Digital archiving is the process of backing up and preserving files digitally. The growing digitization of files has propelled the 3D scanning market. Digitization of products has exhibited high growth in recent years. 3D scanning has been utilized to digitally archive valuable and historically significant objects. Museums in particular have increasingly archived their collections. The archived collections have been utilized to study the historical object without utilizing the physical object. This process improves the safety of these historical objects as well as reducing cost to study them. For instance, The Smithsonian intends to utilize 3D scanning to begin the digital archiving process of its 137 million items. The Michelangelo Project, Asian Art Museum, Harvard University Semitic museum and the Metropolitan museum of art have started their own digital archiving process to enable easier public access and improve the protection of these historical items and collections.
The digitally archived products from museums and other artwork galleries would enable these products to be widely available to the public thereby encouraging the study and awareness of these items. The growing funding from educational institutes to this digital archiving process will propel the usage of 3D scanning in 3D scanning market. 3D printing has also been on the rise in these digital archiving processes to create reproductions of the objects in order to better aid their preservation. The digital archiving process has been gaining increased adoption in the educational sector in order to provide a base model for reconstruction applications. For instance, the Harvard University Semitic museum has utilized the digital archiving 3D scanning capabilities in order to create a reconstruction for the ‘Nuzi lion’, a fragmented statue.
Historians have also started digitally archiving 3D models of their discoveries in order to improve dialogue between various other historians and present an opportunity for increased study regardless of location. Digital archiving will also preserve the historical artifact preventing additional wear and tear from physical contact. The digitally archived 3D model can also be modified based on new findings or educated estimations thus improving the aesthetic and understanding of the artifact. The digital archiving market for 3D scanners is forecast to grow at 9.7% CAGR to reach $445.6 million by 2020. The significant reduction in price of 3D scanning combined with growing applications for this segment are projected to spur the growth.