that 56% of manufacturing executives are still waiting for the right use case or don’t
have any plans to deploy an IIo T solution. If so many are reluctant to evolve, sweeping
changes aren’t likely.
The rise of cyberattacks and fear of expanding vulnerability has also led to reluctance.
Consulting frm BDO found a 350% increase in ransomware attacks this year. There are
plenty of white hats in both the old guard and on the startup side, launching software
and platforms to stay ahead of threats (like Xage Security’s blockchain platform), so
while it’s a critical issue, that anxiety should dissipate.
I suspect fear of failure is a bigger reason. No one wants to risk being their company’s Charlie Brown, raring back for a prodigious kick only to have Lucy tuck the ball at
the last second. So expectations of the digital transformation’s future are high, but
for now are clearly tempered by pragmatism.
Skepticism is a healthy part of progress, though. New ideas need to earn their place
on the factory foor, and that is where we are. Don’t confuse this with cynicism, as I
The New York Times predicts a “fnancial crisis” is imminent, and that this year
is closer to 1929 than 1919. If the majority of manufactures continue to play a
wait-and-see attitude with new technology and dismiss bold new strategies without
investigating them, that could hold true and the end of the decade could end like it
started—in the gutter.
But if you want to hold me to one prediction, it’s this: how American manufacturers
approach 2019 is going to make or break the country’s success in the coming decade,
and they are going to come out on top. I choose to have faith an industry hellbent
on effciency and continuous improvement has learned from its mistakes and has
gotten better at preventing catastrophic economic downtime. So no roaring into the
next decade, but at least no shrieking either. And that’s something that should have
us feeling good about the future.
Predictions from the Field
Artec 3D’s scanners, including the Eva, Leo and new Ray, have been used in such prestigious and far out places as the White House and International Space Station, but the technology is still accessible enough for everyday use on the
factory foor. And because of that, it’s become a vital tool to current transformation
of manufacturing, a link between the physical and digital, used for metrology, quality
inspections, design, 3D printing.
Here’s how we think it will impact manufacturing in 2019.
1. Software, Not Hardware, Will Defne the Industry Elite
The act of creating professional-grade 3D scans has become easier-and-easier. Artec
Studio 13 now even includes an X-Ray feature to preview a scan before processing.
A task that was once reserved for highly trained technicians has become nearly as
easy as point-and-shoot. The side effect of democratizing the 3D-scanning process
is that the volume of data being captured continues to grow at a rapid rate. The new
challenge for 3D scanner manufacturers is rooted in software, and we predict the
industry will release improved software to deal with processing enormous amounts
of data as almost as fast and easily as it’s collected.
2. New Applications Will Emerge
The benefts of 3D scanning to create custom-ftted prosthetics has been well
established. However, the technology has moved beyond mankind and into the
animal kingdom. Mr. Stubbs, an alligator who was saved from illegal traffckers and
lost his tail, made headlines for receiving a prosthetic replacement created using
Artec’s 3D Scanner.
The advancements in virtual reality have also created new use-cases. The Montpellier
3. 3D Models Will Replace Product Photos in Retail
Medical University is developing an interactive virtual cadaver dissection simulation
with the help of 3D scanning. These VR cadavers will allow students the opportunity to
gain additional training, prior to using a physical subject. Weird, new and unexpected
applications for 3D scanning will continue to step into the spotlight.
Furniture retailers now have libraries of 3D models of their products, often made with
3D scans. They select the items they need and add them to the scene. This is much
faster than organizing a new photoshoot for each new image and certainly saves a lot
on physical storage space. Using 3D renders also allows the object to be spun and
angled to perfectly and naturally ft the environment it is being dropped into. This is an
invaluable tool for any manufacturer wanting to accurately communicate to a customer
a world away what a product or part looks like down to the millimeter.
And as augmented and virtual reality become more widespread, this application
should make those technologies even more realistic and immersive, allowing for more
realistic plant and equipment simulations.
4. Metal & Ceramic 3D Printers to Drive 3D Scanner Sales
Recently there has been a large increase in the numbers of metal and ceramic
3D printers to enter the market. Up until now, 3D printers have predominantly been
used for prototyping plastic parts. However, there are now many industrial metal and
ceramic printers set to dominate the market. Due to the complex heating process that
these printers require, there is a risk that the parts may become warped during the
build process. Parts produced by these printers will need to undergo quality control
measures. In line with the increase in production and sales of these new printers, we
expect there to be a signifcant increase in sales of 3D scanners that can inspect the
parts and compare them to their original fles.
We asked experts to weigh in on their industries
and see how things will shape up in 2019.
FOR THE 3D SCANNING INDUSTRY
by Andrei Vakulenko, Chief Business Development Officer, Artec 3D