Technology spending is steadily scaling across American businesses. As of the last count, the average SMB spent roughly 7% of its revenue on technological investments.
For some, that could mean millions of dollars.
Why is technology spending such an essential line-item? Because many are finding that companies that invest in technology are best positioned to thrive in a marketplace that demands speed, personalization, and accuracy.
Among the many types of technological advancements we see pick up steam, 3D scanning is seeing a particularly meteoric rise. In this post, we discuss 3D scanning, its pros, barriers, and how it’s being used. We hope to inspire you to explore the implementation of this technology in your startup!
What Is 3D Scanning?
3D scanning describes the process of taking physical objects and copying them into a digital environment. This copying is done with the help of a device that looks a lot like a handheld barcode scanner.
After passing over an object with your scanner, renderings of the object will materialize in a 3D capturing program (AutoCAD, Maya, 3DS Max, etc.). Once rendered, objects can be manipulated, shared, and even printed to create new physical elements.
What Kinds of Startups Are Using 3D Scanners?
You may be wondering how 3D scanners are leveraged in business settings. After all, this is a business-focused blog!
We see the adoption and use of scanners skyrocket across several business niches. Key niches we see the most pick up in include the following:
Medical startups are on the rise, given people’s increasing health consciousness. Health organizations with limited funding have found themselves relying on technology to keep efficiency up and costs down.
3D scanners have been integral to that goal. They enable professionals to do things like taking scans of patient’s bodies for comparative examination purposes, scan limbs for the manufacturing of prosthetics, and more.
Part of creating something new requires adopting inspiration from the world around you. Artists are finding that the process of gathering that inspiration is made much easier with the help of 3D scanners.
Scanners give artists the power to see an object they like and pull that object into their crafting applications. From there, they can modify objects to create new pieces.
The process of designing and making improvements to construction projects is deeply intricate. Architects are streamlining that process by using scanners to create accurate renderings of building sites so they can build virtually and solve construction problems cost-effectively.
Architects, like designers, can also scan architectural inspiration from the world around them. They might then manipulate those scans digitally to breathe new life into old ideas and incorporate those ideas into their projects.
Given the speed in which crime scenes need to be cleaned up, forensic startups have a limited amount of time to gather the data they need to do their jobs when they’re called in to assist with an investigation.
3D scanning enables those teams to take accurate scans of a job site. This scanning and consequential preservation of an unspoiled scene create conditions where analysis can take place over longer, more detailed periods.
If you’re in the business of helping the world keep its historical pieces safe, 3D scanning is invaluable. Preservation startups are using scanning to take accurate renderings of timeless pieces. With these objects scanned, professionals have a reference point, should work need to be touched up.
Furthermore, if a scanned piece were to get lost to a disaster, its digital record would forever be kept safe. That would aid in its continued sharing and potential replication.
What 3D Scanning Barriers Exist?
We’ve walked you through the ways that startups today are leveraging 3D scanning to facilitate their work. You might not work across any of the niches we’ve touched. Still, we hope that the examples we’ve shared grant you inspiration on how you might repurpose popular workflows.
The feats 3D scanning facilitates, unfortunately, do require circumventing of barriers to enjoy. Those barriers include:
Professional-level 3D scanners can cost thousands of dollars. They also require you to have a computer capable of managing 3D renderings.
If you intend to print your scans, you’ll also need to invest in a 3D printer.
While scanning a 3D object is a rudimentary process, manipulating the object post-scan takes skill. 3D scanning creates ultra-accurate representations of objects in digital spaces. Likewise, you will need to make ultra-accurate modifications if you’d like a piece to serve a practical purpose in the real world.
Learning how to use 3D modeling tools is the best way to build your confidence in manipulating 3D objects.
3D Scanning Can Help Your Startup
Our core question in crafting this post was whether or not 3D scanning can help your startup. We trust that after seeing all of the technology’s use cases, the answer you came up with was a resounding yes!
If you’re not sold on 3D scanning, don’t throw in the towel just yet! The 3D scanning use examples we’ve shared scratch the surface of the technology’s versatility. Scanning is also improving continually, which means that even if you can’t find practical purposes for it now, things could change very soon.
We advise you to continue following 3D scanning’s growth trajectory as it could prove to be invaluable to you in the near future!
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