Thursday, 7 April 2016

3D Scanning Market would be driven by wide-ranging industrial applications

Recent Technological advancements in scanning technology and collaborations among key market players to boost 3D scanning market growth across regions

What is 3D scanning Technology? 

The applications of 3D scanning technology in the market is fast expanding. It is the technology of determining the shape of an object’s surface or its volume in three-dimensional space along with additional information of the surface such as color and texture. The technology uses laser light, x-rays or structured light to capture measurement parameters such as height, thickness, or position of an object, which is which are then used to produce 3D representation of the scanned object using specialized software. The technology has myriad applications in processes that may require 3D visualization and 3D measurement of objects; the technology have become potent visualization tools in several of industrial sectors such as aerospace, defense, automotive, entertainment & media, construction, and healthcare. 

Potential Applications

3D scanners using the techniques of reverse engineering can shorten the gap between product developments to manufacturing time of a product, thus increasing the competitive edge of the companies. Key market players are making key technological advancements related to portability and scanning range, which have fostered the growth of the market. The applications of the 3D technology in entertainment industry in areas such as gaming, animations and imagery are fast growing. However, the high cost of 3D scanners may hinder the growth of the market along the forecast period.  One application of 3-D scanner that is fast emerging that consists of typical art preservation. Museums can typically keep a scanned copy of artifacts and paintings that can be recalled later for the purpose of easy repair or replication. The application of the technology to replicate organic matter such as human limbs and tissues into prosthetics is gaining prominence in healthcare industry. Growing applications of 3D scanners in healthcare sector and for various security applications would constitute the highest growth segment of face body scanning services. Other applications in healthcare sector are in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-rays, CT scan and several other body scanning processes.

Market Forecasts

As per a recent report by Allied Market Research titled “World 3D Scanning Market Opportunities and Forecasts, 2014 – 2021”, reverse engineering services garnered the largest revenue in 2014 due to their wide ranging applications in manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and defense sectors. Overall, the world 3D scanning market would garner a revenue of $5.7 billion by 2021, registering a CAGR of 13.6% during 2016 – 2021, with industrial manufacturing application segment contributing the highest revenue in 2014. Geographically, North America and Europe would be the prime revenue generators– over 65% of the aggregate market revenue throughout the analysis period.

Recent developments in 3D scanning market

Recent technological developments in the robotics and cloud-based services have led to key manufactures to form collaborations to create high-end products that can scan surrounding terrain and design extensive 3D models. Drone manufacturer 3D Robotics has recently employed Autodesk FORGE platform and Sony’s UMC-R10C camera to develop a UAV-to-cloud system. Using this high-end system, the scanner can 3D scan terrain construction, which will be used by workers in several industries such as telecom, survey, and energy and infrastructure to create detailed 3D images. In another breakthrough industrial 3D scanner application, Hewlett Packard Enterprise recently unveiled a full-body 3D scanning booth in CeBIT Digital Business conference. Called Avatar Platform, technology as claimed by the manufacturer that can create accurate 3D models of people within few minutes and then digitally dress and animate them. This has widespread applications across fashion, fitness and gaming industries. The innovative platform combines technology from three different pioneers, and is highly helpful to boost retail clothing sales, help various fitness centers track workout programs; further this can create customized animated avatars immensely popular in gaming industry.

There is increased adoption technology in different industry verticals driven by significant improvements in efficiency, and able to deliver faster and accurate results. Among different types of scanners, the laser scanners are widely adopted due to their portability and being low-priced. Asia-Pacific and LAMEA regions would exhibit potential market opportunities along the analysis period.