Desktop scanner based metrology: M2VIP 18th International Conference

Gordon Mair, Pavel Divis, Jonathan Corney

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


An investigation is presented of a low cost approach to the measurement of two and three dimensional objects using a flatbed scanner and image analysis software. Conventional measurement using relatively low cost instruments such as micrometers and vernier callipers can be time consuming and requires operator skills which result in higher overall costs. The increasing resolution and decreasing prices of flatbed scanners introduces the possibility of their use as a low cost alternative to traditional manual measuring. To investigate this, a simple dimensional measurement technique was developed using an unmodified, then a modified, flatbed scanner, a standard PC, and software. A thin sheet metal stencil and slip gauges were used for the two and three dimensional objects respectively. For the slip gauge measurement the lamp from inside the scanner was removed and placed above the block to project a shadow on a diffuser layer. The shadow was scanned and the image processed through software. Measured dimensions were compared with reference measurements taken by a high precision optical measuring machine. A dimensional accuracy of ±0.05 mm was achieved with a modified flatbed scanner system for slip gauge samples of nominal thickness 10mm and 5mm.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2011


  • mechatronics
  • metrology


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