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Student Team Creates Prize-Winning 3-D Imaging System Project for International Design Competition

December 17, 2014

3 D Imaging Project

Innovative Students: A team featuring (from left) Caleb Gannon, Faculty Mentor Scott Kirkpatrick, Christian Benson, Upamanyu Bose, and Marshall Mullins came up with a non-contact measurement system that generates 3-D images of an object. (Photo by Chris Minnick)

A 3-D imaging system created by four seniors earned second-place honors among 29 student-inspired global projects in the International Capstone Design Competition as part of the 2014 Engineering Education Festa (E2 Festa) in Seoul, South Korea.

The event, with the theme "Engineering, A Bright Future, a Happy World", showcases student innovation and ingenuity, attracting students and faculty from 90 engineering and science institutions throughout the world.

Rose-Hulman’s team designed a non-contact measurement system that generates 3-D images of an object by using a digital projector to shine fringe patterns (black and white stripes) onto an object. These light patterns, collected at an angle by a camera, are deformed due to surface height variation of the object. Using these deformations and the triangulation angle of the camera, a full surface map can be created.

This process can be extremely useful for systems where thermal expansion of elements is of concern. If a reference image is collected, then a profile of a surface can be tracked as the surface deforms, so the nature and progression of these changes can be observed. This measurement method is flexible enough for use on almost any material and can easily be scaled up or down to meet specific needs.

The prize-winning team featured the following students:

  • Christian Benson, an optical engineering student who developed the project’s lens system.
  • Upamanyu Bose, an engineering physics student who coordinated assembling the project’s many technical parts into a cohesive unit.
  • Caleb Gannon, an engineering physics student who was the team leader and chief computer programmer.
  • Marshall Mullins, an engineering physics student who was the chief project troubleshooter and assisted with assembly.

Scott Kirkpatrick, PhD, assistant professor of physics and optical engineering, was the team’s faculty mentor and escorted Bose, Gannon, and Mullins to Korea for the competition.

“Our project was different and innovative,” says Gannon. “Everyone could play with it and use it easily. That attracted lots of attention from the other students and faculty members, and, most importantly, the contest judges.”

This is the third consecutive year that Rose-Hulman has sent a student design team to E2 Festa, hosted by Korea’s Ministry of Education and organized by the Korea Institute for the Advancement of Technology and Korea Association for Engineering Education Innovation.

Now the largest engineering festival in Korea, the festival is also quickly transforming into a global engineering event. This year’s activities had a focus on seven keywords: creativity, convergence, entrepreneurship, community service, harmony, sharing, and passion.