Accordion fringe interferometry: a revolutionary new digital shape‐scanning technology

Richard Bloss (Associate Editor, Sensor Review)

Sensor Review

ISSN: 0260-2288

Publication date: 25 January 2008



This paper seeks to describe an innovative new technology for digitizing the shapes of 3D objects quickly and accurately, which uses accordion fringe interferometry (AFI).


Laser beams cast fringe patterns on objects, a digital camera captures images and software constructs point clouds of data. A software package then analyzes the point cloud to extract information such as dimensions or variations in shape for subsequent operations.


The AFI approach has already been applied to a number of applications such as: inspection of jet engine airfoils, repair of composite structures and inspection of very delicate objects.

Practical implications

Point cloud digital shape scanning will find an ever increasing number of applications which will benefit from this fast, accurate and non‐contact three‐dimensional digitizing technology.


Users now have a totally new means for capturing dense, three‐dimensional data.



Bloss, R. (2008), "Accordion fringe interferometry: a revolutionary new digital shape‐scanning technology", Sensor Review, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 22-26.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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