Physical Digital 3D measurement company named in Small Business Saturday UK’s ‘Small Biz 100’ for 2016

Physical Digital, the specialist 3D scanning and measurement service provider, has been named among the 100 small businesses in the UK to be celebrated by Small Business Saturday, the national campaign that culminates in the UK’s dedicated day for small businesses on December 3rd.

Physical Digital provides high-accuracy 3D non-contact scanning and measurement services for a diverse range of clients. The company, which uses globally-recognised GOM 3D scanning systems to capture high-resolution images of objects and reverse engineer these images into 2D engineering drawings or 3D models, will be among the select number of businesses to be featured one per day for the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday itself.

In 2005, Physical Digital’s MD Tim Rapley spotted an opportunity to provide 3D scanning services to clients requiring high-accuracy measurement data and established the company. It has since grown to eight highly-trained staff offering a wide range of 3D scanning-related services, including reverse engineering, which now accounts for a significant proportion of its turnover.

“Over the years we have captured data from aircraft, wind turbines, sports cars, watches and even rubber ducks. We have scanned underground train carriages and medical components, historical artefacts such as the 200-year-old prototype Davy safety lamp and the last remaining airworthy Battle of Britain Spitfire Mark IIa. One of our staff even reverse engineered an engagement ring for his fiancée. She said yes,” explains Rapley.

“We are really enthusiastic about the contribution of small businesses to the UK economy and believe that SMEs have a disproportionately positive impact on society, providing employment and supporting business development locally and nationally. We love the idea of joining with other small businesses to showcase our wide range of 3D scanning and measurement capabilities and to demonstrate that the UK’s small businesses are not just shops and hairdressers.” Physical Digital has bases in Surrey and the West Midlands and offers mobile 3D measurement services across the whole of the UK as well as an automated 3D scanning facility in the heart of British manufacturing in the Midlands.


Small Business Saturday is already the UK’s most successful small business campaign. This is the fourth year of the campaign, which last year saw £623m spent with small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24 per cent on the previous year. The campaign trended at number one in the UK on Twitter on the day with more than 100,000 campaign-related tweets being sent. Over 75% of local councils supported the campaign, giving considerable national reach into local communities. Small Business Saturday exists to support, inspire and promote small businesses.


The British public has a great affection for small businesses and we continue
to see that grow year on year.  Small Business Saturday is an exceptional example of collaboration and co-operation with small businesses teaming up in communities around the UK,” explains Campaign Director Michelle Ovens.


“Although the campaign focuses on one day, the goal is to have a lasting impact on small businesses by changing mind-sets, so that people make it their mission to support small businesses all year round. Most people in this country either own a small business, work for a small business or know somebody who does, so supporting a small business on Small Business Saturday is absolutely personal.”


Small Business Saturday is a grassroots, not-for-profit campaign, originally founded by American Express in the U.S. in 2010. Amex remains the principal supporter of the campaign in the UK, as part of its on-going commitment to encourage consumers to shop small. The campaign also benefits from the backing of leading business organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses and Enterprise Nation. The campaign is also supported by PRS For Music, TalkTalk Business, Vistaprint, Post Office and Clear Channel.


More information on Small Business Saturday can be found on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page ( and Twitter feed (@SmallBizSatUk). Physical Digital’s Twitter handle is @p2dme and the company’s website is