Laser Scanning

The primary application of laser scanning is 3D modelling of existing process plants, structures and equipment to be used as an as-built model for rebuild and upgrade projects, effectively and efficiently.


Laser scanning is a high-tech solution for collecting accurate and detailed industrial and infrastructure as-built data. Mentor uses state of the art scanning hardware to obtain 3D data in the form of a point cloud. Individual scans are stitched together with other scans taken from different angles, thus giving a complete 3D image of the scanned area. The 3D point cloud is then converted to a 3D surface model.


These plant models can also be used in maintenance and facility management systems. Other areas of application include buildings, bridges and tunnels, mines, shipbuilding and underground facilities.

Select an item below for more detail these elements.


Laser scanners are “line of sight” instruments. They can only acquire data from objects that can be seen from the scanner location. A scan from a single location does not produce a complete 3D point cloud of the subject, in most cases multiple scans are required to capture all the information the client requires.

The multiple scans are then stitched together, in a process known as registration, to form the complete 3D point cloud. These registrations contain millions of points and the file size can become virtually unmanageable by the average CAD workstation, for this reason the point cloud is generally converted to a 3D model.

There are different ways of approaching laser scanning projects. When considering the implementation of laser scanning there are important points to bear in mind that directly influence the cost. Mentor has, through many years of experience and numerous successful projects, developed a successful methodology to ensure absolute customer satisfaction and that the utmost value is achieved.

Mentor undertakes to supply the client what they want and need. By determining exactly what the client intends using the deliverables for, Mentor can supply the client with only what they need which ultimately results in the most cost effective and successful laser scanning project conclusion.

The next step in the process is the modelling of the point cloud.


Due to the file size of registered 3D point clouds, it is generally converted to a 3D model, this significantly reduces the storage and system requirements.

Modelling is relatively time consuming and modelling excessive detail or objects and areas not required for the project can have a negative effect on project schedules and costs. Each client has different needs and with this in mind, through dialogue with the client, Mentor tailors a modelling solution to suit the client’s requirements.

The result of this modelling process is the final 3D model.


After completion of the modelling process, the resulting optimised 3D model is exported in one of many internationally accepted 3D formats.

For example, the 3D model can be exported in the following formats:

Leica® COE
Drawing Exchange Format (DXF)
Autodesk® 3DS

The variety of 3D export formats ensures compatibility with the top 3D CAD and Plant Design programmes in use today such as Autodesk AutoCAD®, Microstation®, Intergraph SmartPlant 3D®, Aveva PDMS®.

The final 3D model can then be imported into the 3D environment for the generation of 2D cross-sectional drawings, 2D plan drawings or for many other applications.