Considering Buying a Laser Scanner?

Here’s my (biased) opinion why you shouldn’t.

Laser scanning looks easy… you just push a button, right? What could possibly go wrong? As laser scanning has become the norm, many people I talk to are considering buying their own laser scanner.

For most firms, I think this is the wrong decision and here’s why:

  • If it’s not your core competency, stick to what your good at and leave the scanning to a professional.
  • You will spend time, energy and resources training a person in your office to run the scanner… and then they leave to find greener pastures.
  • You buy 1 scanner, but you will quickly need 5 or 6 scanners to keep up with your internal demand.​
  • The scanner and technician will never be in the right place at the right time – they will be on a job in New York and now they’re needed in Florida, or across town.
  • For every 1 field technician, you may need up to 6 post-processing support staff.
  • In 1-3 years your scanner will be outdated or obsolete and may need to be replaced.
  • Will your firm provide the support (financial, personnel, computers, software, scanner equipment, etc.) necessary to a department that is not a core competency?
  • There is a substantial ongoing cost above and beyond the original scanner purchase. These costs can include the following and they quickly add up.​
  • Scanner calibration and maintenance agreement

  • Software maintenance agreement (scanner software, as well as other software)

  • Scanner accessories (specialty tripods, targets, safety equipment, scanner batteries, etc)

  • Specialized software such as Cyclone, Kubit, Edgewise, etc., cost substantial dollars and take time to properly learn.
  • Technology, workflows and software are constantly evolving – if you’re not doing this every day you can’t be as efficient at it, nor stay up on the latest trends.
  • Very subtle technical details can have a major impact. Do you know the difference between U.S. Survey Feet and International Feet? Most people don’t.
  • You can hire a service provider to do the field work while you’re in the office concentrating on other revenue-producing tasks within your area of expertise.

Just as you do your job day in and day out, TruePoint 3D laser scans every day and understands the subtle nuances. We have developed the most efficient workflows possible today and our team has pretty much seen every circumstance. Would you trust your job to just anyone or would you prefer it was handled by a professional that specializes in that field?

TruePoint completes over 800 projects every year. We are a licensed engineering firm that focuses solely on laser scanning. Let us handle the scanning on your next project so you can focus on what your company does best.

By Ryan Hacker, President of TruePoint Laser Scanning