I have some ideas about this type of technology that are very refined from very extensive experience.
I’ll try to boil it down very simply here:
1.) The best 3D capture is always one that is taken from a very stable position – regardless of how motion friendly the implications are, i.e. “hand-held-scanners”. The common ‘dream’ of scanning objects where the scanner is constantly moving around and expected to capture ‘everything’ accurately and patch it all together flawlessly – is a false hope and dream. Stability is key, and multiple scans is key, and aligning them together is key.
2.) The best 3D meshes of objects being captured, are ones that are capable of being aligned and merged together – yes from multiple scans, regardless of popular belief about the whole “handheld scanner thing”. I’ve used the best of the best and have decades of experience, with terabytes of data.
3.) The ‘capture-focal-point’ is the upmost critical area of concern. Every capture of data should be focused upon the focal point. Every scan should maximize the use of said point. Any erroneous data that lies outside of said point should be eliminated before the alignment stage and merging stage – this is called the ‘trimming stage’. Yes there is a perfect workflow, that I’ve refined extensively throughout my experience with stationary scanners and handheld scanners & softwares.
4.) Scan alignments, are the key to the best 3D capture workflow. If you can figure out how to align scans easily, quickly and accurately, then this is the best scenario for any 3D capture workflow.
5.) If you can figure out how to align ‘meshes’ or ‘point clouds’ (period); then you can solve the problem of aligning any data from any scanner – given the appropriate file format(s) of course.
The best and most accurate scenario I ever worked with is one with the NextEngine technology and the RapidWorks technology workflow, whereby I would capture hundreds of scans of a particular object, trim, align, and merge them very meticulously together over several weeks – long story short I would obtain beautifully accurate meshes to within +/-0.0050" in Z and +/-0.0030" in XY.
The other scenario of ‘handheld laser scanners’, I’ve worked a fair amount with Creaform with VXelements, and found they had a deficiency of tech for aligning multiple scans. Yes, they do have some semblance of tools for said alignment, but due to their extreme focus on the belief and projection that their technology does the said ‘alignments’, ‘trimming’, ‘merging’ (automatically); they fall short in the simple fact that ‘stability is key’ and expecting objects to be scanned 100% in all directions in one scan, is a fallacy – to say the least.
Trimming, Aligning, and then Merging, of multiple scans – is key.