5 Tips For Moving A 3D Scanner



3D scanners have become extremely popular in all types of fields. A 3D scanner is used to get very high precision shots of a real-life object from all angles possible to create a 3D version of the real-life object. All the shots taken from different angles are fused into one to create this 3D model.

This is the function of a 3D scanner and it is also often viewed as the first step to 3D printing. Just as a camera takes 2D pictures of objects, a 3D scanner takes 3D pictures and puts them together as a 3D model.

There are many applications of a 3D scanner, some of which involve the automotive industry, engineering, industrial design, and even medical science. While these are some heavy fields, one can even use a 3D scanner to make fun 3D models in the comfort of their home.

If you are one of those who own a 3D scanner, we are sure that you must have done your fair share of research on how you can maintain and take the best care of it to make sure it works for years and years. But if we were to throw a curveball your way and asked you if you know how to move a 3D scanner to a new location, would you be prepared for that? Apex Removals London have compiled these tips to tell you how to move a 3D scanner in the safest and best way possible.

Tips for moving a 3D Scanner

1. Take a picture of all the connections and cables

If you struggled in the first place to make all the connections to get your 3D scanner to work, then it is better to be prepared. Take a picture to understand what plugs into what, which will make it easier for you to assemble it when you have moved into your new location.

2. Disconnect all the cables

Make sure all the cables have been removed. Store all the cables neatly in a bag or box so that when you are connecting it back again, you don’t end up losing some important cable. Being planned and systematic is very important during this process.

3. Detach all the parts of the scanner

It is very important to remove any parts that fit together because it is quite possible that they may come loose during the transportation process and may also cause some damage. Detach all the small parts to avoid any such mishaps.

4. Pack each of the parts individually

Now that you have removed all the smaller parts, now take some bubble wrap or any other protective packing material and pack all these tiny parts separately. This way you make sure that all parts of the 3D scanner are protected and when you reach the new destination, you will be able to assemble it back to how it was before.

5. Pack them securely in a box and load it in your vehicle

Now that all the parts have been packed, find a box big enough to fit all of these parts so that you don’t end up missing any one part in transit. Pack the box nicely and stuff it with newspaper so that there is no clanking. Tape the box up and load it up in your car/van.

If you keep these 5 steps in your mind, you will be able to successfully and safely move your 3D scanner from one place to another!

Timeline of 3D Laser Scanners

Leica HDS3000

Timeline of 3D Laser Scanners

We wanted to try and create the timeline of laser scanners, the real game-changing laser scanners that have impacted the laser scanning world as we know it today!

If you have any laser scanners or information you think we might have missed off, please let us know and we will add it in. Please email – info@scantech-international.com


Laser scanning originated in the 1960s in an effort to capture the profile of surfaces accurately.

The first laser scanners performed using lights, projectors and cameras and took an inordinate amount of time to scan an object.

The end result at this time wasn’t however very accurate.  From 1985, new scanner technology was developing which started to use white light, lasers and shadows to capture an object.

Again these were cumbersome and slow and the computing requirements at that time had not developed to cope with the requirements.

1992 – The start

the first commercially available scanner (the Soisic scanner) became available in 1992 capable of 100 points per seconds, at a maximum range of 10 metres. This scanner was produced by Mensi (who 11 years later were sold to Trimble).

This scanner was trialled by Amec in 2001 on a process plant but was found to have too many issues to be considered as a survey tool at that time.

Soisic Scanner

1998 – 1st portable laser scanner

Cyra Technologies, founded by Ben Kacrya, created the first-ever laser scanner to be used by Surveyors and Engineers – the Cyrax.

This was a portable scanner albeit with the battery and laptop weighed approximately 40kg. This scanned at an angle (or Field of View – FOV) of 40° x 40° and 1200 points per second at up to 50m against a flat white surface.

Several years later Cyrax sold the technology to Leica Geosystems and the scanner was rebranded as the HDS 2400.

Cyrax laser scanner

One of the continuing issues is the file size created by the scanner for a 3D object.

The equipment to perform a 3D laser scan now existed in a usable format, however, the computers at that time struggled to handle the large volume of data.

As computing capability grew there was a steady increase in the use of 3D laser scanners as the price was prohibitive but with the reduction in price over the years and the improvement in the technology has continued to grow.

2002 – Improvements started

In 2002, Leica upgraded the HDS 2400 to the HDS 2500 which had a quoted accuracy of 6 millimetres, a maximum range of 50m and 1500 points per second still with a FOV of             40° x 40°.

Leica HDS 2500 3D laser scanner

2004 – The first 360-degree scanner

Developments continued at a pace and in 2004 Leica introduced the HDS 3000 scanner which was a step-change in the technology. Although the accuracy, range and speed were comparable with the HDS 2500the FOV increased to 360° x 270° in a reasonable 30-40 minutes.

Leica HDS3000

2004 – Speed and range started to increase

Scanning speed and range improved at an astonishing rate with Riegl producing a range of scanners that produced 12,000 points per second and up to 100m distance with a FOV of 360° x 80°. Other surveying suppliers followed suit including amongst others Topcon, Trimble and Faro.

Riegl Laser scanner

2006 – Scanning ceilings came easier

Companies continued to develop the scanners with Leica releasing the HDS 6000 with a FOV of 360° x 270°, 6mm accuracy at 50 metres and a scan time of just 3.5 minutes for 500,000 measurements per second scan.

This was the first scanner to hugely improve the vertical axis range, taking it from 80 degrees to 270 degrees. This made scanning ceilings and objects above the scanner a lot easier.

Leica HDS6000


2009 – First 1 million points / second scanner

In 2009, Leica created produced the P20 laser scanner which took 1 million measurements per second, with the scan time reduced to 6 minutes for a full 360° scan.  Accuracy remained at 5mm over 50m.

Leica P20 Scanner


2013 – Price came down

In October 2013, Faro released their upgraded scanner the Focus X330 which produced 976,000 points per second again with an accuracy of 5mm and a maximum range of 330 metres.

The price of this scanner was quite significant in that it cost £40K some £20K cheaper than competitors at that time.

This resulted in many survey companies purchasing laser scanners without having the capability to produce the 3D models from the resulting point clouds which by this time had become massive.

Faro X330

2019 – 2million points/second was hit with auto-registration

In 2019, Leica produced the RTC 360 laser scanner. This was again a step-change in the technology and incorporated many of the features surveyors had been asking for.

This scanner doubled the capture rate to 2 million points per second resulting in a scan time of just 30 seconds or 90 seconds with colour!

Not only that, it is the first scanners to use cameras and IMU to help track its position and use auto-registration whilst out on site.

Leica RTC 360


Laser scanners have evolved so much in the last 20 years and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

The industry keeps growing year on year with more companies buying laser scanners and not only that, more projects are requiring high quality, 3D accurate point cloud data only achievable with 3D laser scanners.