Usually, a 3D laser scanner is composed of a scan head and the driver and trigger technology with the corresponding specialised software. The scan head is equipped with two mirrors for axis X and Y as well as adjustable optics for axis Z. The latter guarantees 3-dimensional coverage. Height values are calculated also through the analysis of room changes (movement) between the scanner and the object. The focus of a 3D laser scanner can be positioned freely so as to meet the needs for room analysis. During a scanning process, the 3D laser scanner produces three-dimensional cloud diagrams, thus providing a complete image of the measuring scene. 3D laser scanners can reach measuring speeds of over 1 million 3D measuring points.

After scanning the surface, the analysed data are sent to a computer, where they can be processed to a 3D computer diagram. SmartRay product lines for the monitoring of production processes offer a pre-configured set-up for the entire work flow.

Besides industrial processes, 3D laser scanners are also used in various fields, such as archaeological excavations, forensics or accident research.