Is 3D Scanning the Future of Measurement?
Ian Wright posted on June 29, 2016 |
The Leica Absolute Scanner LAS-20-8. (Image courtesy of Hexagon MI.)
The Leica Absolute Scanner LAS-20-8. (Image courtesy of Hexagon MI.)
Although not exactly in its infancy, 3D scanning technology is still relatively new compared to touch probing and other metrology and non-destructive testing methods. But according to a recent report from MarketsandMarkets, the 3D scanner market is on the rise.

The market is expected to grow from USD$3.41 billion in 2015 to 5.90 billion by 2022, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6 percent. The report also predicts that the total number of units will reach 114,900 by 2022, at a CAGR of 10.9 percent.

According to the report, factors driving this growth include the rapid pace of development in 3D scanner technology and the growing adoption of scanners for quality assurance and control (QA/QC) in manufacturing. This growing adoption rate can be attributed to the fact that 3D scanners can often reduce manufacturing times by streamlining the QA/QC process.

Laser 3D scanners are expected to hold the largest share of the market, primarily due to their ease of use and wide availability. The report groups scanners that use laser triangulation, phase shifting, time-of-flight or a combination of these three technologies under the common heading of laser 3D scanners.

The portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM)-based segment of the 3D scanner market—which includes handheld and articulated arm CMMs—is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. That’s not surprising, given the versatility of portable CMMs, which enable users to scan tight spaces with high accuracy.

Regionally, the report states that the Americas held the largest share of the 3D scanner market in 2015, owing to the presence of major scanner manufacturers and the rising adoption of VDI/VDE regulations. However, the report also identifies APAC as an up-and-coming region for the 3D scanner market, based on the rising demand for scanners in the automotive, healthcare and architecture and construction industries.

Although the growth of the additive manufacturing industry is more liable to capture headlines, the close relationship between 3D printing and 3D scanning means that growth in the former market is likely to spur growth in the latter as well. Moreover, 3D scanning applications far outstrip those of 3D printing, at least for the foreseeable future.

For more information, or to download the full report, visit the MarketsandMarkets website.

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