What is Metrology Part 5: Creaform

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Creaform’s mission is to develop, manufacture and market cutting edge portable 3D measurement and analysis technologies that increase productivity. Creaform helps companies from the manufacturing industry to seamlessly create, simulate, verify, and collaborate in 3D. Some of their major partners include 3D Systems, Surphaser, Delcam PowerInspect, Innovmetric, Metrologic Group, Stratasys, Solidworks, and various other organizations. Some of their clients include Bauer, Black & Decker, BMW, BRP, CAE, Cessna, FAW, GE, JET Aviation, MDA, Nova Bus, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Phiaro Corporation, Prevost, Renault, Rolls-Royce, Sany, GM, and Toyota. Creaform is based in Lévis, Canada. The organization was founded in 2002. Their head office was inaugurated in November 2017 and is the home base for their international workforce and clients. With offices and innovation centers in 13 countries, their team is now more than 600 dedicated employees and more than 150 distributors worldwide. We will be taking a look at one of the major players in metrology today in terms of their business and how they affect the major 3D scanning market and one of these is Creaform. 

What separates Creaform as a major industrial leader is the technologies that they offer. They have various technologies that they sell to different businesses who are in need of laser scanning and 3D scanning methods. These main products include the:

  1. HandySCAN 3D
  2. MetraSCAN Optical CMM 3D Scanner
  3. Go!SCAN 3D

HandySCAN 3D

The HandySCAN 3D is Creaform’s portable 3D scanner. This device is good for mobile scanning purposes. Some of its technical specifications amongst different versions of the device include the following:

  • Accuracy levels of error within 0.025 mm to 0.040 mm
  • Volumetric error levels within 0.020 mm + 0.100 mm/m to 0.600 mm/m
  • Measurement resolution between 0.025 mm to 0.100 mm
  • Mesh resolution between 0.100 to 0.200 mm
  • Measurement rate between 480,000 measurements/s to 1,300,000 measurements/s 
  • Varying light sources depending on the model of the HandyScan in question
  • A laser class of 2M (eye safe)
  • A scanning area of either 275 x 250 mm or 310 x 355 mm 
  • Stand-off distance of 300 mm 

MetraSCAN Optical CMM 3D Scanner

The MetraSCAN Optical CMM 3D Scanner is another handheld scanning device. This device is in the form of a circular cage. It allows for a bit more accuracy than the previous handheld system. Here are some of the MetraSCAN’s technical specifications:

  • Accuracy levels of error within 0.064 mm to 0.086 mm
  • Volumetric error levels within 0.044 mm + 0.060 mm/m to 0.025 mm/m
  • Measurement resolution 0.050 mm
  • Measurement rate of 480,000 measurements/s 
  • Light source from 7 laser crosses
  • A laser class of 2M (eye safe)
  • A scanning area of 289 x 235 mm
  • Stand-off distance of 300 mm 

Go!SCAN 3D

The Go!SCAN 3D is a handheld scanning device used for high speed processing of metrology projects. It allows for quicker processing compared to previous scanners described. Here are the technical specifications of the Go!SCAN 3D:

  • Accuracy levels of error up to 0.050 mm
  • Volumetric error levels within 0.050 mm + 0.015 mm/m 
  • Measurement resolution 0.100 mm
  • Measurement rate of 1,500,000 measurements/s 
  • Light source from white light (99 stripes)
  • A laser class of 2M (eye safe)
  • A scanning area of 390 mm x 390 mm
  • Stand-off distance of 400 mm 

The business model of Creaform3D is B2B based. They are recently exploring different ways to also cater to B2C needs as consumer needs for metrology has arisen. The major players within the metrology field often come from the transportation industries. This includes aviation as well as the automotive industry and Creaform caters to these players. It makes sense, as the ability to scan a large production item such as a car or plane allows for an accurate representation of the item within various 3D modeling softwares and quality control. It makes production of future vehicle parts to be easier. The need to reinvent the wheel becomes unnecessary. The connections Creaform3D has with the larger automotive and aviation companies makes it a force for the foreseeable future. The organization is also a privately held organization. 

 Even with the amount of partnerships they have, there may be a need to make substantial improvements to their hardware technology within the next couple of years. There seems to be a lack of disruptors within this field, and this could leave them vulnerable if a disruptive technology company reinvents the standard procedures of metrology. I do not know if that is viable, but I will do some research on organizations who are trying to be disruptors within this field.

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