Back to top

Improved Scanning of Reflective Surfaces Using Smart 3D Snapshot Sensors

Improved Scanning of Reflective Surfaces Using Smart 3D Snapshot Sensors

Reflective surfaces pose a challenge for accurate 3D scanning. When multiple reflections occur on the surface of a target, it produces noise in the acquired data that negatively impacts measurement results.

Need for a Specialized Scan Engine

When you scan a shiny or curved surface, light is reflected in multiple directions that interfere with each other. As a result, the sensor’s imager picks up the light from these reflections and is unable to capture the target surface accurately.

Here are several examples of surfaces where this problem occurs:

    •    Shiny bowls
    •    Countersunk holes
    •    Cylinder heads
    •    Piston heads

Structured-light 3D smart snapshot sensors solve this problem using a specialized scan engine designed to handle highly reflective targets. This dedicated scan engine for “interreflection” and stripe processing dramatically improves scan quality.

Less Noisy, More Accurate 3D Scanning

This “interreflection” scan engine is more effective than typical diffuse engines used on standard, non-reflective surfaces. The difference between the two is that “interreflection” leverages a structured light 3D scanning method that is robust against global illumination effects and defocus of the illumination source, which allows users to generate more accurate and less noisy 3D scans of reflective targets.

Interreflection 3D Scan Engine
Scanning countersunk holes using an “interreflection” engine results in significantly less noise.

Smart 3D Snapshot Sensors

Gocator 3D snapshot sensors have this type of “interreflection” engine for scanning challenging specular surfaces. Users can easily toggle to select this mode within the Gocator user interface when inline inspection of shiny or concave objects is required.


For more details on 3D snapshot sensors, you can download our 3D Smart Sensors for Inline Inspection brochure. If you're interested in learning more about other topics related to surface inspection, download our Solving the Challenges of Surface Inspection with 3D Smart Sensors white paper.

FactorySmart® Sensors

Learn how 3D technology can improve your quality and productivity

contact us