3D Scanner Helps Design Personalized Vehicle Solutions for People with Disabilities

Man with grey shirt using Go!SCAN 3D scanner to scan the side interior of a white Porsche Cayman GT4 with laptop in the background displaying VXscan

For over 20 years, the mission of the Paravan GmbH, has been to give disabled people mobility and a new lease on life. Today, PARAVAN is a modern research and development company with over 160 employees and partners in many countries. The company’s headquarters is located in the tranquil town of Aichelau. People from all over Germany, even from all over the world, come to the large mobility center in the Swabian Alps. Here they get practical help – and everything from consultation and hands-on training to technical service from a central source. Paravan finds the right personal mobile solution for every disability – and even adapts it again if the patient’s condition changes. The company specializes in the construction of power wheelchairs, the installation of lift and loading systems, wheelchair safety anchorages in vehicles, driving and steering aids such as the Space Drive digital steering system, and complete vehicle conversions.

Paravan has already been using Creaform 3D measurement technology for several years and has recently added the Go!SCAN SPARK white light scanner to its measurement technology portfolio. Compared to the previous model, this new scanner really stands out: The time required has been reduced by a factor of 5 with the new model. This shows a clear improvement in technology compared to the last 6 years.

The portable 3D scanner is used for a variety of tasks in the company and simplifies the measurement of individual and curved vehicle bodies and vehicle interiors. Conventional surveying systems were time consuming, costly, inaccurate, and a drain on resources.

Integration of a Digital Steering System

Paravan helps people with severe physical limitations such as low levels of residual strength, larger body sizes, minimal mobility abilities, and even no arms or legs to regain mobility. The Space Drive System, a digital steering system developed in-house, makes it possible to steer a car with a joystick and minimal effort.

In the case at hand, a GT4 racing car was converted without a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the steering gear. The car is steered with a digitized Force Feedback steering wheel, which controls the steering motor on the gearbox purely via cables. The aim of this vehicle concept is to further test Paravan’s SpaceDrive system under the toughest current conditions (in racing) and to optimize it for customers.

First, the available installation space is scanned with the 3D scanner Go!SCAN SPARK and the software VXscan, and the STL file reverses the required connection points with the aid of Geomagic Design X. Subsequently, SolidWorks is used to develop the connection of the steering system in the newly digitized space.

Man with grey shirt using Go!SCAN 3D scanner to scan the interior of a white Porsche Cayman GT4 cockpit

3D scan of the steering wheel environment

Man using GoSCAN! 3D scanner to scan the steering wheel of a white Porsche Cayman GT4


Scan of porsche Cayman GT4 in VXelements – before export to Geomagic Design X

After the installation of the new steering system, the installation space is scanned again to compare the target/actual installation positions between the CAD model and the physically installed components, in order to ensure that all components were also installed in the vehicle within the specified tolerance range.

Man with grey shirt in front of a laptop displaying the scan of the interior of a white Porsche Cayman GT4 in VXelements

3D scan of the steering linkage of a GT4 racing car with the Go!SCAN 3D in order to subsequently install a digital steering system.

Scan of Porsche Cayman GT4 with installed steering linkage

Reverse engineered with Geomagic Design X

Currently, it takes about 2 – 3 working weeks to integrate a SpaceDrive steering system into a new vehicle.

Scan of a wheelchair user for optimized adaptation tasks in the customer’s vehicle

Man using Go!SCAN 3D scanner to scan a person in a wheelchair with several wheelchairs in the background

Paravan uses the Go!SCAN SPARK for a variety of other applications. In this case, the scan was used for a preliminary study to digitally place the scanned customer in his future vehicle in order to analyze and determine the optimal seating position for operating the input devices (steering and gas-brake) in the vehicle in advance. Until now, all optimizations to the customer’s vehicle were only carried out during adjustment work together with the customer. With the help of the 3D scan, many of these adjustments will be made in advance in the future. This saves a lot of time during the final optimizations before final delivery of the vehicle to the customer at the end of the project.

3D scanning technology simplifies processes and opens up a wide range of new applications

The advantages of the 3D scanning solution are clear to see and can be easily multiplied in Paravan’s processes in the future: Keywords here are efficiency, accuracy, and simpler workflow. In addition, the development time for the prototype phase is significantly reduced, thus increasing efficiency.

Paravan sees the advantage over other comparable technologies on the market in particular in the fact that Creaform offers high-quality products and complete solutions in the area of hardware and software from a single source, as well as German-language support. For this reason, Paravan has repeatedly invested in Creaform technology. Implementation of the scanning technology was smooth, the technology was intuitive to use, and after just a few scans, employees were able to use the technology efficiently and in a purposeful manner.

“With Creaform’s 3D scanning technology, we have successfully transferred the area of metrology and reverse engineering in our company to the digitization process and raised it to a completely new level. The realization of how quickly and easily projects can be realized due to the use of the new 3D scanning technology and how quickly the results are available for further processing is very impressive,” Mario Kütt, Director of Mechanical Development and Design at Paravan summarizes the advantages of the Creaform 3D scanner. “In the future, we also plan to use this 3D measurement technology in prototype construction, new development of conversion solutions, and human-vehicle interface management .”

Article written by Creaform

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