The Situation

South African-born Jaco van Gass came to Britain at the age of 20, to pursue his ambition of joining the British Armed Forces.

After completing his training, he joined the Parachute Regiment, and was deployed to Afghanistan. It was during his second tour of the country that he sustained life-changing injuries, losing his left arm below the elbow after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Following his injury, van Gass has undertaken a number of incredible physical challenges and made his international para-cycling debut in 2013.

After being reclassified as a C3, he won a silver in the road race in Emmen in 2019, before enjoying an outstanding 2020 track world championships. He won pursuit silver before capturing three golds – in the kilo, scratch race and omnium – to underline his talent. Manchester Metrology was approached in order to perform various scans to enable the engineering of a new prosthetic limb.


The Challenge

Using the Creaform Metrascan, Manchester Metrology was able to perform the scans quickly reducing the amount of time needed while Jaco held various positions which helped reduce the amount of postprocessing removing any overlapping scan data from movement. There was still an element of movement due to Jaco’s breathing, but scans were taken of his arm, chest and leg (down one side) in order to achieve the correct position while riding.

Manchester Metrology needed to take multiple scans of Jaco in the following positions:

In position on the bike

The bike connecting socket to the prosthesis

The prothesis itself

The sock

His arm

Jaco’s Positioning

3D scan


The Bike Socket

Creaform Metrascan scan


The Prosthetic

scan data


The Merged Scans

Creaform Metrascan scan

The Manchester Metrology Solution

Once all the scan data was gathered Manchester Metrology did post processing to remove any noise and overlapping data, for Jaco’s arm the scan was split into separate files as there was a lot of movement and we needed to realign the separate sections. After all the scan data was cleaned up Manchester Metrology then aligned the “master” (Jaco in position) to an origin and then aligned the separate pieces of scan data to their respective locations on the “master”. From there all the data in the new alignment was exported in their separate states and another file with all the data merged together.

The Results

Manchester Metrology used the Creaform Metrascan and were able to merge the data together and do separate scans of the individual sections. This allowed them to capture data that you could not reach with line of sight from the initial position and by scanning them separately and aligning them back up to the original position a fuller picture was created.

Creaform Metrascan



5x more accurate

12x faster with 7 laser crosses

25% lighter

Scan any type of material, even black, multi-coloured and shiny surfaces

Greater volume of 16.6 m3(586 ft3)

Sturdy design for shop-floor hardware reliability

Multi-function buttons for easier interaction with the software