In recent years optical non-destructive methods for 3D surface metrology have become increasingly important in contrast to traditional tactile measurement techniques. Here, we present the operating principle and possible applications of the optical 3D measurement system “InfiniteFocus”, which is based on the technology of Focus-Variation and used for quality assurance in the lab and in production. In contrast to traditional tactile methods it is able to perform 3D measurements without touching the surface, it measures whole areas instead of only surface profiles and delivers true color information in addition to the 3D data. The technique of Focus-Variation combines the small depth of focus of an optical system with vertical scanning to provide topographical and color information from the variation of focus. The main characteristics of the system are that it delivers high resolution measurements of even complex surfaces, that it is able to measure surfaces with steep flanks up to 80°, with strongly varying reflection properties and greatly varying roughness. In addition to 3D and color information a repeatability measure is analytically estimated for each measurement point. Focus-Variation is used to perform high resolution 3D surface measurement for industrial quality assurance as well a
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