Innovative Engines & Engineering take product development to the next level with the help of 3D Scanning

An interview with Stefan Etter from IEE about why he chose a Creaform 3D Scanner and how it’s helped him overcome complex measurement challenges

Why did IEE Choose a Creaform 3D Scanner?

After initially being exposed to 3D scanning in 2019 in Switzerland and seeing the capability and power of 3D scanning,  we wanted to make the most of what this type of new technology had to offer.  Spending hours on part revisions due to part complexity was not helping our company grow, it was just holding us back.  After doing our due diligence we decided to go with a Creaform HandySCAN 700 from the HandySCAN Silver range.

What's a recent project that 3D Scanning has helped you with?

A recent restoration project we did was a car part.  The part was a very odd shaped vacuum & pressure fitting/pipe.  In order to restore the part, we needed a solid solution to remove and then reinstall the part.  We decided the best way to do this was to create a jig which clamped the part securely in place.  To be able to design a jig which fitted the complex part perfectly ,we needed to 3D Scan it.  With the 3D geometry we captured we were able to subtract the part from the solid blue 3D blocks – see below.

How did 3D scanning help you with this project?

With the HandySCAN 700 we were simply able to scan the part to create a polygon mesh (.stl file), then with VXmodel we were able to extract the pipes center line with the ‘Center line’ tool.  Once we had had the path for the pipe we were able to sweep a circle along the path and create a solid, which we used to subtract from the blue block (as shown in the photos).  Then with an angled plane along with a bunch of bolt holes we had our new removal and install tool designed and 3D printed in no time.  Then we simply fasten it around the part, pull it out, bead blast and have zinc plated, refit the tool, and placed the part in the Arbor press to re install it perfectly!

Could you have completed this project without a 3D Scanner?

Without a 3D Scanner we would have had to leave the part installed, and not have it Zinc plated. Therefore defeating the purpose of restoring the parts. So the answer would be no.

What are the main activities of your company?

Developing Nissan RB26 car parts for our customer base around the world, the scanner helps us bring parts to market alot faster.
In between we always have 3D Scanning jobs, Reverse engineering and CAD services we are carrying out for customers throughout the region or in some cases internationally also.

How are you finding the current business climate/conditions?

3D Scanning is a steady business, being able to Reverse Engineer and supply CAD services to our customers allows us to bridge the time efficiently when we are not scanning.

Where do you see future growth coming from your company?

We definitely see future growth with 3D Scanning, as more and more companies transition to working with scan data and eliminating the human error involved in manual measurement.

Do you export?

We ship our custom parts all over the world.  We also provide our scan data to clients all over the world as well.

Future plans and developments?

We plan to keep pushing the 3D Scanning as well as we can. Expanding our in house 3D printing services and continuing to gain traction in this unique market.

As manual measurement and prototyping became more and more time consuming for us, we decided to take the next step and invest into our companies future with the help of the HandySCAN 3D scanner and VXelements software.

Etter Stefan

Stefan Etter, Owner/Director, IEE Limited