3D Barcodes Vs. 2D Barcodes

by Steven Symes

Barcodes are present on everything carried in a store today. In the last few years, though, the traditional 2D barcodes are being joined by 3D barcodes.


Both 2D and 3D barcodes store information about a product, including the product's name, cost, weight and inventory number. Businesses use this information to help track inventory.

2D Barcodes

2D barcodes are made up of a series of lines of varying thickness; there is a number at the bottom of some of the lines.

3D Barcodes

3D barcodes look like a group of random black boxes scattered across a white background.


2D barcodes have been very popular in the retail industry. Some of the barcodes are printed directly on products (such as books and magazines) while others are printed on a sticker.

Manufacturing Industry

3D barcodes have gained in popularity in the manufacturing industry. 3D barcodes have proved to hold up better against the extreme heat and chemical environments not found in retail stores.

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