Faculty Advisor

Simon W. Evans

Faculty Advisor

Ryszard J. Pryputniewicz

Faculty Advisor

Cosme Furlong

Faculty Advisor

John M. Sullivan


"3D shape measurements are critical in a range of fields, from manufacturing for quality measurements to art conservation for the everlasting archival of ancient sculptures. The most important factor is to gather quantitative 3D information from measurement devices. Currently, there are limitations of existing systems. Many of the techniques are contact methods, proving to be time consuming and invasive to materials. While non-contact methods provide opportunities, many of the current systems are limited in versatility. This project focuses on the development of a fringe projection based system for 3D shape measurements. The critical advantage of the fringe projection optical technique is the ability to provide full field-of-view (FOV) information on the order from several square millimeters to several square meters. In the past, limitations in speed and difficulties achieving sinusoidal projection patterns have restricted the development of this particular type of system and limited its potential applications. For this reason, direct coding techniques have been incorporated to the developed system that modulate the intensity of each pixel to form a sinusoidal pattern using a 624 nm wavelength MEMS based spatial light modulator. Recovered phase data containing shape information is obtained using varying algorithms that range from a single image FFT analysis to a sixteen image, phase stepping algorithm. Reconstruction of 3D information is achievable through several image unwrapping techniques. The first is a spatial unwrapping technique for high speed applications. Additionally, the system uses an optimized Temporal Phase Unwrapping (TPU) algorithm that utilizes varying fringe frequencies ranging from 4 to 512 pixels per fringe to recover shape information in the time domain. This algorithm was chosen based on its robustness and accuracy for high resolution applications [Burke et al., 2002]. Also, unwrapping errors are minimized by approximately 90% as the number of images used is increased from the minimum to maximum fringe density. Cxoontrary to other systems, the 3D shape measurement system developed in the CHSLT laboratories has unprecedented versatility to accommodate a variety of applications with the z-depth resolution of up to 25.4 µm (0.001 inches) and speeds close to 200 frames per second. Hardware systems are integrated into user-friendly software that has been customized for fringe projection. The system has been tested in two extreme environments. The first is for quantification of cracks and potholes in the surface of roads under dynamic conditions. The second application was digitization of an art sculpture under static conditions. The system shows promising results and the potential for high quality images via algorithm optimization. Most importantly, there is potential to present real time 3D information at video speeds."


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Mechanical Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Temporal Phase Unwrapping, Structured Light, High-Speed Shape Measurements, Fringe Projection