case study

Automated inspection of large objects in motion

22 Jul, 2022

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Inspection of vehicles

Inspection of vehicles

Parallel Structured Light is the only technology that enables you to create colorful & high-quality 3D point clouds of large objects in motion. This opens up countless new applications. This virtual case study looks at the advanced inspection of large objects.


This virtual case study aims to present a solution for applications that require 3D scanning of large, moving objects for inspection purposes. These types of applications pose a number of challenges:

  • 3D scanning of objects that are large and in arbitrary motion: Conventional 3D vision systems struggle with providing high accuracy at a fast speed to capture the whole scanning volume. This generally limits the object size.
  • Synchronization and the need to use marker patterns: Marker patterns are special patterns recognized by 3D vision systems such as PhoXi 3D Scanners that are not only used to calibrate the devices but also to align multiple scans taken from different points of view to create a complete 3D model of the scanned object. Photoneo offers different sizes of marker patterns for different models of its 3D scanners with specific scanning volumes and distances.
  • Demand for high throughput: High throughput can only be achieved with a robust 3D scanning device that is able to acquire scans at a fast speed and at the same time provide high-quality 3D data.

So the question is: How can you overcome the above challenges and get high-quality 3D models of large objects in motion for real-time inspection without motion artifacts and decreased cycle times?



Only one technology on the market can capture large working areas of fast and/or randomly moving objects in submillimeter accuracy and exceptional resolution – MotionCam-3D.

The 3D camera is powered by Photoneo’s patented Parallel Structured Light technology, which outperforms conventional 3D sensing technologies in a number of points:

  • It provides real-time 3D point clouds of moving scenes, now also in color!
  • It provides the speed of ToF systems in combination with the quality of Structured Light systems
  • The camera can operate in 2 modes:
    • Dynamic mode = resolution of 0.9 Mpx, accuracy of 300 – 1,250 μm
    • Static mode = resolution of 2 Mpx, accuracy of 150 – 900 μm
  • The 3D point cloud has low noise and detailed contours on the edges of the scanned objects
  • It delivers robust performance even when scanning different materials
  • In combination with the PhoXi 3D Instant Meshing library, a 3D model can be created right at the time of acquisition
  • Industrial robustness = IP65, PoE, thermal calibration
  • Suppression of the effects of ambient light
  • Integrated computing unit = 15 Million points per second

Thanks to these characteristics, MotionCam-3D enables automated inspection of large, fast-moving objects without interruption or human intervention. It allows 100% inspection and quality control of objects while they are moving upon all 3 axes – in the X, Y, and Z directions.


Vehicle damage inspection

A typical application that requires high-quality 3D scanning of large, moving objects is the inspection of vehicles for damage check. 

The inspection of cars is a standard process in fleet management – for instance, in the car rental sector. The returned cars are checked by car rental companies to make sure the vehicles are returned in the same condition in which they were taken over by customers. 

Manual inspection is time-consuming and cannot provide such a high throughput, efficiency, and reliability as automated inspection. MotionCam-3D can create a “mesh” of point clouds through instant meshing to provide precise and accurate images of even oversized objects such as vehicles. The largest model L provides a scanning range of up to 4 meters.

Based on the 3D data mapped with color information, the system can identify damage that happened while the car was borrowed by a customer. MotionCam-3D enables synchronized area scanning from multiple perspectives to scan the complete undercarriage through instant meshing without the need to use marker patterns for scan alignment. This is a great advantage over other 3D sensing technologies.

Watch a video of automated inspection of cars here

Robot guidance for painting / sandblasting

Another application that relies on high-quality 3D scanning of large objects in motion is fast 3D model creation for painting or sandblasting using a vision-guided robot.

First, the robot inspects the object. This is done with MotionCam-3D Color, which provides both depth information to recognize surface deformation and color data to recognize rust and similar defects.

After inspection, the object can be sandblasted or painted. Thanks to the Parallel Structured Light technology and the PhoXi 3D Instant Meshing, the object can be rotating or randomly moving in front of the robot without stopping. 

Watch a video of automated sandblasting & painting of large objects in motion here.


MotionCam-3D provides the best-in-the-market ratio between the quality and speed of data acquisition. This means that customers do not need to compromise anymore between these two values as they can have both with one device – and now also with color data.

The ability to capture large working areas of fast-moving objects and to provide their 3D point cloud with exceptional resolution and submillimeter accuracy makes the camera the ultimate device for automated inspection of large objects.

Instant meshing eliminates the need to use marker patterns for the alignment of multiple scans and the fast scan acquisition speed increases throughput, efficiency, and productivity, compared to manual inspection. In addition, the high quality of 3D data increases the accuracy and reliability of inspection.

If you would like to get more information on MotionCam-3D or you would like to discuss your applications, do not hesitate to contact the Photoneo team.