The global 3D scanning market size was valued at USD 3.32 billion in 2015 and is anticipated to reach USD 8.04 billion by 2025. The 3D scanning market is anticipated to experience a robust growth on account of rising implementation in numerous end-applications including reverse engineering, quality control and rapid prototyping. In addition to offering quick results with better efficiency, the technology is easily affordable and economical. Other technological improvements and innovations with respect to 3D scanners such as handheld 3D scanners are also anticipated to serve the market.
Suppliers and manufacturers of hardware and developers of software solutions emphasize on operational ease and continuous enhancements in workflow. Subsequently, making technology easily accessible to professional users and thereby driving sales. The downside of this technology is the understanding and analysis of complex applications such as point cloud management, application to a CAD authoring which may hamper 3D scanning market growth. Therefore, ease-of-use of these workflow management techniques has become a priority for a client’s success with the product.
The 3D scanning market is price elastic and identified by technological advancements and extreme competition. Currently, high-priced scanners pose a challenge in the market; however, it is expected that in the coming years, the impact may decrease as suppliers concentrate on introducing low-budget devices and achieving economies of scale.
On the basis of product type, the 3D scanning market can be classified as the optical scanners, lasers, and structured light. In 2013, laser scanners occupied the majority of market. Nevertheless, the structured light and optical product segments are projected to gain market share at the fastest pace from 2014 to 2020. 3D scanners are used for quality control checks, reverse engineering purposes and rapid prototyping. Additionally, to ensure precise specifications and accuracy, 3D scanning also provides speedy quality inspection.
3D scanners are categorised into short range, medium range, and long range scanners on the basis of range and distance. In 2013, short range scanners emerged as the industry leader and it is expected to continue a similar trend throughout the forecast period. Structured light and laser triangulation methods, that have a very less focal distance, are employed by these scanners. Medium range scanners are anticipated to capture market share over the forecast period.
Several industries confront challenges in terms of safety, cost and schedule which usually stem out of control due to inadequate and erroneous dimensional procedures. In the manufacturing and engineering sector, and 3D scanning plays a vital role as a part of quality assessment and control systems. They help in reducing risks, especially in fields where energy concentration is high, location access is expensive and fabrication methods and modular design techniques are deployed thereby driving market growth from 2014 to 2020.
Introduction of portable scanners have spurred demand for the 3D scanning market thereby gaining popularity for architecture applications. These products are widely used in archaeology as they preserve and archive many architectural pieces from museums. Utilization of 3D scanning systems offer an environment of historic times by effectively setting up virtual museums by scanning for virtual museums online or on-site and representing art pieces for multimedia presentations. Techniques such as reverse engineering that are based on virtual restoration is also anticipated to accelerate product acceptance across the architecture sector. In addition, rising demand for media and entertainment is observed to boost 3D scanning market.
Upsurge in 3D content together with technological advancements have resulted in rapid product launches and high-quality images and video distribution. Smartphone cameras have witnessed significant progress in the past few years in addition to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) upgrading their products with 3D imaging capabilities.
In 2013, North America constituted for a significant percentage of the overall market. Structured light scanners which are known for measuring 3D shapes of objects using cameras and projected light patterns are anticipated to experience a high growth in the regional market from 2014 to 2020. High demand for 3D scanners across various application segments together with rising acceptance for portable scanners in region including Latin America and Asia Pacific are expected to spur market demand over the forecast period.
Key market participants include Ametek (Creaform), 3D Digital Corp., FARO Technologies, Basis Software Inc (Surphaser), Topcon and Maptek. Firms in the market primarily cater to a broad range of applications across varied industries such as manufacturing, aerospace, research & education and consumer products. The industry is identified by a stiff competition with frequent mergers and acquisitions, in the software and hardware industry. The market is expected to provide new avenues to expand and grow by new product development of cost-effective 3D scanners over the forecast period.
3D Scanning Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
• Laser Scanner
• Structured Light Scanner
• Optical Scanner
3D Scanning Range Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
• Short range
• Medium range
• Long range
3D Scanning Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
• Industrial manufacturing
• Aerospace & Defense
• Architecture & Engineering
3D Scanning Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million; 2014 - 2025)
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• South America
• Middle East & Africa
Research Support Specialist, USA