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Measurement of geometric features using CMM and TMM

Objective :
To measure the key dimensional features of a screw using TMM and CMM. The features are:

Major diameter
Minor diameter
Helix angle
Thread angle

Apparatus :

TMM : Tool Makers Microscope:

It is a conventional instrument which is used to measure the dimensions using lenses and
focused light by placing them in the tool table and making planned movements of the eyepiece
which can be measured by the calibrated scales namely main scale (horizontal), circular scale
and Vernier scale.


CMM : Coordinate Measuring Machine:

It is a modern machine which helps measure the dimensions using semi-automatic methods
with the use a CMM machine and controlling software. The object is placed in the machine and
is lit up powerful lights and is captured by high resolution cameras and is fed to the controlling
computer. The two methods of measurement are:
Contact method
Non-contact method
In this experiment we are doing it with Non-contact method.

In order to measure the diameters the coordinate points of the consecutive crests an troughs in a screw
are noted down. The coordinates are with reference to a point in the specimen in TMM while CMM
system software a pre-programmed coordinate system which can be used. After getting the coordinates
the equations of the line corresponding to the top and bottom edges of the cross section are obtained by
least square fitting method.
The method reduces the sum of the errors from the assumed and the actual coordinates and determines
the values of slope and intercept. Y = A + Bx be the line to be found.

Using the above formula the lines are obtained.

The above formula is used to calculate the distance between the lines obtained to get major and minor
In order to find angles in TMM, a circular vernier scale is provided which can be made o coincide with the
helix and thread profiles and differences give the values.
It TMM, the lines corresponding to thread profiles and helix are obtained and the angle between them is
measured using the following equation:

Tabulations :



Pitch (mm)
Major diameter (mm)
Minor diameter (mm)
Helix angle (deg)
Thread angle (deg)




The TMM being a simple and conventional machine allows for higher errors when compared to the
sophisticated CMM.
The location of the cross mark in TMM is highly dependent on the operators skills.
The CMM is based on the pressure in the probe which is preprogrammed for contact method and
the accuracy and the chance of error is much lesser in the non-contact method with high
resolution image, mouse and sophisticated tools for making lines and measuring angles.
The slope of the lines in CMM are almost zero or exactly zero in CMM measurements, proving
that the precision and repeatability are very high compared to TMM.
CMM provides more accuracy and lesser error too but reproducibility is not being tested here.