You might see 3D scanning and printing as the “in” thing right now. Anyone can buy a 3D printer, go online, find a design, and print something off. But it’s more than a hobby. The technology available greatly surpasses what you have in your home office. 3D scanning software is capable of scanning the smallest objects to entire vehicles. The applications are near limitless, covering a wide range of industries. So the question is: what can it do for you?
In almost every aspect of aerospace manufacturing, accuracy is critical. Planes are made up of intricate parts both big and small. 3D scanning and measurement technology has made recreating these easier than ever.
It’s especially useful if you handle vintage aircraft, like World War 2 era bombers. If you want to preserve the plane for generations to come, having an easy solution to replacing parts that may not exist anymore is exactly what you need. Even if you don’t want to manufacture a part, just digitising the plane for posterity is worthwhile.
The same can be said for cars, especially if you’re restoring a classic car – whether that be a vintage McLaren or a Reliant Robin.
And with more people behind the wheel than ever before, and new guidelines introduced every day, the automotive industry has had to change its manufacturing process over the years. 3D scanning has revolutionised the industry, helping to create 3D live images of operation facilities, allowing them to compare the different production processes for each vehicle. This has helped to refine production plans.
Arts and sculptures
3D scanning has given artists a whole new way to express themselves and share their talent. 3D scanners make hard-to-scan surfaces a thing of the past, and they can make almost anything digital. This means artists can capture organic shapes in almost any environment and then work with them to create their art, sometimes exploiting the software to create unique effects.
3D scanners, particularly portable ones, have led to huge developments in healthcare. They are often a key stage in the treatment of multiple conditions. 3D scanners and scanning software can be used to design and create customised prosthetic and orthotic devices that take into account the patient’s particular anatomy.
Specialists can also use 3D modelling to account for small movements the patient may make through scanning to ensure the result is more accurate.
Animation and film
Special effects in film have vastly improved over the years. This is often a result of 3D technology. 3D scanning allows you to take a complete scan of an object or a person which they can then manipulate with computer 3D design software. This produces assets which you can animate or render for CGI effects. Motion capture is already a staple of film and video games, and it’s a technology that will only continue to grow.
Tool and part making
Lost or missing design plans are no longer a problem with 3D scanning technology. 3D scanning software gives you the ability to reverse engineer parts and artefacts with scan-to-CAD solutions. It’s like what we said for vintage aircraft and classic cars: even if they’re over 100 years old, you can still get replacement parts.
Product design and product development
3D scanning software provides new ways for artists, designers, and engineers to produce improved products while saving money. It also reduces the time it takes to get them to market, enhances aesthetics, and improves ergonomics. Designers can use actual human anatomy to design new products and, once completed, the new design can be tested virtually against the scans of different people.
There’s no industry that can’t benefit from 3D scanning. The applications of the technology are endless and can be adapted in multiple ways. Whether you can see it or not, you can’t deny it. So now you know a bit more about the technology, ask yourself again: what can it do for you?
At Central Scanning, our in-house specialists offer an efficient, reliable, and cost-effective 3D scanning service to suit your business needs. We have a huge array of equipment available meaning whatever you need scanning, we can do it. If you want to know more about what we can do for your business, get in touch with us on 01527 558 282.