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3D Scanning Applications

Scanning is a versatile technology with applications across a diverse array of industries. Whether it’s engineering, manufacturing, architecture or even arts and entertainment, 3D scanning can save you time and money. Below are just a few of the most common applications for 3D scanning technology.

New Product Development

3D scanning can be a boon to your product development process, particularly when developing products that must be form-fit to products already on the market. As a simple example, if you were developing a new phone case you could 3D scan the phone to use as the basis of your design. This would ensure that your case was tight fitting before you ran your first prototype, cutting down on the length and cost of your development cycle. This basic process can be used to design cases, covers, aftermarket replacement parts and more.


3D scanning can also help you manufacture or modify the design of parts you no longer have CAD for. This is ideal for legacy parts as well as discontinued or hard-to-find replacement parts for equipment. Even if they’re broken, parts can be 3D scanned and reverse engineered to produce the CAD you need. Your CAD can then be modified or manufactured as-is.

Quality Assurance/Quality Control

3D scanning is the fastest and most cost-effective way to perform quality control and assurance on your production parts. Regardless of the production method, production parts can be scanned and then compared to the original CAD. The models produced by 3D scanning can be overlaid onto the CAD and a color map can be generated, showing any deviation between the two models. This can greatly expedite the process of identifying production errors and help you get your products to market faster.

3D Surveying

Laser scanners are now commonplace tools for land surveyors. They can significantly improve the data collection process as well as project outcomes. Laser scanners have both reduced the amount of time that surveyors must spend collecting data and improved the quality of data collected. They are more versatile than older methods, allowing surveyors to overcome challenges that might have previously been insurmountable.

Facilities Scanning

Industrial facilities can also be captured with 3d laser scanners. Whether you’re planning an expansion, overhaul, maintenance or troubleshooting a problem, 3D scanning is a fast, cost-effective way to get a complete view of your facility. Scanners are able to capture relatively small object and features such as piping, conduit, and railing.


3D scanning people, props and environments can be used to quickly generate assets for the production of digital media. Examples include animation, CG effects, video games and interactive displays. After the subject has been scanned, the mesh and texture can be cleaned up and modified and a skeleton can be added for animation. These assets can be used in any 3D modeling and animation software.


A full-size sculpture created entirely from modeling clay would be dense and expensive. What some sculptors do is create a small, simplified version first. This version is 3D scanned, scaled up digitally and then milled at full-size from cheap, light foam. Clay can be used do add additional detail to this version before it is finally cast.


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