3D Scanning

With 3D scanning, you can:

  • Digitize cars, motorcycles, trucks, helicopters, and boats rapidly to capture 3D surface measurements.
  • Eliminate the need to take measurements manually. Speed up the product development workflow of replicating or customizing aftermarket automotive parts.
  • Digitally archive parts and create an extensive library that could be accessed at any given time.
  • Capture a photorealistic representation of a vehicle (ie. racing cars, bikes, or boats) for conducting aerodynamic simulation models to optimize the design and improve its performance.
  • Inspect manufactured products fast and easily identify the source of the problem.

Modernize traditional workflows with 3d scanning

3d scanninge exterior of a car
Artec case study, Catesby Projects chasing lap time gains for elite racing teams with Artec 3D scanning

3D scanning is a powerful measurement tool for the automotive and transportation industry. Compared to other traditional methods of data collection such as using hand tools or CMM, 3D scanning is extremely fast, acquiring millions of 3D measurement data points per second with sub-millimeter accuracy. 3D scanners can even create a digital twin of highly complex, organic surfaces of any vehicles, assemblies, or parts.

Integrating 3D scanning into your work streamlines processes, allowing you to take on more complicated projects and accomplish more in a shorter time.

Best 3d scanner for automotive applications Artec Leo

Artec Leo for Automotive

Why Artec Leo?

Artec Leo is the world’s only wireless and fully standalone professional 3D scanner. What does this mean?

  • It’s smart: The Artec Leo is ready for 3D scanning with internal processing power during data collection—there is no need for a computer or laptop. Everything is built-in.
  • True mobile freedom: Scan wherever you go. You are no longer hindered by wires as the Artec Leo is battery powered.
  • Built-in touchscreen: Build a real-time replica you can interact with while you scan.
  • 9x the speed of a CMM: Acquiring millions vs. hundreds of points per second.
  • 3D scanning outdoors: Artec Leo uses an infrared wavelength of light that doesn’t get overpowered by the sun.


Artec 3D handheld scanners like the Artec Leo are fast at capturing physical objects into digital models to get all the surface measurement points you need.

  • Fast

    Fast Measurements

    Takes millions of measurement points in one second with no physical contact with the object.

  • Accurate & Repeatable

    Accurate Measurements

    Measure once with highly repeatable results. The Artec Leo has an accuracy of up to 0.1 mm.

  • Portable & Convenient

    Portable & Convenient

    Bring the scanner to the object for scanning instead of the other way around. Scan wherever you need and get the job done.

  • Digital CAD file

    Reference Digital Record Anytime

    Creating a 3D capture of a vehicle or part eliminates the need for the physical object, especially in situations where the physical item is not readily available.

  • Organic complex shape

    Versatile for Many Applications

    Artec 3D scanners have the ability to scan a wide range of objects from simple, prismatic, organic, intricate, and even complex parts.

Sample Scans

Artec handheld 3D scanners are fast at capturing 3D digital models of cars, larger transportation vehicles, and automotive parts.

Car 3d scan

Entire Car

Car engine 3d scan

Car Parts

Railroads 3d scan

Trains and Railroads

Car interior 3d scan

Car Interiors

Helicopter 3d scan

Large Vehicles (Semi-Trucks, Helicopters, and Airplanes)

Kayak 3d scan

Marine – Boats, Yachts, and Kayaks


Customizations, modifications, repairs, and restorations

3d Scanning for Car Customization

Simplify the design process for aftermarket automotive parts.

Scan to CAD Workflow
Headlight housing
Scanning the headlight housing of a sports car with the Artec Leo.
Headlight design
Custom designed headlights in CAD.
Headlight fitting
Headlights are a perfect fit after installation.

“A process of 3-4 days of back and forth–replaced with just 15 minutes of scanning.”

Challenge: The Traditional Process Requires A Lot of Guesswork and Trial-and-Error

Relying on manual measurements using traditional hand tools frequently results in inaccuracies and consumes significant time. Getting precise measurements makes all the difference when parts need a perfect fit back into the automotive body or assemblies. When hand measurements are used, the design process becomes labour-intensive, often resulting in a roundabout way of accomplishing the goal. This leads to extensive time spent on prototyping and enduring lengthy revision cycles, encompassing tasks such as templating, designing, 3D printing prototypes, making adjustments, and testing—all due to unreliable data.

Solution: 3D Scanning with Artec Handheld 3D Scanners

Significantly reduce product development time and build more accurate and better custom aftermarket automotive parts using 3D reverse engineering in the CAD creation process. Capture 3D measurement data from existing parts with utmost precision and accuracy using an Artec handheld 3D scanner. From there, you have all the 3D measurements to use as a reference for design. There’s no need to draw CAD models from a blank slate in the CAD software. The part’s scan data can be seamlessly integrated into Geomagic Design X or SOLIDWORKS to model guaranteed-to-fit parts, ensuring you do it right the first time.

