The product-development work my two companies handle is quite varied. One challenge leads to the next and we continue looking for technology to support our efforts. My design and fabrication company is W’ys Engineering, based in Lewistown, Montana. Its primary product is a special handle for underwater welding. That welding product, as it went through development, required us to purchase advanced machinery. As we became better equipped, I’ve branched out into product areas like surfboards. My other business, Blue Sky Aviation, is diversified within the small-craft aviation market, including custom-design and construction of personal airplanes.

When I took shipment of my EScan unit from 3D Digital I was thrilled to have it and knew just what I wanted to accomplish with it. However, what I was asking the EScan to do had a high degree of difficulty. In the surfboard design process, you are scanning an extremely flat, polished surface. That kind of object doesn’t offer the scanner or the software any of the surface features it needs to distinguish sections, then align the sections and merge them. I needed help from 3D Digital engineers and they provided it immediately. First they suggested I place modeling clay in various positions on the board surface. That solved the basic problem but the clay tended to mask or hide surface area I needed to capture. Next we tried using 1/16th-inch double-sided tape, and that was ideal. All this happened in a short period of time and it helped me move up a steep learning curve in a short amount of time, because of the expert tech support that was available every time I called in.

Now we are using EScan to streamline our custom-assembly of airplanes. The engine parts are quite complex, which puts a premium on the accuracy of the EScan system. I am very comfortable now scanning an engine, scanning the cowling that I need to match up to it, and knowing there is nothing left to chance.

Once you have an EScan and you’ve used it to solve one kind of problem, you start thinking about design and engineering work in a more confident way. Because of what we’ve been able to accomplish, I’m finding that prototype contracts are coming in from all over. I feel confident and ready for whatever the next challenge is.

Noel Simmons