3D surface measurement for medical application--technical comparison of two established industrial surface scanning systems

J Med Syst. 2008 Feb;32(1):59-64. doi: 10.1007/s10916-007-9108-6.


In 3D mapping of flexible surfaces (e.g. human faces) measurement errors due to movement or positioning occur. Aggravated by equipment- or researcher-caused mistakes considerable deviations can result. Therefore first the appliances' precision handling and reliability in clinical environment must be established. Aim of this study was to investigate accuracy and precision of two contact-free 3D measurement systems (white light vs. laser). Standard specimens of known diameter for sphere deviation, touch deviation and plane deviation were tested. Both systems are appropriate for medical application acquiring solid data (<mm). The more complex white-light system shows better accuracy at 0.2 s measuring time. The laser system is superior concerning robustness, while accuracy is poorer and input time (1.5-2.5 s) longer. Due to the clinical demand the white-light system is superior in a laboratory environment, while the laser system is easier to handle under non-laboratory conditions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Europe
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / standards*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / standards
  • Sensitivity and Specificity