Page 2: 3D confocal microscope enables precision measurement of 3D printed parts

Content Dam Vsd En Articles 2015 06 Page 2 3d Confocal Microscope Enables Precision Measurement Of 3d Printed Parts Leftcolumn Article Thumbnailimage File

Using a series of rapid camera trigger delays, the SweptVue system can then collate the stack of images captured at varying depths to produce a depth map, which is of vital importance to the system, according to the Point Grey release. From the depth map—which can be colorized to provide a means to visualize the 3D features of the part—the system can automatically measure the micrometer-scale features of parts manufactured by the 3D printer.

"While cameras with rolling shutters have been criticized for their performance when imaging moving targets, these characteristics were used to our advantage in the SweptVue system," said Mr. Matt Muller, Co-Founder of Swept Image. "By synchronizing the illumination pattern on the part with the rolling shutter, light returned from different heights on the part is shifted laterally at the sensor, enabling features to be captured at specific depths. What is more, we can quickly shift between depths by changing the trigger delay on the Flea3 camera."

In order to demonstrate the effectiveness of the system as a quality assurance tool, a set of 3D printed sample parts were analyzed to determine accuracy and precision. In the testing, the SweptVue system highlighted the fact that the tolerances of the parts built by the printer varied considerably from the original design specification by as much as several times the printer's build resolution. The system, according to the company, can verify part dimensions with a depth resolution of 5 µm and a lateral resolution of 1 µm.

View the Point Grey case study.

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