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.

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 illuminate 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’