Product designers using 3D scanners for product development – from dream to reality!

3D found its way into different steps of the product design process, and has for many years. Whether it is for 1st developing the preliminary concept, proceeding with the ergonomics analysis, or doing quality control, portable 3D scanners are becoming increasingly necessary tools that assist the manufacturing process, in several fields.

Being an industrial designer myself, I especially enjoy working with designers who are at this very stage where they get to materialize their vision. A this point, their vision is often still a sketch or a mock-up, but then it becomes something that’s a little closer to what the final product will be, like a 3D model or a prototype.

Of all the steps involved in the product development process, it’s definitely making a concept concrete that has always interested me the most. At this stage, every tool and/or methods are allowed to make it happen, including 3D scanning.


For the past 5 years now, I’ve been experimenting with the potential of 3D scanning in design, taking part in the development of many of our customers’ products. Since I 1st joined Creaform, I scanned numerous subjects/objects destined to become new products. There were mockups made of wood or clay covered in black marker annotations, there were electrical vehicles concept models, there were human body parts such as feet, calves, heads and limbs (made of plastics or plaster!!). Such different projects with distinctive features were all scanned with the same line-up of portable 3D measurement devices: the Handyscan 3D scanners.


What makes the Handyscan 3D an efficient tool to tackle such a wide range of projects, some quite simple, some undoable at 1st glance? It would be the 4 TRU, if you ask me… We’re talking about TRUaccuracy, TRUportability, TRUsimplicity and last but not least, the TRU-best-user-ever (that would be me, of course)!

Here are a few recent applications of the Handyscan 3D as used during the design phase:

  • Digital models and mockups
  • Modification of a design or concept
  • Ergonomics analysis
  • 3D measurements
  • 3D modeling
  • Reverse engineering
  • Rapid prototyping

Article written by Creaform

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