3D Scanning – Overview

The Importance Of 3D Scanning

We have all heard of 3D printing in the news over recent years, however 3D scanning is becoming increasingly popular in a number of organisations including: manufacturing, engineering, design and development. Often combined with 3D printing, the advancement of scanning technology sees vast benefits in recreation and preservation opportunities.

What is 3D Scanning?

3D Laser Scanning is a non-contact, non-destructive technology that digitally captures the shape of physical objects using a line of laser light. 3D laser scanners create “point clouds” of data from the surface of an object. In other words, 3D laser scanning is a way to capture a physical object’s exact size and shape into the computer world as a digital 3-dimensional representation.

3D scanning allows you to see designs at the conceptualisation stage. This means that time can be saved in the design and prototyping process. Designers and artists now have the flexibility to scale physical objects and to alter designs to meet different requirements.

Aston Martin

In the early 1960s, Aston Martin built just 75 of its dapper DB4GT race cars. Engineers at present-day Aston Martin knew they could reincarnate the iconic machine and make it even better than it was. During a yearlong development process, the team 3D-scanned eight original cars to create a digital model from which they would replicate and perfect every piece of the roaring coupe. Using the digital design, Aston Martin also integrated a straightened frame, well-tailored body, stronger engine (266 to 302 horsepower) and introduced stricter safety features to the model.

Victoria & Albert Museum

In a project conducted by the Victoria & Albert museum in London, historians recreated a chair owned by Marie Antoinette using moulds, 3D scanning and 3D printing. By scanning the missing parts, they were able to reverse 3D print them.

Many items such as the chair were stolen or partially destroyed following the French revolution. 3D scanning has the potential to preserve cultural & spiritual monuments, offering endless opportunities for education and cultural enrichment.