snap shot in time of a location. However this data can be used for a whole range of 3D applications. We work with our clients to maximise the benefit of this investment. This can include developing:


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