New 3D Scanner Revolutionizing Extensive Surface Damage Assessment

The benefits associated with 3D scanning are unanimously acknowledged in the NDT industry. They involve the acquisition of data independent of the user’s expertise or experience, increased precision and repeatability, and significant productivity gains compared to more traditional techniques.

The Use of Targets: A Significant Limitation

Creaform has been advocating 3D scanning as an innovative solution for corrosion assessment for more than ten years. Throughout those years, however, we have seen a recurring demand for eliminating positioning targets during data acquisition. Indeed, more than a third of our users have identified the use of targets as a significant limitation of 3D scanning.

Responses from a customer survey asking what the main limitation of 3D scanning is.

Chart showing the main limitations of 3D scanning according to users (35%: positioning targets, 31%: software limitations, 23%: cable, and 12%: large components).

Solution: New HandySCAN 3D|MAX Series

3D scanning technology, which still features unmatched precision due to its unique auto-positioning and tracking, is not yet ready to completely eliminate targets. However, Creaform has recently introduced a significant innovation to address this issue. The HandySCAN 3D|MAX Series, a 3D scanner designed specifically for large parts, was added to the product portfolio. This new scanner has a much wider field of view, allowing users to significantly reduce the number of targets used during the scanning process. In some cases, the targets can even be spaced as far as 30 cm apart.

Furthermore, to enhance the scanning experience and preparation, we have developed a new positioning accessory called the 360 Magnetic Target. These new positioning targets can be positioned and removed more quickly than traditional markers. In addition, their geometry makes them more easily detectable by the sensor, regardless of the angle or position the user is holding the scanner.


NDT technician scanning a cylindrical section inside a rail car with a multitude of targets positioned on the surface.

NDT technician scanning a cylindrical section inside a rail car, surrounded by a multitude of positioning targets.


On the one hand, the NDT industry is mostly made of large parts and bulky structures, which are challenging to inspect due to the high number of positioning targets they may require. On the other hand, NDT service companies demand as few positioning targets as possible. For this reason, we engineered the new magnetic marker so that users can install and uninstall them very quickly—and in limited numbers.

So, what does this improved ease of use represent in terms of productivity gains?

Productivity Gain: 75% Less Inspection Time

To get a better idea of the impact of this improvement, we made an experiment. We scanned a Ford Transit minivan of similar dimensions to a rail car (34 m2 vs 32 m2) with the new HandySCAN 3D|MAX Series. We documented the time required to set up and scan these two vehicles. The inspection carried out with the MAX Series took 75% less time to complete than the one performed with the HandySCAN 700.

Positioned halfway between conventional and long-range scanners, the MAX Series has been designed and optimized for measuring large parts and is the only solution offered in the NDT market with sub-millimeter precision.

NDT technician inspecting the paint and corrosion of a pressure vessel using the HandySCAN MAX.

NDT technician holding a HandySCAN MAX and inspecting the paint and corrosion of a pressure vessel with a few 360 Magnetic Targets positioned on the structure.

Faster Preparation and Enhanced Scanning Experience

With the new MAX Series, NDT service companies have the opportunity to become more productive and gain in productivity. Moreover, they can now measure a series of structure dimensions and complex geometries that were simply impossible to assess before with such a high level of precision. This is the case for rail storage tanks, tank cars for transporting oil and gas, distillation columns, and pressure vessels, to name just a few.

In short, the HandySCAN 3D|MAX Series, combined with VXintegrity, provides NDT services companies with the most precise solution for assessing large corroded areas, and the fastest experience, from setup preparation to part inspection.

Watch the New Technology in Action



Article written by Creaform

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