New powerhouse for mid-range scanning

New FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 130 now availableThe FARO Laser Scanner X-family continues to grow: The youngest member is the Focus3D X 130. The ultra-portable powerhouse is ideal for medium-range scans.

The offspring in the X-Series is mobile and scores with a compact design and flexibility. Perfectly suited for indoor and outdoor scans.

The mobile laser scanner almost instantly generates measurement data, for example, of complex facades, building structures, and production or accident sites.

The laser eye offers reliability even in full sunlight. The integrated GPS receiver automatically ensures that the scans are properly assigned and aligned while processing.

Just last year, FARO surprised the market with the long-distance Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330, which is equipped with a range of up to 330 meters at the start.

Like its big brother, the Focus3D X 130 is as easy and intuitive to use as a smartphone. With a scan radius of 130 meters, it is an ideal companion for applications in architecture, civil engineering, facility management, manufacturing, forensics or Building Information Modeling (BIM).


How 3D scandata form the basis in BIM processes

Coordination between the different disciplinary models

An example of a BIM model (© M.A. Mortenson Company)

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is still quite a young tool for optimising processes in construction and in operating buildings. The planning and management of buildings are combined into a joint process within a digital model. The aim is to link information about the building’s construction and building components with usage-related and functional data. The starting point for this is a three-dimensional building model that reproduces the structural components of the building and the spatial situation.

Automatic positioning
Depending on the desired level of detail and the correspondingly adjusted resolution of the scan recording, a 360-degree scan takes between two and 15 minutes – colour scans take a little longer. If several scans are required for the measurement, sensors integrated into the scanner simplify the positioning of the individual scans within the overall model. The sensors automatically allocate an elevation reading and orientation to the scan data. In this way the individual scans can then be merged easily with software support to form an overall spatial model.

Established architecture and BIM software solutions such as AutoCAD Architecture, 3D-Studio Max Design, Autodesk Revit Architecture, Archicad, Vectorworks or Bentley’s Microstation allow direct import of the 3D scan data. This means that the 3D data is available to planners in their familiar CAD environment.

Data available anytime anywhere
The 3D model generated in this way can be continually expanded and updated with usage and operating data: for example the costs and qualities of conversion work, maintenance and repairs. The digital, 3D building model can be retrieved anywhere and even visited on a virtual tour providing the ideal basis for decision making processes. At the same time, all of the data for area and quantity surveying, as well as all other building properties and costs, is available in the complete datasets at anytime and anywhere – and is always up to date. In this way, BIM means that the overall context can always be kept in mind when planning – for example how conversion plans relate to the building’s surroundings. Possible consequences for items like maintenance and repair are immediately visible.

Smart solutions
Using BIM software solutions, all those involved in the project have constant access to current, cumulative building data from all disciplines. This means that cross-discipline planning and project management is possible. At the same time, the BIM model eliminates documentation deficiencies and information loss at the interfaces between disciplines. Web-based software solutions like SCENE WebShare Cloud by FARO also enable processing to be carried out irrespective of time and place.

SCENE Webshare Cloud
With SCENE WebShare Cloud, all 3D documentation data can be stored in the “cloud”, and scanned projects can be displayed quickly and shared with various project partners. In addition, the data and measurements are available in the long term and anywhere at all – including via smartphone or tablet. When using SCENE WebShare Cloud there is always sufficient server capacity available, no matter how many users are accessing it or how much data is being stored. The solution adapts perfectly to requirements at any time, in terms of processing power and storage space.


3D Documentation User Meeting 2014

3D Documentation User Meeting 2014The 4th edition of the annual 3D Documentation User Meeting 2014 will take place 3-4 April at the beautiful Andechs Monastery in Germany.

