In-situ inspection has drawn many attentions in manufacturing due to the importance of quality assurance. With the rapid growth of additive manufacturing technology, the importance of in-line/in-situ inspections has been raised to a higher level due to many uncertainties that could occur during an additive printing process. Given this, having accurate and robust in-situ monitoring can assist corrective actions for a closed-loop control of a manufacturing process. Contact 3D profilometers such as stylus profilometers or coordinate measuring machines can achieve very high accuracies. However, due to the requirement for physical contact, such methods have limited measurement speeds and may cause damage to the tested surface. Thus, contact methods are not quite suitable for real-time in-situ metrology. Non-contact methods include both passive and active methods. Passive methods (e.g., focus variation or stereo vision) hinges on image-based depth analysis, yet the accuracies of passive methods may be impacted by light conditions of the environment and the texture quality of the surface. Active 3D scanning methods such as laser scanning or structured light are suitable for instant quality inspection due to their ability to conduct a quick non-contact 3D scan of the entire surface of a workpiece. Specifically, the fringe projection technique, as a variation of the structured light technique, has demonstrated significant potential for real-time in-situ monitoring and inspection given its merits of conducting simultaneous high-speed (from 30 Hz real-time to kilohertz high speeds) and high accuracy (tens of μm) measurements. However, high-speed 3D scanning methods like fringe projection technique are typically based on triangulation principle, meaning that the depth information is retrieved by analyzing the triangulation relationship between the light emitter (i.e., projector), the image receiver (i.e., camera) and the tested sample surface. Such measurement scheme cannot reconstruct 3D surfaces where large geometrical variations are present, such as a deep-hole or a stair geometry. This is because large geometrical variations will block the auxiliary light used in the triangulation based methods, which will resultantly cause a shadowed area to occur. In this paper, we propose a uniaxial fringe projection technique to address such limitation. We measured a stair model using both conventional triangulation based fringe projection technique and the proposed method for comparison. Our experiment demonstrates that the proposed uniaxial fringe projection technique can perform high-speed 3D scanning without shadows appearing in the scene. Quantitative testing shows that an accuracy of 35 μm can be obtained by measuring a step-height object using the proposed uniaxial fringe projection system.

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