Cloud Datacenters Set to Streamline 3D Printing and Scanning

June 1, 2014

10:00 am

We all know that conventional scanning can capture an image in seconds, taking it from a piece of paper into a digital image. 3D scanning into the cloud works on the same principle, using a laser to build a detailed copy of an everyday object, and then storing the data on in the cloud. It’s a surprisingly mature technology that is used to improve the quality of movies and games, as well as providing a way for 3D printing as a whole to grow and evolve. The advantages of using the cloud for 3D printing and scanning outweigh any negatives, if any, and the cloud will allow the technology to evolve at a much more rapid pace.

Everyday Applications

3D scanning allows anyone to build a realistic virtual image of an everyday object, and then manipulate it or even copy it using a computer. If this technology is incorporated into the cloud, more people will be able to learn from others’ work. The technology has been growing rapidly, with users uploading their scans and models of different household items in order to be duplicated on 3D printers anywhere in the world. As 3D printing improves, scanning will provide a solid foundation for it to build on and evolve.

Scanned objects are already being used in the film and gaming industries to provide some of the most realistic visual effects in history. Using virtual servers that utilize orchestration and automation, intense calculations can be performed much more efficiently than using one local computer. Using a 3D scanner, visual artists can import an exact copy of any object into their virtual world and then into the cloud. With games such as Halo 5 on the horizon, these types of technologies are heavily dependent upon virtual servers and the cloud. Take the example of Amazon’s emerging 3D gaming cloud; you can easily see how 3D scanning and printing alongside public cloud datacenters will help fuel a quick increase in the level of quality, and amount of detail, we see in computer-generated media.  The secret to 3D scanning’s success is how closely and easily it can duplicate the contours of an object. As it improves, so will the fidelity. It’s easy to imagine even the most delicate objects routinely scanned and stored, waiting to be printed out or used as an asset in a film or game.

The Future Of 3D Scanning

Some of the most exciting advances in 3D scanning are set to come from the medical world. As intra-body imaging continues to advance, there’s no reason why 3D scanning couldn’t be used to build accurate models of damaged organs. Since private cloud services are on the rise inside of healthcare IT, you can expect a plethora of new innovation based on this technology while simultaneously being shared out amongst other medical professionals. Coupled with other advances in the medical field, this could mean that organs could be made to order and donor lists could disappear overnight. 3D printed silicone scaffolding could give scientists what they need to grow a new heart or possibly even lungs in the lab. The future of the cloud and virtual datacenters coupled with the advancements in 3D printing and scanning make this technology one to watch over the next few years.

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Natalie Lehrer is a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys exploring all things cloud and is a music enthusiast. Follow Natalie’s daily posts on Twitter: @Cloudwedge, or on Facebook.

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