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3D Scanning


The emergence of 3D scanning technologies has provided a new opportunity to explore the shape characteristics of objects in automotive, aerospace, medical and manufacturing fields. Today we have the technology that can scan anything from large surfaces of the earth to large molecules. Like most vision technologies have done in the past, the impact of 3D scanning on business, industry and society can be profound. 3D scanning is actually a part of a larger group of range mapping technologies. The ability to effectively map the shape of various objects will improve the quality and the performance of the scanned products and reduce the product returns. Various industries are being benefitted from the 3D scanning.

Prototyping is a critical step in manufacturing, and accurate prototypes are required to prove out concept designs. 3D scanners are the solution for this because they are particularly effective at capturing the complex shapes of physical prototypes. A 3D scanner captures millions of data points and represents the true geometry of the component.

A 3D scanner is a device that analyses a real-world object or environment to collect data on its shape and possibly its appearances. The collected data can then be used to construct digital three dimension models. With continuous advancements in optical inspection technology yielding 3D scanners that are today capable of stunning speed and accuracy, a growing number of companies are including this technology in their first article inspection (FAI) procedures. Some of the better known applications of 3D scanning are within dentistry, ear mold making for hearing aids, diamond industry, movie and gaming production and heritage and materials production. Automotive industry holds the largest share of the 3D scanner market. Automated 3D scanners offer a fast, accurate, and non-invasive way to scan even the most complex flexible shapes.

In recent times, the 3D lasers scanners are being adopted in markets where they have not been used widely like in the insurance industry. Also seeking improved efficiencies, traditional sectors continue to use 3D scanners in rising numbers. Automotive, aerospace and medical device manufacturers, all are improving production speed and quality performance with 3D quality inspection using 3D laser scanning systems.

There has never been a better time than right now to investigate how 3D laser scanning for quality inspection can help you meet your operational goals. The 3D scanners are designed to function in noisy, dusty manufacturing environments and in ambient lighting. 3D scanning is a very helpful tool in the quality control stage of any kind of manufacturing. This is especially true when you are dealing with large products, such as ships or planes.

Additive manufacturing is the future. At the moment, it is only small parts that are being made in this way, but in the future, it will be large parts too. Eventually, 3D scanners and 3D printers are likely to become one solution. 3D scanning as an industry is expected to grow at a high rate in future. Factors driving this growth include the rapid pace of development in 3D scanner technology and the growing adoption of scanners for quality assurance and control in manufacturing.

3D scanning is used by a diverse array of industries including historical preservation, special effects for movies and video games, healthcare, art and design, and more. One particularly interesting area that is developing is virtual and augmented reality. This could be for entertainment, for businesses that want to create virtual show rooms and even training applications. NASA is one of the early adopters of this strategy, with the creation of their Hybrid Reality Lab. This lab combines consumer virtual reality technology and tracked 3D objects to create an immersive experience. This training method is expected to continue to grow in terms of popularity and adoption in future.