MINNEAPOLIS-Laser Design Inc., a supplier of 3-D laser scanners since 1987, celebrated 20 years in business in the spring of 2007. What started as an idea in founder and President C. Martin Schuster’s mind in 1987 has become a mainstream technology for the aerospace, automotive, electronics and medical device industries.

“The idea for a laser scanner was born out of the frustration of recreating actual 3-D geometry of existing parts using mechanical touch-probe technology that was exceedingly slow,” explains Schuster.

In April 1987 he incorporated Laser Design Inc. Ten years later, the company introduced its own line range laser scanning probes to the market. The number of laser scanning applications has grown from the initial use of reverse engineering to first-article inspection, precise measurement, terrestrial laser scanning and high-speed in-line inspection.

“The collection speeds have increased as have the number of applications using laser scanning. It is not just for plastic molding any more,” says Schuster of the current diverse marketplace. “We now have high-profile customers who make the latest consumer electronic and telecommunication devices, the NASA Space Shuttle, art museums, as well as universities scanning ancient artifacts.”