Understanding how to use 3D machine vision technologies is easy. This presentation covers the main concepts of 3D acquisition and how to use SAL3D tools to manipulate and compare clouds of points.

The slides are divided in three main blocks:

  • 3D machine vision introduction: Laser triangulation, perspective distortion and other 3D acquisition main concepts.
  • SAL3D library: Short description of each tool, explaining its functionality and how to use it
  • Examples: A couple of examples demonstrating SAL3D real applications

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The CAD import Tool is a module of the SAL3D library that allows any user to easily generate a cloud-of-points from a CAD file. The software uses such cloud-of-points as a reference model for comparison with scanned objects obtaining the differences between the real object and this 'golden' virtual representation. Thanks to this technology, no perfect physical model is needed making the development of 3D Quality Assurance projects faster, more cost-effective and more robust.

Image showing the scanning of a bread and its 3D reconstruction on a screen

ESPA, a leading watter pumps manufacturer, is collaborating with AQSENSE in order to thoroughly test this feature on whirlpool and spa turbines. Using a laser-triangulation system, the produced pumps are scanned and compared to the reference CAD object obtaining the CAD-to-Object deviations where any defect or shape aberration is clearly highlighted.

Press release at inspect online

Press release at Machine vision online

Press release at Engineering Specifier

Imveurope's editor, Greg Blackman, compares 3D machine vision technologies with typical 2D applications in his latest article and empathizes SAL3D as a first in class option that exceeds 2D available options.

Imaging Machine Vision Europe logo

"Imaging in 3D, which we humans might take for granted, is still relatively new in machine vision. Acquiring depth information adds complexity to a vision set-up, both on the image capture side and the processing, but it does open up areas that would otherwise be too difficult to engineer relying solely on 2D vision. In fact, 3D imaging is currently considered one of the major growth sectors in machine vision.

The technology surrounding 3D vision is varied – there are numerous ways to generate depth information – and the type employed really depends on how accurate you want to be – are we talking height data at ±50mm or ±0.1mm? Calculating a real-world measurement such as the volume of an object typically requires a higher degree of accuracy than guiding a robot, say, in bin-picking (...)"

Full article at IMVE website


AQSENSE technologies are trendy and, as a result, are regularly appearing on the machine vision specialized magazines. Vision Systems Design, the American magazine leader in machine vision and image processing news has published information about SAL3D in two different sections of their last issue. Moreover, products containing AQSENSE technologies, as Photofocus' 3D cameras, are also being highlighted.

On page 23 there is an article entitled "Machine-Vision software enters the 3rd dimension" where, among other references, we can read:

"One of the most popular of these software packages is the SAL3D (3-D Shape Analysis Library) from Aqsense. A set of tools for processing point cloud information acquired from different 3-D vision technologies (including laser triangulation), the software is offered by Aqsense and can be combined with other software packages such as Matrox's MIL, MVTec Software's Halcon, and Common Vision Blox from Stemmer Imaging."

Later on the same magazine, on page 30-31, there is a press release containing information about SAL3D's latest tool: the Area Tool. This press release has been also published on other important magazines of the sector.

But there are still more references to AQSENSE's technologies. Another article about 3d imaging being used on scallops sorting (starting at page 19) shows Photonfocus' cameras which internally use AQSENSE's FPGA Peak detector.

More info at VSD June issue (pdf file)

New VSD Editorial Guide about 3-D Imaging for Machine Vision publishes a whole article about AQSENSE's 360º demo


"Laser triangulation system measures food products

Producers of packaged meat products must ensure that the portions of meat that are packed are accurately portioned and cut. Deviating from specified weights by more than a half an ounce for a 16-oz steak, for example, can be expensive. Similarly, cutting the meat in smaller portions will result in unhappy customers, especially if the meat is to be offered to some of the world’s most famous restaurants. (...)"

Download full article (pdf file)

National Instruments will be showing the 360º demo in their booth during Robotik, the catalan event focused on robotics and automation, that will be held in Sabadell from 1 to 3 June.


Video of the 360º demo

After being shown with great success in Vision and Robotics event, the demo is moving to Sabadell where National Instruments will be exposing it for the Robotik event.

This demo shows the complete volume measuring of a sausage and the computation of the slices so that perfect parts are obtained. It has been developed thanks to the collaboration between AQSENSE and ImagingLab and it is based on NI Labview version of SAL3D library.

More information about Robotik event can be obtained through its official page: