Whether in the technology industry or not, people are always looking for the newest development and how it can benefit their direct field. While not a new technology in itself—scanning has been around for several years—the next big benefit in scanning is 3D laser scanning. This capability offers individuals in a number of different arenas the opportunity to take advantage of innovative development to make typical processes faster, easier, and more cost effective.

What Is a 3D Scanner?

A 3D scanner is a complex device that assesses objects in the real world to collect information. This type of imaging device is capable of rendering information regarding an object’s shape and appearance to reconstruct a digital, three-dimensional model.

The process of 3D laser scanning creates the possibility of capturing the actual composition of a physical object and representing digitally. 3D laser scanning is an ideal data collection option for objects with contoured surfaces and complex geometries that are difficult to describe in singular dimensions. This technology honestly makes the impractical practical and even possible.

Why Use a 3D Scanner?

While the possibility of such a technology is exciting, many individuals are skeptical initially and ponder the question “Why use a 3D scanner?” The answer is simple: A 3D scanner makes previously unachievable tasks attainable in a fast and effective way. This type of imaging is applicable across a variety of industries and is practical, cost-effective, and relatively easy to implement. Plus, typical 3D scanners do more than just collect data. Most systems are designed to collect, store, and manipulate data to more functionally serve users.

What Are the Main Uses of a 3D Scanner?

Some may believe 3D scanning to have a single application, but these systems are actually applicable across a wide variety of industries. Anyone in engineering, manufacturing, design, development, and assessment can benefit from this technology. In most cases, 3D scanning can be applied in any part of the development or assessment phase to save time and money. 3D scanning is capable of rendering finite illustrations of new ideas or concepts in design, transferring a physical design into a digital format for manipulation, and creating a prototype for testing a new concept. Additionally, 3D scanning can be used in engineering to perform CFD, CAE, FEA, and other engineering analyses on objects and structures that have been manufactured. These devices are also applicable for optimizing models in production, ascertaining quality of new products, and visually tracking and sorting packages in distribution facilities.

What Are the Major Benefits of 3D Scanning?

In addition to a variety of applications, 3D scanning offers a number of specific use benefits. Applying 3D scanning is an effective way to:

  • Collect a complex assessment of the physical appearance of an object
  • Assess the effective composition of new products
  • Identify and correct issues in newly designed products and structures
  • Make comparisons between “models” and built products
  • Save time in design and integration
  • Reduce costs in development and manufacturing

A 3D scanner may seem like something from science fiction, but the reality is that technology has advanced to such a level that it really is making the impossible achievable.