it’s a guest post from ShareMy3D

A couple of times a year I send an update to customers, friends, co-workers and other contacts, summarizing what you need to know in the 3D technology space. The objective is to provide insights and tools to reinvent and adapt to a 3D world.

Wow, it’s been an exciting start of the year and it’s difficult to keep up.

Below I’ve summarised a few great developments and articles for you to take in and be a thought leader among your peers. Enjoy!

TREND #1: 3D printing is not dead. Here’s why…

On the  industrial side, there is growing use of 3D printing for manufacturing. From medical equipment, retail solutions to automotive prototypes, several industries are embracing 3D printing to accelerate prototyping as well as to deliver cost efficiencies.

An example in the automotive sector is Daimler’s recent announcement to adopt Ricoh’s Additive Manufacturing (AM) Systems last month to print high-definition durable parts. You can read more on this here .

On the consumer side, after the 3D print-at-home explosion of 2015, 3D printers for personal use are getting faster and cheaper, though sourcing print materials is limiting the widespread adoption of home usage. However, outsourced printing services are growing at a steady pace, with New York the leader in third party printing services according to our friends at 3DHubs.

TREND #2: 3D Scanning is the future of measurement

Why is this relevant? On the industrial side, 3D scanning can significantly reduce manufacturing times by streamlining the QA process.

The greatest growth in 3D scanning is expected in portable CMMs (Coordinate Measuring Machines), since these offer greater versatility.

However, specific trends in 3D scanning are popping up in many areas, from 3D body scanning for the fashion industry to 3D jewelry scanning. Scan-tastic!, we say.

TREND #3: You know when you’ve been Tango’d…

Project Tango has been knocking around for the last 3 years and the buzz is that mobile manufacturers (and Apple) will follow the lead of Lenovo and Asus and also launch depth-sensing and motion-tracking phones that are capable of complex 3D experiences.

This will unleash a raft of new engaging experiences that will require (and be able to process) 3D models on phablets, tablets and smartphones.

Did anyone say iPhone 8?…


TREND #4: 3D gaming fails but 3D in Augmented Reality will increase

Views abound about the demise of 3D gaming and many a disappointed gamer has turned their attention (and wallet) to alternatives.

However, last year witnessed the dramatic success of Pokemon Go. While not Augmented Reality in its purest sense, it did offer 3D-type interactive placement of Pokemon characters in the view provided by smartphone cameras.

3D rendering on mobile can offer great experiences both offline and online and Unity and Unreal will keep providing great tools to spread 3D to audiences hungry for Augmented Reality.

Why the exciting part is on the software side.

On the design side, big changes are afoot. In fact, according to Maurice Conti, Strategic Innovation Director at Autodesk, designers will have to deal with more change in the next 20 years than in the previous 2000.

You can see more about his views on the future of design in his inspiring TedX Talk here.

TREND #5: 3D viewing of products will change everything in e-commerce

V is for V-commerce (or Virtual Commerce), a new term that is only beginning to emerge as a way of describing new ways of displaying products digitally. This includes how you view products on e-commerce sites as well referring to using AR and VR technology within the commercial arena.

The main interface of 2D webpages hasn’t changed much in 20 years and a key factor holding back further growth in e-commerce is the lack of a richer online experience.

Consumers increasingly expect to fully evaluate products before they buy and get a deeper visual experience in 3D of what the product will look like.

Web-based 3D viewing takes 2D e-commerce sites to the next level and lets consumers obtain a real feel of the dimensions, texture and aspect of coveted products before they commit to a purchase. We like to call this 3D-commerce.

Some of the benefits of this are:

  • Greater post-purchase customer satisfaction
  • Sales uplift as a higher % of online shoppers convert their wish list into purchased items
  • Improved customer loyalty for product and e-commerce sites due to the enhanced online customer experience
  • 3D viewing tools also allow for customised experiences and enable online shoppers to design their own feature and colour combinations for specific products
  • Online shopping returns can be significantly reduced from industry averages of 30% to 18%.

A great example of the last two points is Australian shoe outfit Shoes of Prey. 3D viewing is core to their whole sales experience with customers able to choose and view their own combination from trillions of combinations of style. With more than 10 million shoes designed by online shoppers from their e-commerce site, they have proved how much of a game-changer 3D viewing can be.

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