3D Laser Profiling vs. 2D Machine Vision

12 September 2017

Despite the proven advantages of 3D technology for inline quality inspection applications, many organizations still rely solely on 2D machine vision for their quality control processes.

While useful in a select number of scenarios, 2D vision is limited in its ability to achieve 100% quality control—which is why it is so important for organizations to invest in a smart 3D solution. To illustrate this point let’s compare the basic capabilities of a 3D laser profiler to a 2D vision sensor.

  • 3D Shape Measurement – A commonly overlooked problem is that 2D sensors do not support measurement related to 3D shape.
  • Apparent Size – Because 2D sensors cannot detect depth, they are highly dependent on the distance from the camera to the target.
  • Contrast-Based Measurements – 2D sensors measure an object’s contrast (edge data), which means 2D relies on lighting and color/greyscale variation to detect features.
  • Robotic Inspection Applications – Industrial robots work in a three-dimensional world. Unfortunately, 2D technology is unable to provide the necessary depth and spatial information (in 6 degrees of freedom) for the growing number of vision-guided robotics (VGR) systems used for automated quality control.

Laser profilers combine 3D and 2D capability for total quality inspection.

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