TriNano CMM: nanometer uncertainty for a micro price.
Current micro CMMs comply with the Abbe principle in 2D or even in 3D, which is a preferredmethod to reach 3D nanometer uncertainty. Most of these CMMs are the result of academicresearch, in which the challenge is to achieve the lowest uncertainty over a large measurementrange. This resulted in technologically advanced, but expensive systems.Within the micro manufacturing industry a large measurement range often is not the mostimportant factor. Most objects (or their molds) have dimensions of a few centimeters (lenses,watch base plates, small gears, etc.) and fit in a match box. To fasten market adaptation ofmicro coordinate metrology, a fast and cost effective micro CMM has been developed: TriNano.Working principle
TriNano is a newly developed CMM to measure objects withsub-millimeter features in three dimensions and withnanometer uncertainty. The TriNano N100 has a 3Duncertainty of 100 nanometer in its entire working volume[1,2]. In order to achieve this while keeping the device costefficient, a new working principle has been developed. Thisprinciple employs a moving work piece table and a stationaryprobe. The table moves in three directions by means of threeidentical linear translation stages as shown schematically infigure 1 and pictured in figure 3.
The 1D stages are positioned orthogonally and in paralleland support the work piece table via vacuum preloaded(VPL) porous air bearings as shown schematically in two dimensions in figure 2. From this figure theoperating principle of the TriNano becomes clear. A linear translation of a stage is transferred via aVPL air bearing to the work piece table. Translations of the work piece table with respect to the linear stage in other directions than the translation of the stage are decoupled by the VPL air bearing. In thismanner, the three stages independently determine the position of the work piece table in threedimensions.
Figure 2: Schematic 2D operating principle, with the work piece table in its neutral position (left) and after making a translation in local y’-direction (right).
On each linear stage, the scale of an optical linear encoder is mounted. At the point of intersection of the measurement axes of these encoders the probe tip is located. As the orientation of the encoder scale does not vary with respect to the probe, as can be seen in figure 2, the TriNano complies withthe Abbe principle over its entire measurement range. As a result, rotations of the work piece table willhave little effect on the measured dimension.
Figure 1: Schematic 3D representation of TriNano’s moving work piece table.