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A novel system for 3D laser scanning and image reconstruction is applied to scan and reconstruct the surface of ear canal impressions, which are used by the current available technology to design silicon hearing aid shells (or earmolds). Earmolds couple the aid with the user's ear and must fit the subject's outer ear canal in order to assure good performance of the aid. The reconstructed ear impression can be digitally stored and directly passed to dedicated CAD 3D printing machines to model the silicon earmold and thus achieve the best possible fit. The system proposed is based on a couple of cameras and a commercial laser for the surface digitization and on a straightforward algorithm for image reconstruction of the acquired surface. Robustness to noise of the proposed reconstruction algorithm is determined by simulations with a synthetic test surface, resembling the shape of a real ear canal.
Date of Conference: 13 May 2005