Believe me, I was so tempted to headline this story with “Geomagic and Creaform Ass-Scan Gets Australian Kayak Team Fitted” Damage done, but to be honest, the scan is of much more than the posterior. The process of how Ami Drory, biomechanist at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), is forming the kayak cockpit, seat and thigh brace to the athletes is a very unique, never-been-done-before procedure (and a gold-winning combination between the two companies) that’s melding the competitor to their craft.

Creaform and Geomagic

So, to get the perfect fit for high-efficiency kayaking, the AIS brought on the assitance of Geomagic and Creaform. Using one of Creaform’s portable handheld laser scanners to scan each Olyimpic athlete in full-kayak position, wearing a webbing of point markers, they captured the detail needed for the fit.

Each athlete was scanned in position using a Creaform 3D scanner. This accurately creates 3D points of the body surface, which are translated into 3D CAD models using Geomagic. From this point, the 3D can be precisely used to design and manufacture exact forms for the kayak – and for each athlete – to allow perfect control of the kayak from start to finish.

Prior to this, creating the forms was a fairly labor intensive process difficult to repeat for the multitude of customization they needed to produce. While I’m skeptical, this new method probably also beats the memory foam/duct tape solution I would have given them as well, granted they would have saved a few thousand dollars at least. To give you an idea of how they are going about all this hand-scannery, here’s famed kayaker Jessica Fox being scanned by that guy with the Creaform REVscan prior to the data being processed in Geomagic Studio.

Update: Jessica Fox won the Silver in Woman’s Kayak competition.

Via Geomagic Blog


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.