Hexagon’s innovative SmartScan VR800 3D scanner wins Red Dot Design Award for outstanding product design

19 June 2024

Hexagon’s innovative SmartScan VR800 3D scanner wins Red Dot Design Award for outstanding product design
Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has been awarded the renowned Red Dot Design Award, recognising outstanding product design quality. Established in 1955, the Red Dot Design Award is one of the world's most sought-after distinctions for excellence in design. Its international jury of experts assess products on criteria such as aesthetics, degree of innovation, functionality, ergonomics and sustainability.

This year, Hexagon’s pioneering SmartScan VR800 structured light scanner has been awarded the prize in the Product Design category reflecting the quality of the user experience, ergonomics and the consistent and attractive application of Hexagon’s design language. The function was equally important – as the manufacturing industry's first optical 3D scanner featuring a motorised zoom lens, the SmartScan VR800 fundamentally changes the user experience so they can obtain high-resolution scans of inspected parts in a matter of seconds. 

Matthias Wieser, VP of Product Design at Hexagon, said: “Our design choices shape the user experience. In order to develop products that are intuitive and efficient to use, we always try to simplify complexity and understand the user’s true needs. A cohesive design language was an added consideration to establish the company’s identity in the SmartScan VR800, resulting in a professional and functional product that is both visually appealing and recognisable as Hexagon. Clarity can be beautiful!”  

Dirk Rieke-Zapp, Senior Product Manager for Structured Light and Photogrammetry at Hexagon said: “The interdisciplinary nature of Hexagon’s team was crucial in the development of this product. The expertise of our company-wide Innovation Hub researchers allowed for key design features to come to fruition, such as the zoom lens, the carbon fibre frame and an embedded control unit. The expertise of the team allowed us to embrace innovation and fulfil the expectations of our target design.”

Hexagon is at the forefront of innovation in digital reality solutions that combine sensor, software and autonomous technologies. With 15% of net sales invested in R&D, more than 5,500 active patents and more than 6,500 R&D employees supported by dedicated innovation centres across the globe, the company leverages innovation processes to create groundbreaking solutions. The SmartScan VR800 is one such example of innovation that benefits global manufacturers.

Focus on R&D

Traditional structured light scanners require manual recalibration with every lens change, compromising efficiency. By contrast, the SmartScan VR800 remains calibrated as the scanner zooms in on the desired area without sacrificing precision, delivering a resolution range from 238 to 49 microns. Integrating a zoom lens into a 3D scanner's design presents significant technical challenges, which is why such a solution had not been developed before. Many factors needed to be taken into account in order to accommodate a zoom lens, including a robust frame and calibration capabilities, all while maintaining portability and performance.

Developed in collaboration with colleagues from Hexagon's Swiss Innovation Hub, the scanner's unique closed zoom lens design replaces the need for multiple lenses, streamlining scanning into a single process and simplifying operation for expert and new users. A custom-built carbon fibre frame was developed to accommodate the cameras and lenses, ensuring the thermal stability of the scanner and allowing customers to use the equipment to perform accurate measurements for longer intervals between calibrations. 

Ergonomic design for people, or cobots

Ergonomic design was a crucial consideration during the design process, particularly considering the role that truly portable scanners will have in highly automated manufacturing processes. Hexagon's design team prioritised usability for industrial professionals, investing significant effort into understanding user needs and solving their pain points.

Setting the SmartScan VR800 apart from many of its predecessors is its integrated controller unit, which provides fast on-device processing and optimisation of scan data. Traditional scanners have a separate control box that must be set up alongside the scanner, occupying additional space on the shop floor. The VR800’s embedded control unit requires just two cables, enhancing portability and freedom of movement. This is complemented by the scanner’s universal quick-mounting interface, which provides stability when mounted onto any robotic arm or tripod.

By addressing hands-on user challenges with future-looking design and engineering, the SmartScan VR800 exemplifies Hexagon’s commitment to pushing technical boundaries to improve how people work in manufacturing and quality inspection.

See the VR800 at work here.

Hexagon is the global leader in digital reality solutions, combining sensor, software and autonomous technologies. We are putting data to work to boost efficiency, productivity, quality and safety across industrial, manufacturing, infrastructure, public sector, and mobility applications.

Our technologies are shaping production and people related ecosystems to become increasingly connected and autonomous – ensuring a scalable, sustainable future.

Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) has approximately 24,500 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 5.4bn EUR. Learn more at hexagon.com and follow us @HexagonAB.
Media Enquiries
Robin Wolstenholme
Global Media Relations and Analyst Relations Manager
Hexagon's Manuacturing Intelligence Division
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Hexagon AB
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