There are many people in different professions who use reality capture to assist in capturing existing conditions. There are different forms of reality capture. One of those forms many people choose are terrestrial based laser scanners. Leica Geosystems has long been a leader in HDS laser scanning. In 2018, Leica changed the scanning process forever. They introduced the RTC360 which made scanning fast and accurate with a new scanner known as an RTC360. This unit boasted a scanning speed of up to 2 million points per second with 12mm, 6mm and 3mm density settings and 1.9mm accuracy. These specifications can make anyone who has worked with reality capture in the past marvel. If this wasn’t enough, Leica added what they refer to as a VIS system which is one of the most innovative features, I have seen in reality capture. So, what is VIS? VIS stands for Visual Inertial System which is a fancy way of saying the scanner has a series of cameras, a GPS and Altimeter which when enabled, they turn on when the scanner is moved to search for common points from one scan setup to the other. The feature is important because it permits the scan operator to register the scan project with the click of a button in the field rather than taking a significant amount of time in the office to register the data.
One year after Leica introduced the RTC360, they released the RTC360 LT. The differences are not many but are significant. Before we dive into the specifics, it should be noted it isn’t too often a company releases a product where it reduces the number of features and it’s found to be beneficial. The RTC360 LT doesn’t have the VIS system and doesn’t collect data at the same rate (1million points per second). However, the discounted cost makes the LT an attractive choice for many users who would like to take advantage of reality capture but can’t justify the expense of the original RTC360.
I believe having these two options makes it very difficult for potential users to decide which one is right for them. Let me make it a little easier for you. First, if you or your company is planning on utilizing the scanner for every job or several jobs a month, it would make the most sense to take advantage of the speed the RTC360 has to offer. On the other hand, if your company is only going to use the scanner a few times a year on smaller projects, the RTC360 LT may be the best for you.
Financially there is a difference between the two scanners as well. With the RTC360 LT giving up some speed and not having the VIS system, it makes sense it would be the cheaper option of the two. With that understanding we also must take a look at the other differences in what we get for the price we are paying. Let’s answer the burning question everyone is probably asking. What is the cost difference between the two scanners? Roughly speaking it is about $20,000 US Dollars. WOW! 20k! I suppose there are two ways of looking at the cost difference. First, I am going to save twenty thousand dollars by going with the RTC360 LT. Secondly, If I am spending this much money for a scanner, why not just go for it and get everything I want/need. I personally look at the second reason and think I should buy more than I need so I can grow into the hardware and not have to buy a new scanner shortly after purchasing my first. BUT, there is more to take in here. The RTC360 LT comes with a license for the following.
- 1 yr RTC360 CCP Blue (Customer Care Package)
- 1x Leica Cyclone Base 1yr Subscription
- 1x Leica Register 360 Plus 1 yr Option
- 1x Cyclone WORKFLOW 1yr Subscription
- 2x Leica CloudWorx Ultimate 1yr Subscription
That is approximately another $10,000 saved in the first year. After the first year, you must subscribe to the software to have the same functionality. All told, that is approximately a $30,000 USD savings from the RTC360 to the RTC360 LT.
It should be noted that if you purchase the RTC360 LT with hopes of upgrading the LT to the full version, there isn’t a hardware upgrade option for the LT. It would simply be a separate purchase of a new RTC360.
*Notice the lack of a VIS camera in the RTC360 LT.
In summary, both scanners are amazing! Really the only way to go wrong with either one of these is to choose one based on money and not your need. If one were to select an LT because of the savings and then realize it doesn’t meet their speed requirements, they might be disappointed. On the other hand, if you choose the RTC360 because it has all the bells and whistles but you don’t use any of those features or simply don’t use them enough, you could be spending money on features you won’t use. To assist you in making these decisions, feel free to reach out to your IMAGINiT sales representative to setup a meeting with our Reality Capture Team.
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