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7 Predictions for 3D Scanning in the Next 5 Years

Posted by Mike Knicker on Aug 19, 2014 10:00:00 AM


3D scanning is a burgeoning technology in the realm of metrology, and for good reason: It often allows you to achieve faster, more accurate measurements for applications such as first article inspection and reverse engineering.

As the technology evolves, so does the industry surrounding it. Although the scientific concepts behind 3D scanning do not change, its evolution as a metrology resource is far from static.

The Future of 3D Scanning

As more and more metrology professionals adopt 3D scanning, we can expect to see some changes in both the technology and in the industry. Some of our predictions for 3D scanning in the next five years include:

  1. It will become more accurate - High-end 3D scanning devices are approaching the accuracy of CMM and, in some cases such as micro-scanning, actually are surpassing it.
  2. It will get faster - 3D scanners are already quicker than CMM for data collection, but we can expect them to become even faster as processor speeds and computer memory increase. In fact, some machines are already so fast that the scan can complete in the same time that it takes to snap a photograph.
  3. Costs will go down - With almost any technology, prices tend to decrease with new advances in technology and widespread adoption. This is expected to also occur with 3D scanning.
  4. Pixel density will improve - The resolution of digital cameras has skyrocketed over the years, and the same will happen for 3D scanners. One of the most advanced scanners, the Steinbichler Comet 6, features a 16-megapixel sensor, which provides better detail and larger fields of view.
  5. It will get easier - As the technology improves and software becomes more user-friendly, 3D scanning will become more accessible. We are already starting to see the beginnings of this trend with products such as the Steinbichler colin3D, which has almost no learning curve.
  6. It will become more widespread - For all of the reasons already listed, 3D scanning will become more available to large enterprises, small businesses, and even consumers.
  7. New technology will be introduced - This growing field is getting a lot of attention not only from end-users, but also from the scientists who are developing new technologies and uses for existing technology. Expect to see cutting-edge solutions in high-end products and disruptive technologies that can help bring 3D scanning technology to the consumer market.

Of course, nobody can predict the future, but because Q-PLUS Labs uses 3D scanning every day, we have unique insights into the potential of this technology and the many applications it can offer.

If you are interested in learning more about 3D scanners or how they can be used for your business, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

How do you think 3D scanning will evolve over the next five years?

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Topics: 3D Scanning