CASE STUDY: 3D Scan & CAD Modeling of a Racing Boat in Seattle, WA.

Arrival 3D are tasked with the 3D Scanning of this Racing Boat for the purposes of design development. 

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    What Was Scanned

    3D Laser Scanning in Seattle, WA: Our client, a championship winning manufacturer of racing boats require 3D Laser Scanning of one of their designs & the creation of a representative CAD model. Utilizing these digital assetts, planning and design can progress rapidly around the accurate digital representation of the craft.

    The starting point is to document the existing design via 3D Scan Data, which is where Arrival 3D bring value.

    The resulting Scan Data, a “point cloud” comprising millions of points of data, can be utilized as is for both measurement and spacial planning, or the data can form the basis of an accurate, geometric CAD model. Arrival 3D routinely provide to clients Point Cloud, Revit & Solidworks CAD models.

    The Arrival 3D data collection process takes only a few hours onsite and we require only easy access to the scanning subject.

    Racing Boat captured using 3D Laser Scanning

    Location of Scan

    Seattle, WA.

    Scans were captured from multiple angles and heights

    Scanning Method

    We employed a long range Leica RTC360 with a carbon fiber tripod to capture the racing boat’s shape. This was accomplished by placing the scanner at various heights and positions around the boa, capturing the boat from every possible angle to get full coverage in the 3d laser scan point cloud. The individual scans were stitched together to create a complete 3D point cloud representation of the craft. One challenge presented here is that the glossy paint can cause the 3d laser scanner laser to be reflected. This causes noise, reflections and other false points in the point cloud. to get rid of these, a combination and close trimming and noise reduction tools are used to prepare the point cloud for surfacing. The point cloud is then converted in to a polymesh surface that can be used by the customer. 

    3D Laser Scanning a Racing Boat in Seattle, WA.


    Our client chose, in this case, to receive a fully detailed Solidworks CAD model as well as the unified Point Cloud. The CAD model will serve as the basis from which to develop new design intent.

    The model was then used to design enhancements to the boat’s structure. When designing in 3D, the results can be sent to a manufacturer and produced exactly as designed. That’s what happened in this case. Despite being a one-of-a-kind craft, this boat was able to receive a custom made carbon fiber upgrade. 

    Scanned racing boat

    An as-built CAD model provides the basis for further engineering and design improvement.


    The process Arrival 3D used in this project can scan be applied to many types of large objects. 3D laser scanning can capture airplanes, vehicles, large sculptures, machines, just about anything that is solid and not to wet or shiny. It can be done in the safety of a warehouse or garage, or done out in the field and at any time of day or night. Tell us what you would like to have scanned and we’d be glad to work out a solution.