ASTM Seeking to Set Standards for 3D Imaging Technology

Aug. 3, 2006
Effort will develop performance specs, test methods

August 3, 2006 -- ASTM International has launched a committee to develop standards for 3D Imaging Technology. The initiative for the new standards was driven by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, along with leading companies developing and supplying stakeholders within the 3D imaging systems. The new Committee E57 will focus on developing new performance specifications and test methods for 3D imaging systems, to promote wider market acceptance of the technology.

ASTM International is a voluntary standards development organizations. The new committee will "create objective, repeatable comparisons of different instruments, reduce confusion about terminology, and increase user confidence in these systems," its chairman says.

3D imaging systems has been available for decades, and current systems include laser scanners, 3D optical scanners, 3D range cameras, and 3D flash laser radars (LADARs.)

These are used to rapidly capture three-dimensional information of a scene or object, and this information is often provided in the form of "point clouds" (grouping of points) with associated color and intensity data. Usage of 3D imaging systems has increased over the past decade as these devices have become important in manufacturing and other industries, including construction, manufacturing, medicine, mining, transportation, and more.

According to Alan Lytle, leader of the Construction Metrology and Automation Group at NIST and chairman of ASTM Committee E57: "The lack of standard test methods for evaluating 3D imaging system performance is inhibiting a wider acceptance of this enabling technology." He said ASTM had demonstrated an ability and willingness to support the standards development process.

Plans call for ASTM Committee E57 to bring together technical experts with an interest and stake in 3D imaging technology including manufacturers, federal agencies, design professionals, professional societies, trade associations, and academia. The committee will hold its next organizational meeting in January 2007. For more information, or to comment, contact Pat A. Picariello, ASTM's director of Developmental Operations, by by e-mail or phone (610-832-9720); or visit the committee's page at ASTM online