For years, L-Bar mini prisms have been an industry standard among surveyors. With most models offering a copper-coated prism made from high-quality optical glass, these products have been prized for generally long working ranges and accuracy.
But L-Bar prisms aren’t always ideal––especially when it comes to attachment, flexibility, and protection from the elements.
Temporary use on anything but a completely flat surface, for example, is virtually impossible to pull off with an L-Bar. While the prism is detachable, surveyors still need to drill and screw to mount the L-Bar itself.
As newer, more advanced surveying tools enable crews to be more efficient on-site, surveyors are increasingly switching out their L-Bar prisms for lighter, more portable alternatives. Chief among these are Rothbucher’s line of 180º tilting and 360º rotatable mini prisms, which offer a number of major advantages over traditional L-Bar prisms.
We’ve highlighted a few of the top reasons we’re seeing surveyors move to these new models:
1. Smaller size & lighter weight
A simple spec comparison makes the difference clear. While metal AdirPro and SECO model L-Bar mini prisms are 3.5” tall and 0.45lbs, Rothbucher prisms’ plastic construction weighs considerably less and most prisms are just 2” in height.
2. Easier to attach without drilling
Unlike L-Bars, which require drilling and screw mounting, Rochbucher mini prisms offer innovative attachment capabilities for greater versatility. In addition to gluing or affixing with dowels and screws, Rothbucher prisms can be attached magnetically while retaining extreme stability––a quick and easy way to establish points and make precise measurements without the need for drilling.
For magnetic attachment on non-metal surfaces, a simple stainless steel locking mechanism called a Fixed Point (RSFP-90X) can be used to quickly snap prisms into place at precise survey points and remove them for later use without glues, screws or bolts.
3. Multiple attachment options on almost any surface
Non-destructive mounting options make it possible to mount Rothbucher mini prisms to difficult surfaces such as glass, marble facades, historic buildings, steel beams, rails, hazardous pipelines, and other places L-Bar mini prisms can’t typically go.
4. 180º tilting and 360º swiveling
L-Bar mini prisms can be tilted and secured into position by tightening the tilt screw, however, Rothbucher’s innovative new prism designs allow for both 180º tilting as well as 360º rotation.
This enables surveyors to measure the same survey point from different directions. With this added flexibility, bridges, rail lines, buildings and other structures can be measured more quickly and precisely.
5. No need for special tools
Unlike L-Bars, which require mounting tools, Rochbucher’s mini prism adhesive allows for quick and simple installation even on difficult surfaces while provided holes enable attachment with dowels or screws.
6. Available cap for extra protection
While L-Bar mini prisms are constructed of sturdy materials, they don’t offer protection from the potentially damaging conditions common on-site. Rochbucher mini prisms can be protected from dust & dirt when not in use with an easy-to-attach magnetic protection cap.
7. Rust-proof without sacrificing durability
Rochbucher mini prisms’ rugged plastic construction prevents rust damage that can affect metal L-Bars.
8. German engineering
L-Bar mini prisms are by no means ineffective, however, these products are mass-produced in China––which bring quality consistency risks and other defects common among production line equipment. Rochbucher mini prisms are engineered and produced in Germany to demanding quality standards.
Check out our Rothbucher product pages to learn more about these innovative mini prisms and their accessory enhancements:
180º Mini Prisms →
360º Mini Prisms →
Have questions about selecting the right prism, or need additional information about our products? Contact us today or request a catalog.