3D AI, Robotics, and Immersive Reality Brighten Manufacturing’s Future

3D digital twins, advanced sensors, and AR/VA are boosting efficiency, automation, and productivity in manufacturing.

Rob Spiegel

June 26, 2024

4 Min Read
smart technology for manufacturing
Epstudio20 via iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

At a Glance

  • Modern robots are more intelligent, flexible, and perform complex tasks with greater precision.
  • VR and AR give manufacturers new ways to train employees, conduct maintenance, and enhance overall operational efficiency.
  • 3D AI is revolutionizing the design and production of prosthetics and implants.

A new wave of technology is ramping up the intelligence of manufacturing. The emerging tools offer production advantages across multiple industries, from medical to retail. The technology company, GridRaster is leveraging several these advancements, from immersive XR interfaces to artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud services. The result is an open, modular, high-precision, and scalable AI-powered platform for fast, accurate, and cost-effective 3D digital twin creation. The overall goal is to boost efficiency, automation, and productivity in manufacturing, operations, training, and sustainability.

GridRaster’s platform is designed to deliver digital twins with millimeter accuracy, while doing it faster and at lower cost than conventional methods.

With the proliferation of high-quality sensors namely high-resolution color cameras, depth sensors (such as LIDARs), motion sensors, and eye-trackers, built into COTS devices, you can now access high-quality spatial data to generate accurate 3D spatial maps in near real-time. This helps to streamline 3D scanning and digital twin workflows while using cloud computing to enable affordable consumer hardware that exceeds standard capability.

We reached out to Dijam Panigrahi, COO of GridRaster, to get the specifics on the use of emerging technology for manufacturing – and a host of other industrial sectors.


Explain how 3D AI: is revamping design and production.

Dijam Panigrahi: 3D AI, which combines three-dimensional modeling with artificial intelligence, is a pivotal technology reshaping manufacturing. This convergence allows for the creation of highly detailed and accurate 3D models, which can be analyzed and optimized using AI algorithms.

In the medical device industry, 3D AI is revolutionizing the design and production of prosthetics and implants. By using AI to analyze patient-specific data, manufacturers can create custom-fitted devices that offer better performance and comfort. This personalized approach not only improves patient outcomes but also streamlines the production process.

The retail industry is also benefiting from 3D AI. Virtual try-ons powered by this technology allow designers to visualize how garments will fit on different body types, reducing the need for physical samples and fittings. This not only speeds up the design process but also makes it more sustainable by minimizing fabric waste.

How does robotics automation enhance efficiency and precision?

Dijam Panigrahi: Robotics automation has been a cornerstone of manufacturing for decades, but recent advances are taking it to new levels. Modern robots are more intelligent, flexible, and capable of performing complex tasks with greater precision.

In the electronics industry, for example, the production of circuit boards involves intricate and delicate processes. Advanced robot automation systems can handle these tasks with high accuracy and consistency, reducing the likelihood of defects and increasing throughput. Furthermore, collaborative robots, or cobots, are working alongside human operators, enhancing productivity and safety on the factory floor.

The food and beverage industry is witnessing a surge in robotics automation. Robots are being used for tasks such as packaging, sorting, and quality control. These machines can operate at high speeds and with remarkable precision, ensuring that products meet stringent quality standards. Moreover, robotics automation helps in maintaining hygiene and safety standards, which are critical in this industry.

How immersive reality technology transforming training and maintenance?

Dijam Panigrahi: Immersive reality technologies, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), are offering new ways for manufacturers to train employees, conduct maintenance, and enhance overall operational efficiency.

In the heavy machinery industry, VR is being used to train operators and maintenance personnel. By simulating real-world scenarios in a virtual environment, workers can gain hands-on experience without the risks associated with on-the-job training. This not only improves skill levels but also reduces the likelihood of accidents and equipment damage.

AR is playing a crucial role in maintenance and repair operations across various manufacturing sectors. For instance, in the oil and gas industry, AR headsets provide technicians with real-time information and guidance, overlaying digital instructions onto physical equipment. This enables faster and more accurate repairs, minimizing downtime and operational disruptions.

How are emerging technologies blended to create the “smart factory of the future”?

Dijam Panigrahi: The true potential of these technologies is realized when they converge to create a smart factory ecosystem. In such an environment, Digital Twins, 3D AI, robotics automation, and immersive reality tech work in unison, enabling a seamless flow of data and operations.Consider a smart factory in the automotive sector. Digital twins provide a virtual replica of the entire production line, 3D AI optimizes the design of car components, robotics automation ensures precise and efficient assembly, and AR assists maintenance teams with real-time information. The result is a highly

About the Author(s)

Rob Spiegel

Rob Spiegel serves as a senior editor for Design News. He started with Design News in 2002 as a freelancer and hired on full-time in 2011. He covers automation, manufacturing, 3D printing, robotics, AI, and more.

Prior to Design News, he worked as a senior editor for Electronic News and Ecommerce Business. He has contributed to a wide range of industrial technology publications, including Automation World, Supply Chain Management Review, and Logistics Management. He is the author of six books.

Before covering technology, Rob spent 10 years as publisher and owner of Chile Pepper Magazine, a national consumer food publication.

As well as writing for Design News, Rob also participates in IME shows, webinars, and ebooks.

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