What is a Coordinate Measuring Machine?
At its most basic a coordinate is a point, a fixed singular location in three-dimensional space. A series of points can be used to define the parameters of a complex shape. Therefore a coordinate measuring machine (CMM) is any device that is able to collect this set of points for a given object and to do so with an acceptable degree of accuracy and repeatability.
Conventionally, measurements were taken visually using hand tools or an optical comparator. However, these tools require significant time and have limited accuracy.
On the other hand, a coordinate measuring machine measures the height, width, and depth of the part using coordinate processing technology. In addition, such machines can automatically measure the target, record the measured data, and obtain GD&T measurements.
A coordinate measuring machine (CMM) is either a contact model that uses touch probes, a spherical object used to perform measurements, or a non-contact model, which uses other methods such as cameras and lasers. Some models designed for the automotive industry can even measure targets larger than 10m (30 ft) in size.
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