Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

3D Imaging Systems for Manufacturing, Construction, and Mobility (NIST TN 1682)



Geraldine S. Cheok, Maris Juberts, Marek Franaszek


The National Defense Center of Excellence for Industrial Metrology and 3D Imaging (COE-IM3DI) is conducting research to enable the next generation of manufacturing-centric human/instrument/machine interaction. The generalized goal of the COE-IM3DI research is to facilitate the transition of 3D imaging technology from one requiring highly skilled/specialized technicians to a ubiquitous measurement capability available in real-time on the shop floor. This long-term effort requires a detailed examination of the current state of the art in 3D imaging and projected technology development trends over the next ten years. In 2004, NIST produced a seminal report on the then state of the art of the 3D Imaging field with a particular focus on hardware requirements for applications in manufacturing, autonomous vehicle mobility, and construction. This report will extend that initial work (principally with respect to software) and provide an update that will support the needs of the COE-IM3DT research program. The specific 3D imaging areas examined include: • Current state-of-the-art software and future software trends for 3D image data • Current state-of-the-art hardware and future hardware trends for active 3D imaging systems • Assessing operational requirements of 3D imaging for national defense with a focus on manufacturing, construction, and autonomous mobility
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1682
Report Number


imaging, hardware survey, focal plane arrays (FPAs), LADAR, laser scanners, LIDAR, software survey


Cheok, G. , Juberts, M. and Franaszek, M. (2010), 3D Imaging Systems for Manufacturing, Construction, and Mobility (NIST TN 1682), Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 15, 2024)
Created December 15, 2010, Updated November 10, 2018