Matrox Design Assistant1

Matrox Design Assistant is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Windows® where vision applications are created by constructing an intuitive flowchart instead of writing traditional program code. In addition to building a flowchart, the IDE enables users to design a graphical web-based operator interface for the application. Since Matrox Design Assistant is hardware independent, you can choose any computer with GigE Vision® or USB3 Vision® cameras and get the processing power you need. This field proven software is also a perfect match for the Matrox 4Sight GPm vision controller or the Matrox Iris GTR smart camera. Matrox Design Assistant gives you the freedom to choose the ideal platform for your next vision project.

Royalty free music licensed by

Matrox Design Assistant at a glance
Solve machine vision applications quickly and easily without writing program code by using an intuitive flowchart-based methodology
Choose the best platform for the job within a hardware-independent environment that supports any PC with any GigE Vision or USB3 Vision camera
Deploy the same project simultaneously on a rugged and reliable Matrox vision controller and smart camera
Tackle machine vision applications with utmost confidence using field-proven tools for analyzing, locating, measuring, reading, and verifying
Use a single program for creating both the application logic and operator interface
Work with multiple cameras within the same project
Rely on a common underlying vision library for the same results with a Matrox smart camera, vision system, or third-party computer
Maximize productivity with instant feedback on image analysis and processing operations
Receive immediate, pertinent assistance through an integrated contextual guide
Communicate actions and results to other automation and enterprise equipment via discrete Matrox I/Os, RS-232, and Ethernet (TCP / IP, EtherNet / IP™2, Modbus®, PROFINET®, and native robot interfaces)
Maintain control and independence through the ability to create custom flowchart steps
Increase productivity and reduce development costs with Matrox Vision Academy online and on-premises training
Protect against inappropriate changes with the Project Change Validator tool

Application design

Flowchart and operator interface design are done within the Matrox Design Assistant IDE hosted on a computer running 64-bit Windows. A flowchart is put together using a step-by-step approach, where each step is taken from an existing toolbox and is configured interactively. The toolbox includes steps for image analysis and processing, communication, flow-control, and I/O. Outputs from one step, which can be images and/or alphanumeric results, are easily linked to the appropriate inputs of any other step. Decision making is performed using a conditional step, where the logical expression is described interactively. Results from image analysis and processing steps are immediately displayed to permit the quick tuning of parameters. A contextual guide provides assistance for every step in the flowchart. Flowchart legibility is maintained by grouping steps into sub-flowcharts.

In addition to flowchart design, Matrox Design Assistant enables the creation of a custom, web-based operator interface to the application through an integrated HTML visual editor. Users alter an existing template using a choice of annotations (graphics and text), inputs (edit boxes, control buttons, and image markers) and outputs (original or derived results, and status indicators). A filmstrip view is also available to keep track of and navigate to previously analyzed images. The operator interface can be further customized using a third-party HTML editor.

Why a flowchart?

The flowchart is a universally accessible, recognized, and understood method of describing the sequence of operations in a process. Manufacturing engineers and technicians in particular have all been exposed to the intuitive, logical, and visual nature of the flowchart.

Create custom flowchart steps

Users have the ability to extend the capabilities of Matrox Design Assistant by way of the included Custom Step software development kit (SDK). The SDK, in combination with Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2013/2015/2017 enables the creation of custom flowchart steps using the C# programming language. These steps can implement proprietary image analysis and processing, as well as proprietary communication protocols. The SDK comes with numerous project samples to accelerate development.

Click to enlarge

Custom Step SDK


Release 5.1 highlights

  • Project Change Validator tool guards against detrimental changes to a project
  • Image-centric configuration lets measurements be set up directly on an image instead of through a configuration pane
  • QuickComm provides ready-to-go communication with a programmable logic / automation controller
  • Events & Actions put the management of specific events and actions into secondary flowcharts thus simplifying the main flowchart
  • Persistent recipes enable the creation of a simpler flowchart with different settings for inspecting similar object types
  • HTML-5-based Operator View provides access to the operator interface from any HTML-5 capable browser
  • SureDotOCR™ step enables the reading of dot-matrix text even when distorted, rotated and on irregular backgrounds
  • Support for the Matrox Iris GTR smart camera and Matrox Indio industrial I/O and communication card

Application deploymentClick to enlarge

Once development is complete, the project, with flowchart and operator interface, is deployed either locally or remotely. Local deployment is to the samecomputer or Matrox vision controller as was used for development. Remote deployment is to a different computer, including a Matrox vision controller or a Matrox smart camera.

Project templates for quicker start-up

Matrox Design Assistant includes a series of project templates and video tutorials to help new developers get up and running quickly.

These templates serve as either functional applications or application frameworks intended as a foundation for a target application. Templates also permit dynamic modifications, allowing users to tweak functionality at run-time and immediately see the outcome of any adjustments. The project templates address typical application areas, with examples for:

  • Barcode and 2D code reading
  • Presence / Absence
  • Recipes
  • Robot guidance (Pick-and-Place)
  • Dot-matrix text reading (SureDotOCR)

More information on templates can be found on the Quick Start page of Matrox Design Assistant software.

Matrox Design Assistant software dashboard
Project templates

Customizable developer interface

The Matrox Design Assistant user interface can be tailored by each developer. The workspace can be rearranged, even across multiple monitors, to suit individual preferences and further enhance productivity.

Click to enlarge

1. This software may be protected by one or more patents; see for more information.
2. Certification pending.
3. Internet Explorer®, Google Chrome™ / Chromium, and Firefox®.

Back to top