Artyom Yukhin, of 3D scanning company Artec3D, pictured against a dark background.
Image: Artyom Yukhin

Crafting futures: 3D scanning’s impact on ‘hands-on’ careers

5 Dec 2023

Artyom Yukhin, CEO of Artec 3D, writes that multiple industries can leverage the potential of 3D scanning to fill skills shortages – but only if training opportunities are made available to all.

As technology has evolved, so have the skills required to harness and utilise it at the height of its capability. To take advantage of the growth opportunities for AI, we see commitments for developing digital skills to meet its extensive growth, through programmes and education platforms, which are created to encourage careers in tech and ultimately bridge widening skills gaps.

The US construction industry alone is facing a shortage of more than 500,000 workers, in part due to a move away from hands-on work towards office-based roles and a misguided stigma of trade and construction work.

3D scanning has been a pivotal asset to workforces in the AI age, boosting the appeal of careers in hands-on work by blending digital expertise alongside craftsmanship.

The current state of play

There is an abundance of skills gaps across both digital and trade sectors, with predictions stating that nearly 8m manufacturing jobs globally could go unfilled by 2030.

As these vacancies rise beyond the availability of people and talent, businesses are racing to develop and implement technologies that can streamline their processes and boost their competitiveness.

In the digital sector, in 2023, 54pc of global organisations are experiencing a skills shortage.

Industries will continue to undergo paradigm shifts, especially in the wake of AI. There is a critical need for training to reskill workers to meet the demands that innovation presents in these new ways of working.

3D scanning has grown as a solution that dovetails digital and hands-on work. As a bridge between these two sectors, education for both businesses and employees in this sector is truly pivotal to not only embrace the capabilities of this technology, but to foster a more progressive and skilled workforce that is geared to adapt to the ever-developing world.

How 3D scanning is shaking up industries

3D scanning plays a significant role within industry 4.0, entwining manufacturing and industrial processes with technology to be undertaken in smarter and more sustainable ways.

For example, by using 3D scanners, maintenance teams can capture detailed digital models of infrastructures, such as bridges, buildings and pipelines to remotely analyse and assess the condition of these assets.

This enables an earlier detection of structural issues, reduces the need for physical inspections and optimises maintenance schedules. Other benefits include reducing costs, material waste and energy consumption by streamlining processes that would manually take weeks into an hour or less.

A broad scope of industries are already utilising this technology to revolutionise their supply chain processes, from automotive to medicine, with its capabilities spanning from reverse engineering to quality control.

This fusion of traditional skills with modern technology has advanced breakthroughs in engineering, algorithms and business concepts. The creation of digital twins for different sectors not only enhances sustainability but also significantly reduces time and costs, encouraging manufacturing processes to be undertaken more economically.

This introduces new efficiencies and breaks down outdated processes, creating new value for consumers and businesses alike.

Supporting 3D skills development

To encourage the development of these crucial skills, platforms like Artec Academy have been designed to make education in 3D scanning readily available.

Not only does this allow the nurturing of a workforce prepared for the challenges of the future, but it also breaks down barriers by creating opportunities for individuals across diverse backgrounds.

These courses walk learners through the entire 3D scanning workflow, covering everything from scanner handling to data processing across multiple industries, including automotive, forensics and industrial design.

Artec 3D’s initiative ensures that businesses and employees can easily tap into the advantages of 3D scanning and utilise features such as quality control, reverse engineering, virtual simulation and additive manufacturing.

These initiatives address the need for digital skills in an accessible format, allowing users to learn to capture objects as quickly and accurately as possible to maximise the potential of 3D scanning for businesses worldwide.

How technology is boosting ‘hands-on’ careers

Technology is transforming manual tasks into strategic and innovative processes. However, it’s important that workforces are not left behind in the wake of digital advancements. The evolving landscape of technology demands a dual proficiency in digital and hands-on skills.

The dovetail of cutting-edge technology into hands-on work is not just a shift in tools; it’s redefining these careers, enhancing the level of work both in results and how tasks are undertaken.

Trade and construction careers are not becoming obsolete but rather empowered, as 3D scanning reshapes the narrative by emphasising the dynamic nature of this career path.

However, there is still work to be done to push forward and ensure that training opportunities are available for all. And the global shortage of skills necessitates initiatives to democratise education. Businesses need to be supported to educate their employees to level the playing field of innovation, armed with the tools to succeed.

By Artyom Yukhin

Artyom Yukhin is the president, CEO and co-founder of Artec 3D, a Luxembourg-headquartered international company specialising in handheld and portable 3D scanners. He has more than 20 years of professional experience.

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