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Aqsense 3D Express - 3D imaging made easy

19 Oct 2012

3D Express from the Spanish manufacturer Aqsense offers seamless software support for recording and pre-processing 3D images.

Over recent years, 3D imaging has established itself more and more as an interesting discipline. It is increasingly being used for the successful solution of 3D quality control applications. One of the major obstacles in the use of 3D imaging so far has been the required expertise in dealing with this technology. The Aqsense 3D Express software package now significantly facilitates using 3D imaging.

Today, 2.5D technology is used for most 3D applications in machine vision. The real 3D tools offered by Aqsense for the Common Vision Blox Image Processing Library are still an exception and as a rule these tools are provided as a library that require programming, such as CVB.
Until now there has been no sensible way of linking 3D tools using a graphical user interface, and all too often the existing display tools are over burdened with 16 bit range maps, which means either additional pre-processing is required or limitations in the functionality are found. This results in the user only obtaining a usable 3D image after performing many intermediate steps or having to rely on their own pre-processing.

Intermediate steps simplified

The recently introduced 3D Express software package from the Spanish manufacturer Aqsense performs all the necessary steps such as image recording, pre-processing, calibration, manipulation of the 3D data point clouds and output of different 3D data formats.
Thus, a point cloud (Cloud-Of-Points, COP) can be projected back into a defined level generating a metrically calibrated 8 bit range map (height image), which is often called ZMap. This can then be processed using the Teledyne DALSA 2D Sherlock user interface - without requiring a single line of programming code. The image sources and image outputs are easy to adjust via a user interface and a separate setup window is provided for each step, plus a corresponding control window with image display.

3D Express is based on the proven CVB Image Manager for image recording and can therefore be output directly from the Automation Technology triangulation cameras which are also distributed via STEMMER IMAGING. As an alternative, other fast GigE camera models such as the DALSA Genie can be used for triangulation in a 2D mode. Then 3D Express and its integrated PEAK tool generates the height image from the laser line.

Immediate metric calibration

Using a suitable calibration object the recorded images can then be metrically calibrated immediately. The user can rotate the recorded and calibrated data point cloud freely in space via the integrated ZMap and project it in an appropriate range map in the desired position. These rotations are important, for example, to inspect the roundness of circular bores which cannot be aligned horizontally for recording.In addition, the user can define which cutout of the 16 bit height data is to be calculated for the 8 bit result range map for the graphic user surface.

The Aqsense software is completely transparent in DALSA Sherlock, behaving like a normal camera. The 8 bit range map of 3D Express can therefore be recorded quite normally via the camera interface. Even the live image appears as though it comes from the camera. Any further processing can then be performed in a 2D environment. Thanks to these simplifications even newcomers to the world of 3D imaging manage to solve their tasks quickly and reliably.


Suitable solutions for 3D inspection and measurement of complex 3D free form surfaces have been technically feasible for a few years and have been offering a variety of new possibilities, but up to now they required too much expertise in order to realise their full potential. Thanks to Aqsense 3D Express this situation is a thing of the past.

Automation Technology’s new 3D camera series

STEMMER IMAGING distributes 3D cameras from German manufacturer Automation Technology (AT), who has announced the launch of the new C2 camera family at the Vision show 2012 in Stuttgart. These new high-speed 3D cameras are based on a new slim design, that significantly reduces weight, size and also price compared to the most recent C4 camera series.

The new camera series starts with the models C2- 640-GigE and C2-2040-GigE which mainly differ from each other in their resolution and measuring speed. All C2-Sensores are characterized by a compact housing design (44x44x47mm) with protection class IP67 that requires minimal installation effort, even in harsh industrial environments.

The new C2 models are an ideal complement to the previous 3D sensors of AT’s C3- and C4 Series, which come with a higher resolution (of up to max. 12 megapixel) and faster scanning speed (of up to 72 kHz).


Girona, Spain

The Spanish company Aqsense develops software for 3D image acquisition and processing technologies for high speed, in line, 100% production control in image processing.