L-R: Eugene Zyablin, KODA Director; Artyom Yukhin, Artec 3D President & CEO; Andrei Vakulenko, Artec 3D Chief Business Development Officer; Katja Sharapova-Tkachenko, Head of Artec 3D Production; Alexander Sharapov, Artec 3D VP Hardware, R&D; Credit: Artec 3D

Artec 3D, a Luxembourg-based high-tech producer of 3D scanners, is currently collaborating on several projects with its Ukrainian partner KODA, an industrial measuring solutions provider, in the context of the Ukraine war.

Whilst the two companies have been working together for more than ten years, current mutual projects include using 3D scanning in healthcare, for instance by creating customised limb prostheses, and in heritage, for example by creating replicas of Ukrainian cultural heritage items which could be destroyed one day.

Founded in 2007 in California in the United States (US), Artec 3D is today a Luxembourg-based company specialising in the design and manufacture of 3D scanners and software that can be used in several industries, from engineering and healthcare to public safety, heritage, education and research. The company has about 150 partners who resell and distribute the products in over 50 countries worldwide. Clients include Fortune 500 companies as well as various museums, including the British Museum (UK), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (US) and the Louvre Museum (France).

The Ukrainian-American joint venture KODA was founded in 1993 and has since become a leading company in Ukraine's measurement appliances market. The main office is located in Kharkiv, with two subsidiaries in Kyiv and Mykolaiv. The Ukrainian company, whose team comprises specialists in 3D scanning in healthcare, heritage preservation and reverse engineering, among other fields, has been a partner for Artec 3D for more than a decade.

In the first weeks of the Ukraine war, KODA Director Eugene Zyablin and his family fled Kharkiv, following the birth of his third child. His new-born son spent his first night in a basement because bombs were falling near the maternity hospital. Eugene and his family then went to Germany. His colleagues continue to manage the company's operations locally, having moved the office from Kharkiv (due to the threat of bombs) to Khmelnitsky in western Ukraine, keeping the team and working around the clock on different projects.

Just last month, Eugene visited the Luxembourg headquarters of Artec 3D and shared his story (and that of his colleagues) with the Luxembourg community. In the context of this visit, Chronicle.lu reached out to both Eugene and Artyom Yukhin, President and CEO of Artec 3D, to learn more about the former's war experience, the two companies' strengthened partnership and their work in Ukraine.

Strengthened collaboration

Regarding the decision to work more closely together, Artyom explained: "KODA has been our partner for thirteen years now and as a dedicated Artec Gold Certified partner has been instrumental throughout Artec's months of efforts to reach out to specialists and officials across multiple regions and industries in Ukraine, to provide our scanners, software, and expertise in the very areas where they will help bring the most positive change". He added that Artec 3D "fully support[s] KODA's team" and the two companies have jointly "launched several projects in Ukraine [...] helping to scan and preserve Ukrainian heritage, developing prosthetics for Ukrainian war victims, etc.".

Elaborating on what Artec 3D and KODA hope to achieve through this strengthened collaboration, Artyom explained that since the war broke out earlier this year, Artec 3D's clients and partners in Ukraine, including KODA, have been "racing to digitally capture and preserve more than a millennium of irreplaceable cultural heritage by using the professional 3D scanner Artec Leo [one of Artec 3D's wireless handheld 3D scanners]".

"The submillimetre-precise, colour 3D scans of paintings, sculptures, churches, monuments and more are being safely archived far from the front lines", he continued. "In the unthinkable event that the originals are ever damaged or destroyed, the 3D scans made by Artec scanners will serve as flawless reference models for repairs or reconstruction, via 3D printing or traditional methods". Artyom added: "Beyond this, Ukrainian museums and art curators and are also exploring the deployment of such 3D models on various online platforms, so these unique objects can be visited and explored from anywhere around the world, by educators, students, researchers and others".

Supporting humanitarian efforts

On the importance of such projects, Artyom recalled: "After months of relentless and repeated assaults, countless thousands of people in Ukraine are struggling from day to day, simply to survive and hope for an eventual end to the bloodshed and destruction. The men and women of Ukraine are paying the ultimate price with their lives, to withstand and turn back the forces that may otherwise set their sights on Europe and beyond".

"Even if the war were to suddenly stop today, millions of people have been uprooted from their homes, with their cities and neighbourhoods in ruins. Help in the form of first aid, medicines, shelter, food, and clothing is desperately needed", he continued, adding that Artec 3D had also reached out to LUkraine asbl, a local non-profit organisation supporting Ukrainians in Luxembourg and people in Ukraine, to set up a partnership and a direct channel to provide essential items "on an ongoing basis". Artyom elaborated: "We not only made a significant donation to [LUkraine asbl] during the very first days of the war, but also launched two programmes to make our support ongoing: for every euro that our employees donate, the company doubles the amount donated, and 1% of the sale of every Leo scanner sold worldwide goes directly to LUkraine".

War experience & impact on business

Reflecting on his personal experience of the war and relocating to Germany, Eugene said: "It was not easy to move from home for me and my wife with three children and a one-day-old baby. We spent most of our time in a car in the underground [car park] when my wife was pregnant. As soon as she was operated [on] and delivered our son, our maternity hospital was damaged by bombs in the evening of its birth. So, we moved with the children from Kharkiv".

"Our elder kids and cat were evacuated by our neighbours; we had to wait for the end of curfew in [the] hospital and reunited the family in another region a day [later]. We took essential things to a car; the way to the west of Ukraine was long because of the traffic jams. We relied on the people who gave us food and shelter as well as to thousands of others who fled from the shelled regions", he continued. "We lived three days in the west of Ukraine, but we didn't feel safe. My children shuddered from loud noises of fighter jets and sirens. A schoolmate of mine invited us to Germany. They helped to accommodate and pass formalities. We have been hosted by their friends in their house".

Regarding the impact of the war on KODA's operations, Eugene explained: "Our office in Kharkiv is closed. My colleagues moved [in with] their friends, relatives or rented apartments in other parts of Ukraine. A month [later], we decided to relocate our office, computers, equipment and stock of goods to another region. Most of us work on a remote basis". He concluded: "It's a hard time for business. Logistics, banking operations, business trips and service are difficult. Many businesses are closed".