This paper describes a new phase extraction algorithm for 3D optical profilometry based on the projection of a periodic light pattern and phase measurement (phase profilometry). The algorithm uses a square wave to demodulate phase and moving averages and comb-shaped filters to extract the phase information from low frequency. The proposed algorithm is compared with the two major profilometry techniques, namely Fourier domain profilometry and signal domain profilometry based on FIR low-pass filtering. Comparison is focused on adaptiveness to changes of the pattern frequency, ability to deal with nonuniform surfaces and computational complexity. Adaptiveness analysis is carried out by means of simulations. The issue of nonuniform surfaces is discussed on the basis of experimental results obtained from application of phase profilometry to on-line 3D printed circuit board inspection. With regard to complexity, theoretical estimates are verified by means of actual computation time measurements.
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