Engineers capture Mothman (likeness) with advanced scanning technology

Engineers from the Marshall Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMC) put the latest weapon in the center’s technological arsenal to a monumental test recently in Point Pleasant. It was a monstrous job – literally!

Design Engineers Chris Shaffer and Morgan Smith deployed one of MAMC’s newest scanners, a portable Creaform 3D scanning system, to capture the intricacies and full details of the famous stainless steel Mothman Statute that looms over downtown Point Pleasant.

Client Kelly Miller, whose father Bob Roach crafted the hulking creature, asked MAMC to scan the scary statute because no detailed drawings exist. Miller owns the rights to the likeness and wants to create smaller replicas of her late father’s tourist-beckoning creation. For that she needed a three-dimensional computer file.

Unlike most systems, MAMC’s new Creaform scanners are lightweight and portable, perfect for items too large to easily transport or, like the Mothman statue, immovable. Because the scanner isn’t tethered to a tripod or other surface, it can gather data in hard-to-reach places, such as the tips of the Mothman wings that soar more than 12 feet in the air. And weighing in at just under 3 pounds, the scanner won’t strain users’ arms or backs as they maneuver the hand-held device during the scanning process.

Because the system is capable of taking 1.3 million measurements per second, it scans larger items much more quickly than traditional scanners – and does it with an extremely high degree of accuracy (as precise as 0.020 mm). In addition, the Creaform can capture color and texture, perfect for recording detail such as the hair on the Mothman statue’s chest, the veins in his wings…every tiny dimple that make him unique. When scanning items to be 3D printed, the Creaform greatly reduces the post processing required to create a printer-ready file.

“The Creaform represents the pinnacle of 3D scanning technology, providing our clients with the accuracy and detail necessary for the most demanding applications,” Smith said. “It even allows the part to be repositioned after the scanning process has begun.”

The new Creaform 3D scanners are available at MAMC in Huntington and South Charleston. To see the scanners in action or inquire whether they are a solution to your scanning needs, contact Smith at or 304.781.1661.

Nov. 30. 2023

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