It is the ideal event for professionals, who are interested in the application of 3D Documentation to improve productivity and save costs, in the following areas:

- Architecture
- Surveying
- Structural engineering
- Cultural Heritage
- Forestry and agriculture
- Mining and tunnel construction
- Processes and Manufacturing Industries
- Quality control
- Crime scenes, accident and danger zones documentation

3D Documentation is suitable for a wide range of applications: for quick and reliable recording of existing structures or damaged buildings, for surveying and archiving monuments, at archaeological excavations, in plant construction and in forensic reconstruction and much more.

Following the successful concept of the previous years, the 3D Documentation User Meeting 2014 for laser scanning and 3D Documentation will have a strong focus on:

NETWORKING – During the event there will be plenty of opportunities for the participants to establish networks, e.g. with special activities during the breaks.

LEARNING SESSIONS – Participants can expect to also find comprehensive presentations on the latest hardware and software solutions from FARO and its development partners.

POWER SPEECHES – Keynotes by renowned professionals and power speeches by industry experts deliver a real insight into the changing world of 3D documentation using the latest technologies.

WORKSHOPS – The meeting offers a strong focus on hands-on workshops to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information between users and interested parties of the various systems and technologies.

3D EXHIBITION – Get to meet FARO’s 3rd party partners, who will showcase their latest 3D Documentation products on a specific exhibition area.

Take the chance to get new impressions and make new contacts. Please register here.

3D Documentation User Meeting 2014 will take place 3-4 April at the beautiful Andechs Monastery in Germany.Get to meet FARO’s 3rd party partners, who will showcase their latest 3D Documentation products on a specific exhibition area


Baselining accident reconstruction for court evidence

Baselining Forensic Evidence with the FARO Laser Scanner While new technologies are used to entertain viewers of TV crime series, the real Crime Scene Investigators are hard at work, pushing the boundaries of forensic science, documenting cases, and baselining real-world events.

This is the job of Michal Frydrýn and his colleagues at the Department of Forensic Experts in Transportation (DFET) at the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague. Serving the country’s police departments or its courts, the team uses their expertise to analyse road traffic accidents. They visit the site, document the scene and submit a forensic report.

“The requirement for these reports drives our own baseline research, explained Michal. Recently, we examined the passive safety of cars specifically in relation to the protection of child pedestrians. It is a long term project that actually took us three years: we created a specialized forensic laboratory on university premises, fitted it out with appropriate equipment, including traditional measuring tools and suitable anthropomorphic test devices (crash test dummies) and then ran a programme of testing and evaluation.”

Michal explained that for the final year of the project, the DFET employed a FARO Laser Scanner Focus 3D: “The arrival of the FARO scanner means we won a substantial improvement in our baseline data and 3D documentation.”

Pushing the boundaries of forensic science, documenting cases, and baselining real-world events with the FARO Focus 3DWithin the carefully controlled laboratory environment, we accelerated a Skoda car to speeds of 10, 20 and 30kph and allowed it to strike a P6 crash test dummy. The dummy was designed to impact the car in the manner of a child and to record the effects on a child’s body. With the Focus 3D, we were able to record the whole scene and create highly detailed documentation of the deformation of the car – especially the bonnet. Using the FARO, we secured more information on the position of objects at the crash site, and more detail on the deformation of the vehicle, than was possible with the laser scanning equipment we had used previously. This increase in detail has served to add new depth to our documentation.”

As a result, this fundamental baseline data allows DETF to examine the bonnets of similar vehicles after real accidents and to determine the speed the vehicle was travelling at the time of collision with the child. Michal re-enforces this final point: ”At the accident site itself, the Focus 3D allows us to quickly document the scene with generous 3D detail to aid in the analysis, enabling our delivery of reliable, timely evidence to the courts”.

More about forensics and accident reconstruction

Request an on-site product demonstration


Architect@Work: New technology for architectural survey

FARO exhibits at Architect@work in LondonFARO UK will exhibit at the 2nd edition of Architect@Work London from 29 – 30 January 2014. This specially tailored contact day aims to reach architects, interior architects, designers and other consultants with a focus on innovation.

During this event, FARO will present the latest generation of high speed laser scanners for architecture and construction; the Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330. The innovative system is the smallest and lightest scanner currently available and is the ideal tool for both indoor and outdoor applications.

