The Future of Flight – Revolutionizing Aviation Maintenance with 3D Technology

April 17, 2024

Shaping Tomorrow’s Skies: How 3D Scanning is Transforming Aviation Maintenance

Last week, the whirlwind of innovation that is MRO Americas Aviation Week 2024 swept through Chicago, and Digitize Designs was live and on the scene. Here, surrounded by the buzz of the latest technological feats, we showcased our pioneering tools and soaked in the myriad ways 3D scanning and metrology, which involve the use of lasers and cameras to capture the shape and dimensions of objects, are set to transform the aviation industry.

Spotlight on Innovation

This year, technologies like Scantech’s NimbleTrack and FARO’s Orbis 3D Scanner are not just new products on display but beacons of a rapidly approaching future. With their unparalleled precision and efficiency, these brand-new tools exemplify the seismic shift towards faster, more precise maintenance checks—vital for the aviation sector, where both time and accuracy are at a premium.

Software like PolyWorks|Inspector© and Mesh2Surface is doing more than crunching data; it is reshaping how we understand and interact with the very fabric of aircraft maintenance. For instance, these tools can detect and measure surface defects, such as cracks or corrosion, that may not be visible to the naked eye. Meanwhile, innovations such as AESUB’s scanning sprays fine-tune the details, allowing us to capture previously blurred nuances, like a damaged part’s exact shape and size.


Emerging Trends in Aviation and Aerospace

Integrating 3D scanning and metrology in aviation is pivoting from the experimental to the essential. Consider these burgeoning trends:

  1. Elongating Aircraft Lifespans:
    As fleets age, maintenance stakes rise. However, 3D scanning promises longevity, providing exhaustive assessments that preempt critical failures and ensure airworthiness. This proactive approach to maintenance can significantly reduce the risk of costly repairs or replacements, potentially saving aviation companies millions of dollars in the long run.
  2. Fabricating the Unfindable:
    For out-of-production aircraft, finding parts can be a saga. 3D scanning sidesteps this, offering the ability to replicate parts exactly, revitalizing old birds with new feathers.
  3. Forensics of Flight:
    When accidents occur, the clarity provided by 3D metrology is invaluable. It allows for precise reconstructions and deep insights, turning every piece of debris into a clue.
  4. Twinning Digitally: 
    The digital twin is no longer just a concept but a core component of modern aviation maintenance. A digital twin is a virtual replica of a physical asset, such as an aircraft, created using 3D scanning technology. This twin then serves as a blueprint for predicting wear, scheduling maintenance, and simulating potential stresses. It allows maintenance technicians to identify and address issues before they become critical, improving safety and efficiency.

Digitize Designs: Leading the Charge

At Digitize Designs, our role extends beyond mere participation. We are at the vanguard, steering the industry toward a future where digital precision underpins every maintenance schedule, every repair is a testament to accuracy, and every inspection is steeped in technology. Our leadership in this transformation inspires confidence and sets the standard for the industry.


This transformation is not just about adopting new tools; it’s about rethinking our approach to aviation safety and efficiency. It’s about building a future where technology and tradition meet to create something safer, something more reliable.

Looking Ahead

Reflecting on the insights from MRO Americas 2024, one thing is clear: aviation’s trajectory is set toward greater integration of 3D technologies. 

At Digitize Designs, we are not just watching this future unfold but creating it. Join us as we continue to explore, innovate, and lead the way in transforming aviation maintenance for the better.

In embracing these technologies, we’re not just preparing for the future but defining it. Let’s embark on this journey together—where innovation meets the runway! Your role in this collaborative effort is crucial, and we value your contribution to this transformative process.

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