3D scanning an impeller using Creaform HandySCAN 3D scanner

Case Study: Impeller Reverse Engineering on-site with photos

No matter if the objective is to inspect, repair or modify a components, the challenges remain the same: access to the components and stability of the measurement setup. The components that require measurement like impeller blades, guide vanes or casings are always located onsite with difficult access. To perform an accurate and complete measurement of the component of interest, that is why we used our non-destructive testing (NDT) and portable top notch 3D measurement solution: Creaform HandySCAN3Dâ„¢ metrology-grade 3D scanner. This way, the part can be located in an unstable environment without it affecting the accuracy. The 3D scan generated with this method will provide the density of measurement needed for the complete 3D characterization of the component.

Our client came to us asking if we could reverse model an impeller, the catch was that it was only available for one day and it had to go back into the field as it was a working component in the facility. Our technical engineer went to the facility and 3D scanned in onsite, generating a CAD file so that a new pattern can be made to make another one.

 We were faced with the need to be quick, accurate and produce a file that was clean and ready to use. Due to its impressive portability, its small size and its on-part reference, the HandySCAN 3D can perform the acquisition directly on-site!

Why the HandySCAN 3D Solution?


  • Metrology-grade measurement for aircraft preservation: Our 3D scanner has a resolution of up to 0.100mm (0.0039 in.) and accuracy up to 0/025 mm (0.0009 in.) with a traceable certificate and high repeatability.
  • Speed: Our scanner is the quickest and most reliable surface analysis device accessible on the market. It is 80 times faster than the traditional technique.
  • Live visualization and portability:  Our portable and handheld scanner is extremely light, weighing in at less than a kilo, and perfect for use on-site.
  • Intuitive pass/fail assessments: With its real-time software visualization, and intuitive design, our non-destructive testing solutions provide shortened learning curves and nominal operator training in order to ensure accurate results.
  • VXmodel: The HandySCAN 3D scanner was the ideal device for this case, as it can provide complete and accurate mesh models. VXmodel enables you to easily generate NURBS surfaces for characterizing freeform regions. Primitive entities can be easily extracted from the mesh to complete the design in a CAD software. The VXmodel can generate solid models directly on the scan data. That enabled us to use the data live on site. The Transfer-to-CAD option enabled us to export the scanned data to CAD standard format, making it readily available to the designer.