Wikipedia defines a 3D scanner as ‘a device that analyses a real-world object to collect information on its shape and also its appearance.’
3D Scanners Market Overview
This data is then used to create digital three dimensional models. 3D data is useful in many applications like movie and video game production, industrial design, prosthetics, orthotics, reverse engineering, prototyping, quality control/ inspection and also documentation of cultural or historical artefacts.
The main types of scanners sold in the 3D scanners market are Laser 3D scanners, portable CMM based 3D scanners, optical scanners and structured light scanners. They can also be classified as being short, medium or long range scanners.
Laser 3D scanners account for the largest market share at present. However, CMM based ones are gaining popularity and growing faster due to their portability, affordability and also application in non-conventional areas to scan objects in tight spaces with a high degree of accuracy.
3D Scanners Market Drivers
An increasing focus on industrialization and manufacturing is expected to be the main driver of the 3D scanner market going forward. 3D scanners have widespread adoption in the automobile, aerospace and construction industry.
Automobile manufacturers have been reducing their product development cycles in recent times, enabling them to introduce new vehicles quicker. In addition, a high prevalence of reverse engineering in countries like China will also spur the demand for 3D printers.
They are also used by the medical industry for surgery, various diagnoses like CT scans and also by dentists. In developed regions like North America, 3D scanners have begun to be used in crime scene investigation, providing a ready market for manufacturers.
Another use case for 3D scanners is for maintaining digital records of all cultural or historical artefacts. This is mainly in countries like China, India and the Middle East which are considered the cradles of civilization and have countless historical treasures worth preserving.
3D scanners are vital in preserving records of historical data or any artefacts which may be kept in museums around the world.
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3D Scanners Market Restraints
As already mentioned, the two main types of scanners sold in the 3D scanners market are Laser scanners and portable CMM based ones. Laser scanners are typically fixed, and provide a high quality scanned image.
However, this also makes them prohibitively expensive, making mass adoption challenging. Fierce price competition among the established players will also make it difficult for the 3D scanner market to grow at an unencumbered rate.
3D Scanners Market Key Regions
North America is the largest 3D scanner market, followed by the European Union. The U.S.A has always been at the forefront of adopting new technologies for various reasons.
The region is known for its manufacturing prowess in the automobile, healthcare and aerospace industries. The North American 3D scanners market players have also found customers in new fields like forensics, crime scene investigation, and the fashion and jewellery market.
Europe closely follows the U.S. in adoption of 3D scanners for the same reasons mentioned above.
Asia Pacific countries like China and India are expected to account for the highest growth rates. This is due to rapid industrialization requiring 3D scans in the construction industry and a high prevalence of reverse engineering (particularly in China).
In addition to this, there is also a strong focus on automobile manufacturing and healthcare, increasing the scope of the Asian 3D scanners market.
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3D Scanners Market Key Market Players
Some of the companies operating in the 3D scanners market includes Hexagon AB, Faro Technologies, Creaform Inc., Nikon Metrology, Trimble Navigation Ltd., GOM GmbH, Topcon Corporation, Creaform Inc., Trimble Navigation Ltd., Maptek, Ametek , Perceptron Inc., Carl Zeiss Optotechnik GmbH, Riegl Laser Measurement Systems GmbH, and 3D Digital Corporation.
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