Multipix Imaging

3D Imaging for Industry

3D Camera Technology and 3D Image Processing tools

3D imaging and image processing is becoming more accessible and being applied to an increasing number of vision systems that can benefit from 3D automated inspection.

Multipix Imaging provide products for 3D image processing, we supply training on different hardware platforms and the use of  HALCON imaging software which has a powerful suite of 3D tools.

3D camera technologies explained

Advanced Structured Light Technique

A conventional structured light technique is derived from stereo vision. In the stereo vision (inspired by a nature of a human vision), one uses a pair of cameras to capture an object from two different perspectives.

On the other hand, in the advanced structured light approach, one of the cameras is interchanged by a pattern projector, which emits a well-defined structured illumination. The camera and the pattern projector are a calibrated unit and are focused towards the scanning area (Object).

The pattern projector emits a set of coding patterns projected in a succession, one after another. These coding patterns encodes a spatial information. The camera captures the scanning area once per every projected pattern. The algorithm computes an exact 3D position of the object point.

A big advantage of this technique is that it works independently of the object’s texture and results in high 3D reconstruction quality. It also offer a good speed of acquisition compared to say standard stereo-vision methods. Photoneo PhoXi Scan is an ideal example of a 3D camera system employing advanced structure lighting and uses a unique custom-designed projection unit. Learn more about Photoneo’s 3D Scanner…

Laser Projection/Triangulation

With this method of 3D imaging, there is one camera which has a known physical relationship with a laser line projector. The laser projects a line across the object being scanned and the deformation in the laser line, as being captured by the camera, determines the depth of an object at that point on the laser line. These can be purchased as pre-calibrated camera/laser units or you can purchase camera and laser as individual units and calibrate using software tools such as HALCON.ECCO_thumb

SmartRay ECCO series of 3D laser triangulation cameras are available from Multipix Imaging, for applications that benefit from using pre-calibrated units which can provide high resolution results.

If the application is using a separate camera and laser then we highly recommend the HALCON 3D machine vision library for calibration and also 3D image processing. Multipix can provide numerous camera options and lasers.

Time-of-Flight (ToF)

3D ToF cameras use either a pulsed or continuous wave NIR light to illuminateToF the object/scene. When using pulsed light, the time it takes for the light to be reflected back is measured and used to calculate distance. Whereas with continuous wave, it is the phase shift between emitted and reflected light that is measured to determine distance. The Basler ToF uses pulsed NIR and is delivered as a fully calibrated unit with a GigE Vision interface for ease of connectivity. It provides both a 2D image as well as per-pixel depth information. 

Check out Basler’s White Paper explaining the processes and applications of a ToF camera…

Or maybe a ToF Success Story might be of interest? Check out ‘Basler Time-of-Flight Camera Provides Flexible Robot Handling of Parts’


3D Software Imaging Tools

HALCON is the comprehensive standard software for machine vision with an integrated development environment (IDE) that is used worldwide.

It serves all industries with a library of more than 1800 operators for blob analysis, morphology, matching, measuring, identification, and an extensive group on 3D vision tools, such as:

3D reconstruction

Image acquisition Interfaces are provided for numerous commercially available 3D sensors. MVTec software offers tools for constructing 3D depth maps or point clouds from image techniques like multi-view stereo or sheet of light imaging.

3D registration

Generate a complete 360 degree representation of an object by aligning 3D point clouds from multiple 3D images.

3D object processing

Similar to blob analysis in 2D, developers are able to measure and extract various features from 3D point clouds as well as segment point clouds based on those features. Background points can easily be removed via thresholding and point clouds can be intersected by a plane to create a 2D cross-section profile.

Surface-based 3D matching3D-shape-matching

This tool searches for arbitrarily shaped 3D objects in a scene and determines their pose in 3D space. It locates multiple objects in a single scene even if objects are partially occluded or not entirely contained in the scene. This is a powerful tool for robotic bin picking and automated portioning systems as well as many more 3D machine vision applications.

3D Surface Inspection

Alignment of an acquired 3D point cloud object with a known object model or point cloud template enables users to check for and locate variations and deviations in the surfaces profile of manufactured parts.

Read our support blog article to find out more about Surface Inspection

Typical Applications for 3D inspection

  • Optimisation of production processes
  • 3D dimensioning, scanning and inspection
  • Stacking of boxes and pallets
  • Volume measurements
  • Intelligent warehousing/shelf organisation
  • Luggage/carton sorting and routing
  • Robot bin picking
  • Visual safety systems
  • Automation of production processes
  • Autonomous Vehicles


What exactly is Basler’s Time-of-Flight camera?

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