Ground-breaking True 3D: A step forward from 2.5D Technology

In recent years, the advancements in 3D technology have been game-changing for industries such as manufacturing, logistics, and robotics. However, not all 3D technology is created equal! When it comes to cameras, there is a significant difference between what is now classed as ‘True 3D’ versus ‘2.5D technology’. ‘2.5D technology’ contains 3D information and is therefore sometimes regarded as the same as ‘True 3D’, but this is not the whole truth. In this article, we will explore the differences between the two and how Photoneo’s 3D camera range stands out in the market.

What is 2.5D / True 3D?

First, let’s define the difference between ‘True 3D’ and ‘2.5D technology’. Historically, what is now classed as ‘2.5D’ contains depth information for each pixel in an image, in a so called ‘depth map’ that provides 3D coordinates of the surface in the scene. This allows for relatively crude measurements and recognition of objects. It is useful for applications such as object tracking and gesture recognition, but stops short of providing any information about the ‘pose’ angle of the surface. On the other hand, ‘True 3D’ cameras capture depth information and the pose of the surface, which is provided as ‘normals’ for each coordinate (ie the direction normal to the surface). The result is what is known as a full ‘point cloud’, which contains all the 3D information about the surface and is therefore ideal for precise measurements and applications such as bin-picking or applications involving robot collaboration, where the surface pose is critical.

So why does this distinction matter?

Well, for applications that require precise measurements of a 3D surface or involve robot control/collaboration, ‘True 3D’ technology is essential. This is where Photoneo’s 3D camera range stands out. Their cameras use fringe pattern projection technology, that calculates the point cloud. This provides incredibly high-resolution point clouds with sub-millimetre accuracy. Until recently, fringe pattern projection has always been limited to imaging static scenes, but Photoneo have now taken the technique to the next level with their ground-breaking parallel light projection technology which allows capture of ‘True 3D’ moving scenes.

Photoneo’s 3D camera range includes several models, each with its own unique features and specifications. For example, the PhoXi 3D Camera is a versatile camera that can be used for a wide range of applications, including robot guidance, bin-picking, and quality control. It has a very high-resolution and can capture static scenes at up to 7.3 million points per second, making it one of the fastest 3D cameras on the market. The ground-breaking MotionCam-3D incorporates Photoneo’s patented parallel projection technology and is designed specifically for capturing point clouds in high-speed applications such as conveyor tracking, Virtual Reality

Photoneo Phoxi 3D Scanner Gen2

(VR) & Visual Effects (VFX), sports analysis and 100’s of other dynamic 3D applications. It can capture at frame rates up to 2000 frames per second with point cloud information at distances up to 5 meters.
In conclusion, the distinction between ‘True 3D’ and ‘2.5D technology’ is incredibly important for applications that require precise measurements and recognition. Multipix’s 3D camera range stands out in the market for its use of fringe pattern projection and parallel light projection technologies, with high-resolution sensors, and ease of use. Whether you’re looking to improve your robot guidance, bin-picking, or quality control, MultiPix has a 3D camera that can meet your needs.

Watch Photoneo PhoXi 3D Scanner In Action: