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What technological innovations are influencing the 3D market?

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What technological innovations are influencing the 3D market?

3D technology has been around for decades, and continues to develop and impress. The 3D market is growing all the time, thanks to a boom in technological innovations that continually offer new experiences. According to reports from Mordor Intelligence, North American countries hold the largest share of the 3D market, and are teeming with innovations. Find out more about these technological innovations in the 3D sector in this article.

3D modeling software

Computer-aided design (CAD) or 3D modeling software is a computer application used to create virtual three-dimensional models. It is the flagship tool born of technological innovation in the 3D sector.

Video games

For the video game industry, 3D modeling software is the essential tool for designing environments, characters, objects and interactive effects. Developers can give free rein to their creativity with the help of popular software such as Autodesk Maya, Blender and 3ds Max.

Medical care

Medicine is the field that consumes the most technological innovations. Leading companies such as Dassault Systèmes and Siemens develop 3D CAD software that is widely used in the medical sector. In particular, this software contributes to :

  • Create virtual anatomical models for surgical planning, medical education and research;
  • Virtually design customized medical devices and evaluate or anticipate their movements, such as prostheses or implants.

Cinema and animation

3D modeling is revolutionizing the film, television and advertising industries. The most popular3D animation software on the market, such as Autodesk's Maya, Blender and Cinema 4D, make it possible to :

  • Create characters, scenery or special effects;
  • Bringing imaginary worlds and characters to life for animated films;
  • Achieve highly realistic results.


Many industries use 3D modeling. These include the automotive, real estate and aerospace industries. They are major users of this technology, thanks to the many advantages it brings to their construction and manufacturing processes:

  • Ability to design complex and sophisticated construction projects;
  • Realistic visualization of the project before construction begins;
  • Generate a detailed drawing and calculate the materials used;
  • Anticipation, final design analysis and error reduction.

Leading manufacturers of CAD software for the construction industry include Dassault Systèmes, Autodesk and Trimble Inc.

Scanning technology and 3D scanners

3D scanning is a technological innovation that involves creating a digital copy of an object in three dimensions, with the greatest possible precision, using a specialized 3D scanner. With a market estimated by The Brainy Insights at over US$2.06 billion in 2022, 3D digitization is one of the mainstays of 3D projects. Companies involved in this market include FARO Technologie Inc, Hexagone AB and Artec 3D.

Medical field

3D digitization provides an extremely accurate representation of the patient, enabling studies to be carried out without the need for direct patient testing. In addition, medicine is gradually adopting 3D scanners, as they do not expose patients to the risks associated with X-rays and MRIs. What's more, they offer greater precision when it comes to personalizing cast modeling.

Construction sector

The construction sector is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the innovations brought about by 3D scanners. All stages of a construction or renovation project benefit from this technology's ability to capture the dimensions of existing objects and detect errors. Its scope of application can be extended to infrastructure maintenance and operation projects. What's more, the 360° snapshots obtained from 3D scans can be used to create virtual tours, which are essential for the pre-sales or sales phase.

Art, heritage and archaeological research

The multiple uses of 3D scanners are revolutionizing many fields, including archaeology, art and heritage conservation. This technological innovation has become indispensable in these fields, making it possible to model art objects or reproduce ancient artefacts. This tool plays a key role in the digitization of archaeological excavations, and in projects to reconstruct ruined monuments such as the Notre Dame church in Paris.

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing first came onto the market in the 1980s. Until then, its use was mainly limited to the manufacture of prototypes and high-precision parts in industries such as medicine, aerospace or automotive. But with the rapid development of new printing technologies and innovative materials, the global 3D printing market has been estimated at $20.24 billion in 2023 by Mordor Intelligence.

3D printing offers a clear process improvement in the manufacture of a wide variety of parts and objects, including :

  • Printing lightweight, durable components for the aerospace industry to reduce vehicle weight;
  • Printing automotive parts;
  • Printing anatomical models such as custom implants for hips, knees, and even bone structures to be implanted in the human body;
  • Printing of architectural models, decorative elements or even entire houses.

New 3D visualization technologies

There are many 3D visualization solutions available, and they are having a major impact on the 3D market.

Virtual and augmented reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are among the trendsetting technological innovations for the visualization of 3D elements. Virtual reality is an immersive technology that immerses users in an artificial 3D environment using a headset.

Augmented reality is an innovative technology thatenriches the real environment with three-dimensional virtual elements in real time. Valued at US$67.66 billion by Mordor Intelligence in 2024, the virtual reality market is particularly significant.

This figure includes the software market, i.e. the immersive environment design software, which has the largest share, and the hardware market, i.e. the visualization hardware (virtual goggles, haptic gloves, VR simulators and others).

Initially popular in the field of entertainment and video games, virtual reality is beginning to attract interest in other areas (healthcare, education, real estate and automotive), hence this increase in its market share.

3D screens

In parallel with the spread of 3D imagery, we're seeing the rise of 3D display devices. Apart from headset glasses and VR goggles, display and viewing technologies offer an optimal sense of immersion in the virtual world.

These screens are in high demand thanks to their potential in the advertising field, such as LCD and plasma screens, or "Naked eye 3D" technology. These are giant LED screens that display images and animations with a tenfold impression of realism.

3D mapping

3D cartography is also one of the new technological innovations in 3D image visualization. Still according to Mordor Intelligence, it represents, along with 3D modeling, a value of 7.48 billion US dollars. This involves the graphic representation of a geographical area to create a virtual map with relief. 3D cartography is in high demand, particularly in the :

  • Military, for detailed visualization of terrain and environment, or for navigation;
  • From construction to follow-up on site and to ensure the safety of roads and bridges;
  • Urban planning and land for development.

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