In today’s world, there is virtually nothing technology cannot accomplish. This is especially true with 3D scanning, which has revolutionized numerous fields in the past decade. Used to analyze an object or environment, the scanning then collects data on the shape and appearance of whatever is being scanned. Once this is completed, the data is used to create digital three-dimensional models, which can then be used for a variety of applications.
While this technology is used in numerous fields, it has been used extensively in the entertainment industry. Whether it’s a blockbuster movie or the latest video game, this technology had made the field of virtual cinematography one of the most exciting within entertainment. Along with movies and video games, many artists now sculpt a physical model of an object and then use 3D scanning, rather than creating a digital model on a computer.
Another area that uses 3D scanning is museums and art galleries. The Smithsonian Institution, along with other museums around the world, are now using 3D scanning to catalog their collection and make it available online to people around the world. Along with this project, Stanford University and other colleges and universities are also using 3D scanning to preserve various aspects of cultural heritage. The statues of Michelangelo, along with Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, are just two examples that have been scanned to create virtual collections of historical objects and images.
Surprisingly, the construction industry is also finding numerous uses for 3D scanning technology. Site modeling and layout, subsurface scanning of a site prior to beginning construction, and documenting any part of a possible building site that has been deemed a potential historical site are situations where 3D scanning can prove to be very useful. Along with construction, civil engineering also uses this technology extensively in a variety of projects. Freeway design and redesign, creating GIS maps, detecting structural changes in bridges or buildings, and much more all come together to make 3D scanning a vital part of today’s engineering industry.
As 3D scanning technology continues to develop, there is little doubt more and more applications will become available. Whether it’s building the next superhighway, mapping a remote forest, or developing a movie that will become popular across the world, 3D scanning is changing the way people live, play, and work. In the coming years, it’s anticipated it will be widely used in the medical field as well as in manufacturing, making it an even more important part of today’s world.