Milestones that shaped Creaform’s history
The foundation: 2002-2005
Creaform was founded in 2002, in Levis, by Charles Mony, Martin Lamontagne, & Gilles Bernigaud, and started operating as a metrology and engineering consulting firm, helping local manufacturers solve their product development and inspection issues. Having worked with a cumbersome and slow 3D scanner mounted on a CMM in its previous job, Creaform’s founders already had a vision and a business plan to develop the next generation of 3D scanners.
Simultaneously, a doctoral student along with its supervising professors from the Department of Electrical Engineering of Université Laval were carrying out work around the development of a 3D sensor that did not require an external positioning device to establish its reference position. With a little chance and a lot of work, the two teams joined forces, and a few years later, the first ever handheld self-positioning 3D laser scanner was born. To this day, this technological transfer is one of the most successful in University Laval’s history.
4 key milestones
Creaform is incorporated
The Creaform brand is registered
The 1st ever Handyscan 3D is launched
The 1st ever Handyscan 3D sold
A disruptive success: 2005-2013
In a time where portable CMM were dominating the market, the interest for the disruptive approach of the HandySCAN 3D was unquestionable, and less than a year after the initial launch, Creaform had 100 systems sold. But what the scanner was bringing in terms of ease of use and portability, it was lacking in terms of accuracy and resolution. R&D worked tirelessly to address the gap and in September 2007, a second model of HandySCAN 3D family was introduced to the market: the EXAscan. You guessed it, the newest game-changing handheld scanners featured an extra camera that delivered improved accuracy and resolution. From this point on, the pace of innovation and growth was just stunning.
In early 2008, Creaform acquired ActiCM, which led to the launch of the HandyPROBE optical CMM and C-Track optical tracker. A few months later, Creaform introduced the VIUscan, the third model from the HandySCAN lineup which was capable of capturing color (texture), in addition to the geometry. And as if 2008 wasn’t busy enough, Creaform also announced a combination of 3D scanner/industrial photogrammetry camera, the MAXscan, in December of that year. The year 2010 saw the introduction of the first generation of MetraSCAN 3D that complemented the HandyPROBE and that helped to address more demanding applications such as quality control. Then, 2011 wasn’t quiet as the MaxSHOT 3D standalone photogrammetry camera was launched, as well as our first release of Pipecheck, which continues to this day to be a standard for pipeline surface corrosion inspection. Finally, 2012 was the year the Go!SCAN 3D was introduced to the world, our first ever white light system and a handheld scanner meant to push the limit of ease of use. Between 2005 and 2013, Creaform was collecting business awards every year – Deloitte Fast 50, Fast 500, E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year, etc. – and was opening international offices nonstop. By the end of 2013, Creaform had more than 350 employees and offices in Canada, the USA, France, Germany, China, Japan and India.
6 key milestones
Handyscan is now a family of scanner and includes the REVscan and the EXAscan
Creaform acquires French ActiCM
Creaform extends measurement offering with new optical cmm HandyPROBE
Creaform sells 1000th Handyscan 3D
Creaform acquires Inspeck
Creaform unveils new (and still current) brand identity
Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger: 2013-2022
The next chapter began with the acquisition of Creaform by AMETEK, a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices. With AMETEK having 18,500 employees at more than 150 operating locations worldwide, the acquisition allowed Creaform to accelerate its market expansion and provided Creaform with additional means to pursue its conquest.
The Creaform Engineering services division was officially created in 2013, providing the division with a clear mission and growth plan. CE’s turnover, as well as staff more than doubled in less than 10 years, reaching today 200 employees. On the Technology side, the 2013-2022 period was characterized by major product line improvements and solution diversification. As Creaform was required by global manufacturers to address more and more demanding applications and to comply with stringent standards, Creaform’s major product line, the HandySCAN 3D, the MetraSCAN3D and Go!SCAN 3D all went through two major redesigns between 2014 and 2020. The profound reengineering efforts allowed scanning speed to be increased by 50 X and accuracy and resolution to be increased by 400%. And most specifications are now based on VDI/VDE 2634 part 3 and certified by a ISO 17025 accredited laboratory.
The 2013-2022 decade also saw Creaform enter the application software space with the introduction of VXmodel scan-to-CAD software and VXinspect inspection software. These products, which have evolved at great speed to this day, have rapidly been adopted by customers due to the synergy with the Creaform measurement devices. With Industry 4.0 making its appearance, Creaform also entered the automated 3D scanning application market in 2013, leveraging the MetraSCAN 3D platform. The automated quality control solutions now include 2 dedicated 3D scanners for robots (MetraSCAN 3D-R), as well as a modular high-productivity industrial measuring cell (CUBE-R) and a Digital Twin Environment Software Module (VXscan-R). Last but not the least, and with the clear objectives of staying close to its roots and to keep democratizing 3D scanning, Creaform launched the peel 3D handheld scanners initiative in 2017. These scanners have been delivering great 3D scanning performances for professionals on a budget to this day.
7 key milestones
Creaform announces its first scanner on a robot, the MetraSCAN-R
Ametek acquires Creaform
Creaform announces HandySCAN 300 & 700, new Go!SCAN 20 & 50 and VXmodel scan-to-CAD software
Creaform launches HandyPROBE NEXT and MetraSCAN 350 & 750
Creaform moves into new modern headquarter
Creaform announces HandySCAN BLACK and Go!SCAN SPARK
Creaform launches MetraSCAN BLACK and new CUBE-R 3D scanning cmm line-up
A Bright, Innovative Future: 2022 and beyond
2022 marks our 20th anniversary - a huge milestone that we are very proud of. It is, of course, an ideal time to pause and reflect on our collaborative achievements and give kudos to everyone who contributed to making Creaform what it is today: our employees, our shareholders, our value-added distributors, our business partners, and of course, our customers from every industry. It would be easy to rely on the fact that Creaform now counts more than 600 employees located in 15 offices and 13 countries, or that our product are represented by a network of over 150 distributor-partners located in over 48 countries, or that Creaform is now a well-established brand synonym of portability, ease of use and rigorous 3D measurements, or that we are part of Ametek, a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annual sales of approximately $5.5 billion to say that our future looks bright. In fact, none of these things or achievements matter if we lose sight of WHY we exist. So, our 20th anniversary is also about what’s ahead, because we know that in our fast-changing world, we can’t rely on historic accomplishments to define our future. This is why our motto this year is Never Stop Innovating, which seeks to inspire everyone so that we can continue to create a better tomorrow and deliver extraordinary value for our customers, our employees, and partners for the next 20 years to come!