* Source: 3Dnatives article, Using 3D Scanning to Repair and Customize the Famous Ford GT40 (photos from Artec 3D)

Case Study: Reinventing Classic Car Customization Handheld 3D Scanners


Fitting custom decks, retro-fitting custom seat cushions, boat and yacht repairs

Repairing and Customizing

With the Artec Leo, you now have the option to scan outdoors. This provides the user the freedom to scan boats and yachts without the hassle of moving them indoors.

Scanning exterior of the boat with Artec Leo

“It’s a fully standalone 3D scanner that can capture a 45-foot boat in as little as an hour.”

Challenge: Difficult to take precise measurements for organic shapes

With boats and yachts exposed to extreme harsh natural conditions (UV rays, rain, and sea water), the deck, cushions, or other parts might need to be repaired or undergo regular maintenance. The exterior and the interior of the boat takes on organic forms, which is extremely difficult and time consuming to take measurements by hand using physical templates.

Solution: 3D Scanning with Artec Leo Standalone 3D Scanner

3D scanning makes the process much simpler, especially with the Artec Leo. This smart 3D scanner has no problems capturing in the bright sun. It doesn’t need a computer, laptop, or cables for the capturing process. Artec Leo produces high-quality resolution scans of up to 0.2 mm, with an accuracy of up to 0.1 mm. The scan files have all the 3D measurement data. They can be exported for use with CAD software including Rhino and SOLIDWORKS to be used as a guide for design. This results in tremendous time savings and making the design process simple and straightforward.


Inspection, railroad maintenance, and repair to prevent derailment

Railroad Track Monitoring and Maintenance

Measure with confidence with the Artec Leo and make the best decisions based on the 3D surface data. This 3D measurement device has a point accuracy of up to 0.1 mm.

Scanning railway
Rail inspection

Challenge: Need a more efficient way to measure change-over-time

The great majority of derailments are due to track defects such as broken rails, track misalignments, and broken switches. With railroads stretching long distances, rail inspectors need a fast and quantifiable way of inspecting them before any major issues arise that can cause catastrophic accidents.

Solution: 3D scanning for 3D inspection

Using the Artec Leo, rail inspectors can document the surface geometries of specific track sections and various rail components to monitor changes over time to see when repair is needed. A 3D scanner can reveal rail damage or other structural changes. Paired with Geomagic Control X, scan data can be compared with a CAD reference model. This enables GD&T measurements such as flatness, surface profile, angularity to CAD, and parallelism for even more comprehensive and deeper analysis into the root causes of the deviation.

3D Scanning Railroad Track with the Artec Leo


Traffic accident reconstruction, data collection, 3D inspection, and analysis

The Artec Leo serves as an excellent measurement tool for gathering extensive quantifiable evidence to enhance understanding of traffic accidents. This handheld 3D scanner fits comfortably in the palm of your hand, effortlessly capturing data to recreate photorealistic 3D representations in full color simply by walking around the vehicle. The collected data can be utilized for various analyses aimed at addressing inquiries pertaining to the traffic accident.

* Source: From Artec3D case study, 3D scanning for traffic accident reconstruction: How Origin Forensics uses Artec Leo

Leo scan of a van

Fast and Accurate Data Capture

Artec Leo generates a 3D model of a vehicle’s exterior or interior in less an hour with submillimeter accuracy.

Scan comparison

Scan to CAD Comparison

A 3D model of the damaged vehicle can be compared to the undamaged vehicle digitally to better understand the impact and direction of the collision.


Improve the aerodynamic profile of vehicles (race cars, semi-trucks) for better performance

Multi-resolution scanning delivering highest quality scan

For larger vehicles like semi-trucks or helicopters, the Artec Ray II covers the wider areas, while the Artec Leo excels at capturing hard-to-reach areas, ensuring comprehensive and precise scan results.

Artec Ray II scanning semi truck
Artec Leo scanning semi truck

The scan data is then uploaded to a simulation platform like Airshaper for conducting computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation. Pinpoint areas for refining the vehicle’s design to unlocking fuel efficiency and road performance.

Semi truck 3d scan
3D model of the semi-truck using Artec Ray II and Artec Leo merged scan data. By using both scanners, you get the best of both worlds.
Friction analysis
Airshaper’s aerodynamic analyses report identifies the causes of inefficiency when the semi-truck is driving. Here is the full report.

* Source: From Artec3D case study, Multi-resolution Leo & Artec Ray II 3D scanning unlocks fuel efficiency gains

Book a Demo to See How 3D Scanning Can Help You with Your Automotive Application


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