Creaform Go!SCAN Spark review — handheld 3D scanner Source: creaform.com Today we will be reviewing another professional handheld 3D scanner which comes all the way from Canada — Creaform Go!SCAN SPARK. The scanner has undergone a major upgrade in 2019 and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to get our hands on it. A few words about the manufacturer. Creaform is a professional developer of portable and automated 3D measurement solutions, including scanners, CMM machines, photogrammetry/optical systems, scan-to-CAD software and more. Founded in 2002 in Lévis (Québec, Canada) the company offers a wide range of products as well as additional services such as 3D scanning, reverse engineering, quality control, styling, design, analysis, and digital manufacturing. The company is part of AMETEK Canada Limited and has offices in 13 countries and more than 150 distributors worldwide. In the 3D scanning realm, the company offers three handheld 3D scanners — laser-based HandySCAN 3D and MetraSCAN 3D, and structured-light Go!SCAN SPARK. This review will be about the latter. Creaform Go!SCAN SPARK Creaform Go!SCAN SPARK was first introduced on April 25, 2019, when the company announced its “thoroughly re-engineered” third-generation version, tailored specifically to product designers and engineers. The first Go!SCAN 3D color scanner was originally launched in October 2011, followed by the new range of two scanners in May 2014 which included: the Go!SCAN 50 for mid-sized parts, and the Go!SCAN 20 for small parts. After 5 years of operation, the company took the good from both scanners and turned it into what we now know as Go!SCAN SPARK. Unlike its ancestors, SPARK is more versatile and can be used for scanning both small and larger objects, and do it fast and precise. Strong points Fast 3D capture Real-time mesh Versatile, can be used for scanning small to large objects Lightweight Weak points Expensive (compared to other handheld solutions) Longer setup when scanning with targets Now let’s take a closer look at the scanner, it’s specs and see what it’s capable of. Design & Technology The first thing that is hard not to notice is the sleek, minimalistic and professional look of the scanner. For its ergonomic design, the scanner even won the prestigious Red Dot Awards in the Product Design category. And we can see why. It’s designed with both right and left-handed users in mind, and supports different types of hand positions. It’s also quite lightweight, 1.25 kg (2.7 lb), and has a strap, thus allowing the person scanning a more comfortable experience. The inside of the scanner is impressive too. Go!SCAN SPARK features four inline geometry-tracking cameras, one color camera and white light projector that projects 99 white stripes onto the scanned object. Located inline, this set results in much faster 3D scanning, color acquisition and larger scanning area compared to older models. How it works Like many other handheld scanners, Go!SCAN SPARK needs to be connected to a powerful PC or a tablet in order to capture and visualize the 3D data. It comes in hard case with a 3.0 USB cable, a power supply, the VXelements software, a calibration plate and positioning targets that are used for positioning, together with geometry and color, and thus achieving more accurate and stable results. The Go!SCAN SPARK, like many other structured light scanners, works best in well and evenly distributed artificial lighting conditions. But other than that there are no special scanning requirements. Once the scanner is calibrated and connected to a powerful compatible PC or tablet with VXelements software installed, it’s good to go. Example of a 3D model of an antique chair scanned with Go!SCAN SPARK Source: https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/antique-chair-scanned-with-goscan-spark-4edd2a2dff1a48db8a34037cfaf59fc7 The great thing about this scanner is that you can see the final model right on the screen. You don’t need to do the processing of the raw data first and thus, see what parts are missing or need a rescan right away. And if you’d like more accurate results, the company offers a set of positioning targets which need to be attached to the object before scanning. And they do make a difference: with targets it’s possible to get up to 0.2 mm resolution while without them the standard resolution is 1.0 mm. Technical specifications According to the official manufacturer’s specifications, the Go!SCAN SPARK works best for objects and parts within 0.1–4 m (0.3–13 ft) range and is capable of capturing them with 0.05 mm accuracy and up to 0.1 mm resolution. Another interesting feature is that the scanner can take up to 1,500,000 measurements per second which is impressive if you’re planning to use the scanner for inspection and measurement extractions. The scanner supports exports to most popular 3D formats and software such as 3D Systems (Geomagic® Solutions), InnovMetric Software (PolyWorks), Metrologic Group (Metrolog X4), New River Kinematics (Spatial Analyzer), Verisurf, Dassault Systèmes (CATIA V5, SOLIDWORKS), PTC (Creo), Siemens (NX, Solid Edge), Autodesk (Inventor, PowerINSPECT). All that makes Go!SCAN SPARK a versatile 3D capture and measurement tool for a wide array of surfaces and textures and for various product development applications. Applications 3D scanners’ applications go far and wide, and Go!SCAN SPARK is no exception. It’s been used in such industries as automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, consumer products, research & education and others for CAD design, reverse engineering, quality control, prototyping, VR, digital archiving and many others. It’s specs make it a good match for any area where accurate 3D data and high quality mesh is a requirement. Competitors The handheld 3D scanners market is quite crowded, we won’t lie and in order to stand out every manufacturer tries to create something unique that no other company offers. In case of Go!SCAN SPARK we can name two most popular industrial-grade scanners that go hand in hand when it comes both to accuracy, speed and ease-of-use — Artec Eva and Artec Leo. We covered both scanners in our previous reviews, so we’d recommend checking them both for a fuller picture. Both scanners cover same level of accuracy and resolution as SPARK, however there are a few distinct differences: None of the Artec scanners require targets to achieve accurate data results and thus require less time for the setup and the actual scanning, While Eva’s scanning experience is somewhat similar to SPARK’s with wires and a PC around, Artec Leo on the other hand offers completely wireless and seamless scanning experience that doesn’t require a tablet or computer to carry around, And the last very important difference is the new HD mode which turns Eva and Leo into almost new scanners with 2X higher resolution (0.1-0.2 mm vs. 0.5 mm) within the same hardware. This new AI-powered mode magically captures tricky to scan areas and surface details with almost no hustle, even if it’s black or shiny. Pricing As for the cost, as of today, September 2020, Creaform Go!SCAN 3D scanner price is $39,900 and if you’d like to learn more about it, visit Creaform official website and schedule a call with Creaform’s expert.