This paper describes a new method for reconstructing cross-sectional images of an object at arbitrary height and arbitrary angled planes. This method, called the geometric projection method, can produce cross-sectional images for arbitrary planes using only those images acquired from the focal plane of an object. This paper develops the mathematical formulae for the image reconstruction of arbitrary height and arbitrary angled planes. Then, by means of the derived formulae, the cross-sectional images of arbitrary planes are realized via computer simulations. Finally, by using experimental results conducted on the solder joints of a ball grid array package, it is shown that cross-sectional images for arbitrary planes of the object can be reconstructed correctly by the geometric projection method. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.