3D Scanning: What it is, and how it’s revolutionising Product Design & Inspection across industries

In December 2022, the Indian Railways, the fourth largest national railway system in the world by size, announced that it was using “new and modern technologies” to upgrade inspection techniques of bridges such as continuous water level measurement and monitoring using 3D scanning of riverbeds. That’s just one example of the scope of 3D scanning for designing, inspection, and quality control.

What is 3D scanning?

3D scanning, a non-contact measuring technology, converts a physical model into digital 3D Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and is a great way to ensure accurate dimensional inspection, virtual image analysis, and prototype manufacturing.

Almost every industry from education and architecture to healthcare and manufacturing makes use of the technology for quality monitoring, prototyping, reverse engineering (collecting information from pre-existing structures and reproducing them based on the information obtained), analysis, designing, and measuring complex curved surfaces, development of industrial tools and more.

What is 3D Scanning used for?

When it comes to heavy industrial equipment, 3D scanning technology is often used to capture the virtual image of a physical part, and thereby aid machinery placement and repair as well.

In the automobile sector, 3D scanning can be used to ensure the final product fits the manufacturer’s requirements. Automakers like Toyota, for example, use it to build hard-to-find parts for discontinued vehicles and to add advanced manufacturing techniques in plants to speed up production.

In product development, 3D scanning is employed by design engineers to speed up decision-making. Traditional CMMs measure only one data point, making product creation time-consuming and repetitive. But a 3D scan can do the same job within hours as it gathers raw data as point cloud information and converts it into user-friendly formats.

3D scanning is also commonly used in the manufacturing industry to verify the accuracy of the products being manufactured. When it comes to quality control, 3D scanning is used to capture precise 3D models swiftly, accurately, and consistently. This is advantageous, particularly in handling large-scale items such as the aircraft industry, where it can help to reduce time and cost while enhancing performance and reliability.

Why is 3D scanning growing so popular?

The global 3D scanning market size, which was $3.7 billion in 2020, is likely to triple to $16.7 billion by 2030. The growth in large part is due to Covid-19, which resulted in the non-availability of a professional and skilled workforce. In addition, next-generation virtual reality and augmented reality solutions which are entering the 3D sphere are likely to result in further significant growth in 3D scanning.

At Blue Star E&E, we believe in staying ahead of the curve. Our range of professional and industrial-grade handheld 3D scanners are designed to accelerate time-to-market as well as meet quality control requirements. Our HandySCAN 3D, for example, is a metrology-grade portable 3D scanner, and is the fastest portable 3D laser scanner in the market, while our MetraSCAN3D, an optical CMM 3D scanner, is among the most reliable 3D scanning inspection tools in the market today. Accelerate your manufacturing process, improve your inspection solutions, boost your productivity, and step into the future of industrial innovation, with our customised 3D scanning solutions. Call our experts today!

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