What is the difference between the RTC360 & RTC360 LT?

When comparing the RTC360 laser scanners side by side, they look very similar however there are two key differences

Leica RTC360 & Leica RTC360 LT Comparison

In 2018, we announced the ground-breaking 3D Reality Capture solution – combining the portable and highly-automated Leica RTC360 3D laser scanner, Leica Cyclone FIELD 360 mobile-device app and Leica Cyclone REGISTER 360 post-processing office software. Since the announcement, the RTC360 laser scanner has been a tremendous success and has revolutionised customer workflows, increasing productivity with ultra-fast speed-scanning and in-field point cloud visualisation. 

At INTERGEO 2019, we expanded the 3D Reality Capture solution and introduced the Leica RTC360 LT – a lighter version of the RTC360. 

What is the difference between the RTC360 and the RTC360 LT? 
When comparing the RTC360 laser scanners side by side, they look very similar however there are two key differences – one difference is visible to the eye and the other is not visible when looking at the product exterior: 

• Difference No. 1: When looking at the housing of the RTC360 LT, you can see that it has no Visual Inertial System (VIS) functionality. This means that the RTC360 LT doesn’t have the five VIS cameras which are visible on the housing of the RTC360. 

• Difference No. 2: The second difference is not visible from comparing the scanners side by side, yet it is noticeable when in the field as the registration process is a little longer than the RTC360 – it’s the scanning speed. The RTC360 has a scanning speed of 2 million pts/sec and the RTC360 LT has a scanning speed of 1 million pts/sec. This is half the speed of the RTC360, and yet the captured scan data is not compromised. 

Visual Inertial System (VIS) - a truly unique system 
VIS is a truly unique system and patented technology. The five VIS cameras on the RTC360 are combined with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and when merged together and processed with intelligent algorithms, it computes the relative position and orientation of the scanner in real-time as it is moved between different setups. This simplifies the entire registration process as the setups are easily pre-registered directly in the field for instant visualisation in the Leica Cyclone FIELD 360 mobile-device app running on a tablet computer or smartphone, and user interaction during the registration process in the office to tighten the data is minimal. 

What does it mean if the RTC360 LT doesn’t have VIS?  
When using the RTC360 with VIS enabled, it means the overall registration process is simplified and automated, significantly reducing the time in the field and office. This is because VIS can automatically position each scan relative to the previous position and each scan is immediately positioned in the correct geometrical location within the Cyclone FIELD 360 app. Therefore, when VIS is not available, the overall time for the registration process takes a little longer because each scan is positioned with no immediate relation to the previous orientation. The alignment and registration process in the field is not fully-automated as it is with the RTC360. When you carry out the manual alignment and pre-registration in Cyclone FIELD 360 with the RTC360 LT, you see the two scans which you have selected and are able to position them correctly, optimise them and create the link. 

The right choice
When the time comes to choose and invest in a 3D laser scanner, there are many factors that should be considered based on business needs. For example, if you work in a medium to large company that specialises in laser scanning consultancy spanning various industries with many applications, the need for high-speed and automation on site is essential. Projects are continuous and can be very demanding, so the need for reliable equipment that enables your team to be as productive as possible in the field and office is vital. Therefore, the RTC360 is the perfect laser scanner to invest in as it combines speed, portability and automation allowing your team to scan, visualise, complete and deliver on every project that comes their way. 

For small scale companies that rarely have the need for laser scanning or for companies that identify the possible need for 3D visualisation in occasional projects, but aren’t so familiar with laser scanning technology, the RTC360 LT would be the recommended investment. If the business doesn’t need to scan an environment on a daily or weekly basis, and projects are not as demanding or frequent, then an entry-level laser scanner is certainly the best option to consider.

As technology rapidly develops – gets faster, smaller, cheaper – you need to invest in equipment that delivers the best results for you and your clients. To find out more, contact your local Leica Geosystems sales representative


Michelle Byrne
Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Terrestrial Laser Scanning
Reality Capture Division

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