A digital copy of a real-world object—once just a science fiction, is now a reality. 3D scanning technology has now become an essential part of almost all the engineering companies as well as a valuable consumer tool. It is the only technology that can design, produce, and print an object of any shape or size imaginable.
What is 3D scanning technology?
3D scanning is a technique in which a 3D object is transformed into a 3D model. This technique collects all the data such as the shape, texture, color, and other details of the object that is scanned. A 3D scanner not only processes the data about the object being scanned but also the environment (e.g. room) in which the object resides. This technique is also capable of scanning human figures with great accuracy.
Basically, 3D scanners form the digital replica of a real-world object. This 3D file can then be revised and 3D printed as per requirements. These files are usually compatible with CAD software and 3D printing slicer software. 3D printing helps in speeding up the design and modeling process and parts can be created within hours.
On the verge to capture the world
Today, 3D scanning technology is being widely used across several industries such as entertainment, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and automobile. The applications of 3D scanners are increasing day by day in quality inspection, body scans, rapid prototyping, reverse engineering, and several other service areas. Moreover, the implementation of 3D scanning technology is gradually getting higher in healthcare sectors owing to increased revenues, improved medical services, and growing awareness about hygiene.
A report presented by Big Market Research says that the 3D scanning market is expected to grow at a healthy growth rate of 25.7% from 2018 to 2025. By identifying the potential of 3D scanning in the current market, various manufacturers such as 3D Digital Corporation, Direct Dimensions, Inc., Faro Technologies, Inc., Creaform, Inc., Autodesk, Inc., GOM mbH, Konica Minolta, Inc., and others are coming up with innovative 3D printing solutions.
Exposes hidden ‘witch marks’ at Creswell Crags
Recently, 3D scanning and animation technology has unlocked a new way to see the witch marks. These ‘witch marks’, also called as apotropaic marks or protection marks were engraved into walls and ceilings of a hidden cave, over dark holes and huge crevices for many years.
Jeremy Lee, the principal lecturer in the University’s Department of Media Arts and Communications works on emerging and innovative digital technologies to allow new techniques of observing, creating, and experiencing artworks. He believed that this witch mark cave is a brilliant opportunity to utilize these 3D scanning technologies and produce an interactive 3D copy of the cave.
The hidden cave is full of scratches and marks on its walls and ceiling, but with the help of 3D printing technology, Lee succeeded in efficiently capturing them with LIDAR scanning. Visitors will now be able to observe and explore every corner of the cave with the help of 3D printing technology. Also, researchers will obtain safer and improved visibility to the marks and finally unlock the mysteries of this hidden cave.
Boon for the construction industry
The 3D scanning technology is ruling the construction field by tackling the housing crisis with the help of 3D prints of buildings. Moreover, this technology helps lower the labor costs and rapid completion of the construction of buildings. Urban 3D is creative CGI studio specializing in Architectural Visualization, 3D Visualization, Design & Property Marketing. The company develops digital manufacturing technologies for the construction industry, with an aim to solve the housing crisis. It is currently (2019) testing various architypes and intends to offer numerous solutions for the development of Brazilian shantytowns.
The increasing application of 3D Printing in the construction industry is largely because of the growing requirement for sustainable, innovative, smart housing, and environmental-friendly solutions. The low cost and speed of constructions are other aspects luring the Asia-Pacific market to implement 3D scanning technology. On the other hand, growing demand for commercial buildings is also one of the factors pushing the growth of the 3D scanning market.
To end with, the 3D scanning industry is undeniably in a stage of the rapid revolution. As the industrial world makes a move toward a highly autonomous and connected world, more businesses all across the globe are sure to come up with innovative solutions related to 3D scanning.