A comparison of structured light scanning and photogrammetry for the digitisation of physical prototypes

Owen C. Freeman Gebler, Mark A. Goudswaard, Ben Hicks, David Jones, Aydin Nassehi, Chris Snider, Jason Yon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)
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Physical prototyping during early stage design typically represents an iterative process. Commonly, a single prototype will be used throughout the process, with its form being modified as the design evolves. If the form of the prototype is not captured as each iteration occurs understanding how specific design changes impact upon the satisfaction of requirements is challenging, particularly retrospectively.

In this paper two different systems for digitising physical artefacts, structured light scanning (SLS) and photogrammetry (PG), are investigated as means for capturing iterations of physical prototypes. First, a series of test artefacts are presented and procedures for operating each system are developed. Next, artefacts are digitised using both SLS and PG and resulting models are compared against a master model of each artefact. Results indicate that both systems are able to reconstruct the majority of each artefact's geometry within 0.1mm of the master, however, overall SLS demonstrated superior performance, both in terms of completion time and model quality. Additionally, the quality of PG models was far more influenced by the effort and expertise of the user compared to SLS
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the Design Society
Early online date27 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 01 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference of Engineering Design: ICED21 - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 16 Aug 202120 Aug 2021


  • design process
  • new product development
  • prototyping
  • conceptual design
  • Design process
  • New product development
  • Prototyping
  • Conceptual design


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