The Focus3D X 330 offers everything you might expect from a professional 3D laser scanner – with FARO’s established and well-known level of simplicity. It offers extra-long range – 330m – integrated GPS and the advanced ability to perform scanning even in bright sunlight.

FARO will also present practical plug-in apps for the scan processing software ‘SCENE’ allowing architects to accurately analyze the laser scans in a few steps.

Besides Architect@Work in London 29 – 30 January 2014, you can also visit FARO in France:

La Halle Tony Garnier – Lyon
5 & 6 June 2014

La Grande Halle de La Villette – Paris
9 & 10 October 2014

Parc des Expositions La Beaujoire – Nantes
27 & 28 November 2014

Read more about Architects@work in London

Applications for architecture and civil engineering

Free tickets


Ensuring that a building pit does not become a money pit

Construction has changed enormously in recent years. Construction processes are becoming increasingly complex, yet they are also being completed more quickly – regardless of the scale of the project. The responsibility and the risk, especially with regard to costs, are borne by general contractors and planners. An important component of the costs is represented by the quantities of earth that accumulate and are moved during construction. They must be determined as accurately as possible in advance to be on the safe side in price calculation.

Volume calculation
The excavation of material from building pits and calculation of the quantities of earth to be moved is an area that has involved many incalculable factors until now. The previous common measurement methods were based on two-dimensional images and could only approximate the actual volumes. At best, the excavation material could be measured only at some points. In larger building projects, however, small bumps and barely perceptible rises in the ground immediately affected the quantity of earth to be moved by quite a few cubic metres – therefore raising costs significantly. 3D laser scanning using the latest devices is a precise and, at the same time, user-friendly solution in this case. The exact volumes can be determined beforehand, ensuring certainty with regard to cost that is not possible or can only be achieved with difficulty using other methods. The latest generation of laser scanning devices, such as the FARO Focus3D X 330 Laser Scanner, is compact and robust, and thus suitable for construction sites. This device weighs merely five kilograms, and it can be set up and mounted on a tripod in just a few minutes. It is almost as easy to use as a smartphone.

Ensuring that a building pit does not become a money pit

Scan data processing
The individual scans of the building pit can be assembled virtually automatically using the integrated GPS receiver and the scan processing software SCENE. To further process the scan data, it can very easily be imported into many common software applications – for example, PointCab. A precise digital 3D image of the site can be modelled in the CAD software, and this can be combined with the specified corner coordinates and the depth of the prospective building pit. Since every small rise and fall on the surface of the land is reproduced in the data, the expected volume can be determined as precisely as possible before the excavation.

Even after the excavation, 3D laser scanning can again be of great use, as it allows the actual work and the moving of the quantities of earth to be controlled exactly. To do this, the difference between the data from the original terrain and that of the excavated pit is easily determined in the 3D model. This enables accounting that exactly corresponds to what was actually done.

Conversion and contruction
3D laser scanning is increasingly in use in the building industry. It is used particularly when there are existing buildings for which only outdated plans or no plans at all exist. In conversions and new constructions, the three-dimensional data capture used provides quality assurance in the process – when used at regular intervals on the construction site the current status can be determined and documented. This allows any errors during implementation to be identified at an early stage and, as with the excavation work; the accounting can then be checked.


A high-tech powerhouse excites laser scanning community

World premiere of the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330Premiere succeeded – our fair-team came back from INTERGEO in Essen with this conclusion. The undisputed star of the international trade fair for geodesy was the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330.

The FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330 with its phenomenal range of up to 330 meters (video from Bridge Scan: is especially suitable for outdoor use.

Scancopter is in the Air

Another eye-catcher on FARO’s booth was the Scancopter, with which scans from the bird’s eye view are possible. It offers exciting and unusual views. They were able to convince visitors on the stand and also in an outdoor area. This scanning while flying is only possible in combination with the FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D, because of its low weight. When the laser scanner goes up in the air, even hard to reach places are suddenly

Focus3D Scancopter live at INTERGEO

visible and can be detected accurately.

