This paper proposes a new approach in dealing with volumetric surface defects (VSD) in pipelines. Using three-dimensional (3D) scanning and reverse engineering techniques, along with finite element analysis, we studied and evaluated comparatively the stress distributions in the defect area for different shapes and positions of the machined VSD, in order to find the best solution for the repairing process using composite materials. Our main conclusion is that instead of machining the VSD such as to generate a rectangular shaped machined defect, with edges parallel/perpendicular to the pipe axis, it is better to mold the VSD. Another possible solution would be to machine the real VSD such as to generate an inclined rectangle that circumscribes the defect. This paper also studies the influence of the machined defect filet radius to the bottom of the VSD.