3D technology has gained a lot of notoriety lately. It’s been featured on all sorts of television programs and is actively used by many companies to produce real, practical objects. However, most people think of 3D printing in this regard. So, what about 3D scanning? How does it come into play? What purpose does it serve for the population as a whole?
For starters, scanning of this nature captures the entire three-dimensional surface of an object. This makes it easy to replicate something or reverse engineer it. Let’s say a product is quite old and there’s no existing CAD model on hand. This kind of scanning can be used to capture the data, input it into the computer, create a CAD model out of it, and proceed to make new versions of the product. It’s an excellent way to make product updates or modifications. It’s also useful for third-party manufacturers that wish to produce accessories for a product. This way, they can get the exactly right specifications without having to hire a very expensive CAD model designer.
Another useful application is in the medical field. It’s possible to use 3D scanning to create models of bones, teeth, and skin to create implants, replacements, grafts, and to prepare for surgeries. It can also be used to document artifacts. It’s the anthropologist and archeologist’s dream come true, really.
Yet another application for 3D scanning technology is in the production of movies. 3D scans are used all the time to create special effects. People are often scanned to create three-dimensional versions of them in the film. Think of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Andy Serkis had to wear a suit with many different targets all over it to capture his movements. This technology is called motion capture and is very similar to 3D scans.
Many people might think this technology is limited to those with a ton of money or those that perform outlandish tasks. However, that’s not the case. In fact, it can be used in day-to-day life and is, in fact, in the medical community, science labs, film making, museums, and more. It’s practical and allows people from all walks of life to save money and build the things they need to build without sacrificing quality or compromising in any way. It’s truly the technology of the future and gives people an excellent way to visualize objects in a virtual space.