At this point, as already presented, we have our new SCENE WebShare Cloud. With it the exchange and management of large data is possible – even without server capacity. SCENE WebShare Cloud was visible at all times in the bustle of the fair at INTERGEO: stand visitors gladly took the white cloud-balloons, making them float along the entire fairground.

SCENE Webshare Cloud balloons at the INTERGEO fairThe FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330 attracts interest


Digital Versailles opened by laser scanner and Google Earth

Digital Versailles opened by laser scanner and Google EarthThis image is part of a digitization project which includes more than 100,000 scans that were collected with the FARO Focus3D laser scanner.

Three months of hard work have enabled Actual Foncier Topographie (AFT), a company specialised in surveying, to scan the Palace of Versailles to create a digital platform for a 3D virtual tour of the prestigious interiors and gardens. It is now possible to take a virtual tour of the Château de Versailles via Google Earth.

AFT was commissioned by Google to scan Versailles and turn its magnificent facades and roofs, luxurious interior and its beautiful gardens and fountains into a 3D model. Virtually cross the Hall of Mirrors or walk through the beautiful gardens. It’s really remarkable.

Here’s a YouTube video to give you an idea…


Scanning of tunnels and bridges made easy at ATS AB

ATS AB bought 7 units of the laser scanner Focus3D X 330 to support one of their main fields of work: 3D scanning of tunnels, bridges and other constructions.

Rolf Berlin, the CTO of ATS AB, says: “With the extra-long range and outdoor performance of the Focus3D X 330 a complete new application areas open up.”

The new scanner was for example used to scan the Älvborgsbron in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The whole 800m long bridge was scanned from only a few positions! “We are really excited to be the first company to offer this cutting-edge product in the Scandinavian countries”.

About ATS AB
ATS AB was founded in 1990. The company is marketing laser based 1D-2D-3D distance measurement instruments and systems for industrial applications. Key systems are different types of guidance, docking and navigation systems.

Since 1997 the company offers 2D & 3D high-accuracy scanning solutions in tunneling, mining, constructions, buildings and automotive & process industry. ATS AB provides scanning solutions of small and large objects for both reverse engineering and analysis purpose.

More info:


Brilliant scanning at 330 metres in direct sunlight!

Meet the new FARO Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330In our previous blog post we promised a spectacular novelty and actually, we have more than one to share with you.

At the INTERGEO fair in Essen (GE) FARO presents today the new Laser Scanner Focus3D X 330. A scanner that not only scans objects up to 330 meters away but in direct sunlight too.

With its integrated GPS receiver, the Focus3D X 330 is able to correlate individual scans in post-processing making it ideal for surveying based applications.

As always, the 3D scan data can easily be imported into all commonly used software solutions for accident reconstruction, architecture, civil engineering, construction, forensics, industrial manufacturing and land surveying.

FARO also introduces a cloud-based hosting solution for worldwide data-sharing: SCENE Webshare Cloud.

FARO also introduces a cloud-based hosting solution for worldwide data-sharing: SCENE Webshare Cloud

The SCENE WebShare Cloud solution is a service directly hosted by FARO that allows users to store 3D documentation data on the “cloud.” Scanned projects can be quickly viewed and shared with different project partners.

It is no longer necessary to install software on your own computer. SCENE WebShare Cloud guarantees quality and security and the system supports mobile devices with an adapted user interface.

Power Speeches
At our booth B3.005 (Hall 3) you can attend so-called Power Speeches on the following topics:

• The new FARO Focus3D X 330: scanning at 330 metres in direct sunlight
• SCENE Webshare Cloud: Sharing without limits
• Versailles Scanning with the Focus3D
• Airborne Focus3D live!

We look forward to welcoming you!


Stay up to date about the latest news and trends in industrial metrology and 3D documentation

FARO Local

Follow Blog