Using Spike to Measure Vehicle Wraps

Last Updated: Jun 05, 2018 03:55PM MDT
Vehicles like box trucks, box trailers, and food trucks are ideal for Spike because they have flat, rectangular surfaces, which are important for setting Spike’s alignment and capturing accurate measurements.

Spike allows users to get a quick estimate for partial or full vehicle wraps. Users can easily estimate custom jobs that don’t have templates for graphics and decals or save time estimating a wrap with quick area measurements while on-site with a customer. Spike provides users the ability to measure the area of the decal or wrap for the customer while in the field or back at the office using the Spike mobile app or online tools. Photos and measurements are saved and can be easily edited, so if any alterations or future projects on the vehicle are required, there is no need to re-measure the vehicle for new measurements.
By understanding the requirements for an accurate measurement and using a few tips and tricks, Spike can become a powerful estimating tool for vehicle wraps.
How to Create an Alignment Rectangle

Spike uses an alignment rectangle to identify and correct the horizontal and vertical angles from which your photo was taken. By drawing a rectangle on the surface you want to measure, you set the surface’s perspective. For the most accurate results with Spike, your object must be a flat surface and contain a rectangular shape. However, for certain vehicle wraps, this is difficult because of the curved body of many cars, trucks and trailers. Here are two ways to draw an alignment rectangle on a vehicle:
  1. By attaching an 8 1/2-by-11-inch piece of paper to the side of the vehicle, you can set your surface perspective by dragging the edges of the alignment rectangle to the corners of the paper.
  1. Another option is to use a standard rectangular car magnet, i.e., 18 inches by 24 inches, which many vehicle wrap shops have on hand on the side of the door.

How to Handle Curved Surfaces

Spike requires flat surfaces for its measurement geometry. For this reason, when measuring curved surfaces, the accuracy of measurements decreases. For full vehicle wraps and custom jobs, this can mean losing accuracy around the edges of a car and toward the roof. When estimating a wrap, be sure to account for the decrease in accuracy when calculating material costs. Here are three tips to keep in mind when measuring curved surfaces:
  • The optimum position to take your Spike photo is perpendicular to the target with the target at shoulder height.
  • Position yourself ideally between 0-30 degrees of your target and no greater than 60 degrees.
  • The laser, alignment rectangle and area you’re measuring must be on the same plane.
Watch Where You Point Your Laser

Spike’s laser rangefinder needs a solid surface for the laser to bounce off of to accurately gauge distance. The laser simply passes through any transparent surface, like a car window, and reads the distance for the next solid surface it hits. When measuring vehicles, aim the laser at an area other than the window and avoid highly reflective surfaces. For window wraps, place a piece of paper on the window and aim the laser at it.
Export Formats

You can use multiple export formats for your estimates or design mockups, including:
  • PDF
  • JPG
  • Spike file (XML)
Learn more about exporting and sharing here:
Measure From Your Desktop

Once you capture a photo with Spike, you can select to use the online tools to measure, edit and download photos instead of using the Spike mobile app.  
Learn more about how to measure using the online tools here:
If you have any further questions feel free to contact us at
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