Comparison of surface extraction techniques performance in computed tomography for 3D complex micro-geometry dimensional measurements

Marta Torralba, Roberto Jiménez, José A. Yagüe-Fabra*, Sinué Ontiveros, Guido Tosello

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    The number of industrial applications of computed tomography (CT) for dimensional metrology in 100–103 mm range has been continuously increasing, especially in the last years. Due to its specific characteristics, CT has the potential to be employed as a viable solution for measuring 3D complex micro-geometries as well (i.e., in the sub-mm dimensional range). However, there are different factors that may influence the CT process performance, being one of them the surface extraction technique used. In this paper, two different extraction techniques are applied to measure a complex miniaturized dental file by CT in order to analyze its contribution to the final measurement uncertainty in complex geometries at the mm to sub-mm scales. The first method is based on a similarity analysis: the threshold determination; while the second one is based on a gradient or discontinuity analysis: the 3D Canny algorithm. This algorithm has proven to provide accurate results in parts with simple geometries, but its suitability for 3D complex geometries has not been proven so far. To verify the measurement results and compare both techniques, reference measurements are performed on an optical coordinate measuring machine (OCMM). The systematic errors and uncertainty results obtained show that the 3D Canny adapted method slightly lower systematic deviations and a more robust edge definition than the local threshold method for 3D complex micro-geometry dimensional measurements.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
    Issue number1-4
    Pages (from-to)441–453
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • 3D complex geometry
    • Canny algorithm
    • Computed tomography
    • Surface extraction


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