Revolutionizing Precision: Top Trends in 3D Scanning Hardware, Software, and Accessories

April 23, 2024

As technology advances, metrology and 3D scanning continue showcasing groundbreaking innovations in hardware and software (and even accessories). Quality inspections, reverse engineering, CAD modeling, and metrology have never been easier—or more fun! 

These advancements are propelled by industry leaders (and our partners), including Scantech, Artec 3D, and FARO Technologies. While each approaches the industry differently, they emphasize continual innovation in common, setting new standards for precision, efficiency, and functionality.

Let’s explore the top trends and the most trailblazing innovators in the 3D scanning and metrology industry from hardware to software and accessories.

Hardware Innovations: Mobility and Resolution Redefined

Scantech NimbleTrack

Elevate your 3D scanning capabilities with the Scantech NimbleTrack®, an ALL-NEW standout in the realm of portable scanning technology, disrupting the scanning status quo from launching only a couple of weeks ago! 

This wireless, handheld scanner offers unprecedented mobility, making it ideal for complex geometries in demanding sectors such as automotive and aerospace. With its ability to perform real-time mesh generation and full-color capture, the NimbleTrack transforms onsite data acquisition into a swift and streamlined process. 

The NimbleTrack’s robust construction and ergonomic design ensure durability and user comfort, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Additionally, its compatibility with cloud-based platforms facilitates effortless data sharing and collaboration across global teams.

Scantech, the manufacturer behind the NimbleTrack, is renowned for its commitment to innovation and quality in 3D measurement technologies. They specialize in developing versatile scanning solutions that meet the rigorous demands of industrial applications. 
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Artec Leo

Artec Leo Handheld 3D Scanner

Known for its high-resolution capabilities and self-contained processing, it is like a mobile studio that brings real-time visualization directly to the user’s fingertips. It’s perfect for professionals who need immediate feedback while scanning, streamlining the process from capture to model manipulation.

Last but not least, the Leo is designed and built by Artec 3D, a global leader in 3D scanning technology. Artec consistently delivers on its promise of revolutionizing workflows across a wide range of industries. It offers a range of top-tier professional 3D scanners, including the Eva, Space Spider, Ray 2, and Micro 2. 

Their cutting-edge, pro-grade equipment, combined with Artec Studio 18, make them an industry powerhouse, founded in 2007 with headquarters in Luxembourg.
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FARO Orbis

FARO Orbis

Revolutionizing mobile mapping, the all-new Orbis by FARO Technologies is their first handheld 3D scanner, but not their first foray into 3D scanning. The FARO Orbis provides a high-speed, accurate, and versatile scanning solution suitable for demanding field applications. 

FARO Technologies is an industry giant that was founded in 1981 and now averages $100MM in revenue per quarter. How? They’ve made a name that people and professionals don’t forget, by consistently being the best-in-class choice for the most meticulous manufacturers, especially when it comes to laser trackers and measurement arms. 

Their all-new Orbis handheld 3D scanner marks their official entry into the category. It combines the power of GeoSLAM’s SLAM algorithm with FARO’s proprietary Flash Technology™. This enables a dual scanning mode—mobile for on-the-go data capture and stationary for high-precision, detailed scans in just 15 seconds. 

Designed especially for construction, engineering, and surveying professionals, the Orbis dramatically accelerates project timelines while maintaining top-notch accuracy. It captures detailed 3D representations of complex environments quickly and efficiently, reducing human error and significantly boosting productivity. This hybrid approach allows continuous data acquisition, providing fresh, up-to-date insights crucial for dynamic project environments.
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Software Developments: Smarter Processing and Enhanced Control

Oqton’s Geomagic Design X / Control X

Oqton Geomagic Design X

Oqton’s Geomagic offers industry-leading reverse engineering and quality inspection software that transforms raw data into usable models with minimal effort and maximum precision. 

Geomagic Design X excels in creating accurate CAD models from 3D scan data, faster and more reliably than anything else on the market, which can be seamlessly integrated into existing CAD workflows. 

Control X, on the other hand, focuses on ensuring the quality of 3D measurements, which is crucial for maintaining standards in high-stakes industries like aerospace and automotive. Both software applications offer an “Essentials” or “X” version, perfect for the first-timer or buyer looking to start with a more limited, affordable solution to experience the magic of Geomagic firsthand.
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PolyWorks | Inspector® by InnovMetric


InnovMetric is the pioneer of point cloud-based inspection and invented the concept of a universal 3D metrology software platform. With the support of their 550+ professionals worldwide, they contribute greatly to the success of countless major manufacturing companies. 

Their most popular software, PolyWorks | Inspector®, is the leading portable metrology platform and essential for those needing comprehensive inspection capabilities. 

PolyWorks | Inspector® allows users to manage quality control by comparing the 3D scan data against the original CAD model, ensuring every product meets its precise specifications.
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Accessory Trends: Enhancing Efficiency and Accuracy


3D scanning spray

The trusted market leader in 3D scanning spray, AESUB offers world-class 3D scanning sprays for every project, industry, and application. That’s why they offer seven varieties in total, along with their all-new bulk delivery systems for AESUB Green (spray gun) and AESUB Yellow (Airbrush). 

Additionally, their accessories are designed to optimize the 3D scanning process from end-to-end, quickly, affordably, and effectively. From Dots and Nets to Turntables and Frames, AESUB has the solution. 

As the leading AESUB reseller in the US, we know just how well their products are uniquely tailored to improve the accuracy and ease of 3D scanning. The scanning sprays provide a non-reflective coating on shiny or transparent surfaces, ensuring better data capture. The only issue? Finding them in stock. Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered at Digitize Designs. Order AESUB accessories on our site by 10 am ET and receive same-day delivery (and it doesn’t hurt that we consistently have every spray in stock).
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Artec Armor

Artec Armor

Joining AESUB’s mission to enhance the 3D scanning experience by partnering with Artec 3D, Artec Armor is a new after-market accessory designed especially for Artec 3D scanners to protect sensitive equipment without compromising mobility, accuracy, or ease of use. This protective casing is tailored to shield devices like the Artec Leo during field operations, ensuring durability in various environments. 

Armor is not just about protection; it’s about extending the life and reliability of your investment, making it indispensable for professionals who demand robustness and precision. Don’t worry: Artec Armor will be available for purchase from Digitize Designs’ website soon (give us a shout in the meantime – they are in stock now).
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Wrap Up

As we navigate these exciting advancements, it’s clear that the future of 3D scanning is here to revolutionize how we see and interact with the world around us. With smarter, faster, and more adaptable solutions, the possibilities are endless.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to 3D scanning, now is the perfect time to explore these innovative technologies.

Ready to go deeper with a demo or more data/insights?

Visit Digitize Designs to explore our full range of products, or download our free 35-page eBook on 3D scanning essentials today and start transforming your projects with the power of precision. If you’re serious, it’s time to book a demo.

Let’s shape the future together, one scan at a time. 

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