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Workshop on Micro Coordinate Measuring Machines (µCMM)

Project Description

Participants: NMIs and public research institutes active in the development of a µCMM
Location: METAS, Wabern (Switzerland)
Duration: 2 days
Goal: Exchange of experience, basis for future collaboration


  • machine design
  • probe design
  • low high level software
  • machine correction
  • calibration methods and performance test
  • small probes
  • probe/sample interaction
  • industrial needs, output to industrial community


  • Presentation by each participant of his own project
  • introductory presentation to each topic by one of the participants and subsequent discussion on this topic
  • identification of common problems and possible areas of collaboration
  • future cooperation with industry

Final Report 2005-04-11

A two days workshop was held on 7./8. April 2005 at METAS with 15 participants from 5 NMIs and 3 Universities, all working actively in a project on µCMMs. The main goal was to exchange information on the different projects, to share experience and to identify the common problems on selected topics.

On the first half day, each of the 8 projects was presented. This was followed by short contributions and subsequent discussions to the following topics: Machine design, 3D-probes, Probe - sample interaction, Machine calibration, Calibration artefacts, Probe calibration, Laboratory environment, High and low level software, Industrial needs, possible areas of collaboration. The presentations were completed by a visit of the Dimensional Metrology laboratories at METAS.

This form of workshop, involving only specialists in a specific subject field, excluding industrial partners having commercial interests, was felt to be extremely fruitful by all participants, underlining the open atmosphere and the active participation of all partners.

For future collaboration, the following was decided:

The participants of this workshop will form a µCMM users club, which shall be a forum for scientific interests of groups active in the development of small CMMs or probes. The group may be extended to further partners, provided they are active in this field and do not have commercial interests.
A similar workshop shall be held in about one year at another NMI, again accompanied with laboratory visits and demonstrations on a µCMM.
Two main topics of possible collaboration were identified:

  • development, exchange and eventual comparisons of calibration artifacts
  • development of small probes, including probes for special purposes, studies of probe/sample interaction, exchangeability of probing elements, and pre-normative work for exchangeability, interfacing and test methods
  • A co-operation on probes could be particularly suited for a “EU article 169” collaborative research, to be discussed as a possible research topic for IMERA

Length (L)
Rudolf Thalmann, METAS (Switzerland)
Coordinating Institute
METAS (Switzerland)
Further Partners
Uni Erlangen
TU Illmenau


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