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Fluorescent Immersion Range Scanning: 3D Scanning of Transparent Objects

Ref-Nr: TA-WuT_2011/42


A robust 3D scanning method called Fluorescent Immersion Range Scanning (FIRS) enables high-quality geometry capturing of objects that are very difficult to capture with traditional scanning techniques due to their material (i.e. dark, translucent or transparent surfaces).


The acquisition of three-dimensional surfaces is a problem which occurs frequently in many application fields like mechanical and optical engineering or computer vision. Today’s most precise methods involve active illumination by means of laser beams or more sophisticated projection patterns. Usually, light reflected or scattered by the surface is captured by an off-axis camera, so that the depth information can be recovered by triangulation.

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Many objects and materials exhibit a reflectance that is highly uncooperative with regard to established scanning techniques. Thus, the quality of a 3D range scan depend on the surface properties of the object. Most active range scanning techniques, however, assume a diffuse reflector to allow for a robust detection of incident light patterns.


The key idea of FIRS is to place the object into a tank filled with a fluorescent fluid. Rather than detecting peak intensities as in structured light scanning, the object’s surface will appear as a drop of intensity. This detection method is robust to the surface reflection properties of the object and produces high quality surfaces with rather simple acquisition effort.


  • robust high quality scanning method
  • independent of the object’s surface properties
  • method also enables direct volume slicing of transparent objects
  • computation in real-time
  • usage of standard scanning hardware

Universität des Saarlandes Wissens- und Technologietransfer GmbH

Dr. Christof Schäfer
0681 302-6383
Universität des Saarlandes Wissens- und Technologietransfer GmbH, Campus, Gebäude A1 1
66123 Saarbrücken




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