Investigation of the usability of handheld laser scanners in reverse engineering applications


  • Yaren Doğdu
  • Murat Yakar


Reverse Engineering, Handheld Lidar, Prototype


Reverse engineering allows for the creation of Computer Aided Design (CAD) models for both new and existing products through surface data capture. CAD is a creative process that utilises computer systems and can be software or hardware based. Typically, CAD data is a software-based tool that is used for design purposes. This process requires computer technology to assist in the creation of technical drawings by incorporating professional concepts. In reverse engineering, prototyping is necessary to quickly fabricate physical parts, assemblies, or models using CAD. Rapid prototyping, a manufacturing technology, enables the creation of physical models directly from 3D CAD drawings. Prototyping enables the design of pre-presentation products before the final product. The aforementioned process involves editing the designed products to create the final product. Therefore, prototyping is a crucial step for ensuring the required quality, accuracy, and precision of the final products in reverse engineering. As such, handheld laser scanners - capable of collecting data at lower densities than their ground-based counterparts - are being evaluated in this field. Although handheld lidar devices are typically preferred for modelling small objects in confined spaces. The study used a handheld lidar device due to its instant and efficient data acquisition, lower cost compared to ground-based lidar, and easy accessibility. Three types of objects were modelled in 3D using handheld laser scanners, which are viewed as an alternative to ground-based laser scanners within the field of reverse engineering. These objects were categorized based on their size, either small, medium, or large scale. For this study, identical models underwent scanning using both a ground-based laser scanner and a handheld laser scanner, followed by a comparative analysis.