When it comes to traditional surveying, measuring critical infrastructure can be time-consuming and prone to error – with only a few hundred measurements completed in a day and bearing safety risks the longer personnel are on site.

Today, laser scanners can capture more than one million three-dimensional measurements per second, with entire plants and mine sites scanned in a few minutes or hours, creating a “digital twin” of the infrastructure.

Delonix founder and structural engineer Philippe Vatin says the speed and precision of 3D scanning is mind-boggling, and the mining industry is catching onto this technology.

The process of 3D scanning involves capturing three-dimensional attributes of a physical object, including its shape and texture, through methods such as laser scanning, structured light and photogrammetry.

Data is recorded from the object’s surface using a 3D scanner, which creates a “point cloud” of data, or a photorealistic cloud of points, from the object’s surface, with the information then processed to construct a digital 3D model from its 3D mesh of points.

“We handle all the big data associated with 3D scanning through our cloud server, called RealClouds, where clients can log in, visualise and maintain their point-cloud information from their remote workstation or hand-held devices,” Mr Vatin said.

Read on for our full feature in The Australian Mining Review below.