Recently I saw the term ‘video measuring machine’ and wasn’t really sure what exactly it was or what purpose it served. I had a few ideas but it turns out I was wrong about all of them. I never considered that it could be a precise three dimensional measurement tool for manufacturing, testing and designing items that require very specific dimensions, but with just a little research I learned quite a bit about these remarkable devices and the science of metrology. If you haven’t figured it out metrology is the science of measurements and person in this field would be a metrologist.
Taking measurements for the purpose of designing, manufacturing, or testing a device with very specific dimensions isn’t a new concept. In the past of course these measurements would be taken by hand. This was time consuming and not extremely accurate. Video measuring devices have been around for about 40 years but have not been extremely accurate until recently. While the technology has evolved and become more sophisticated the basic principles of operation have remained relatively unchanged. The device uses motion combined with extremely high quality cameras, lasers and other lighting techniques to determine the exact measurements of an object. As an example, an object would be placed on platform and the video measuring machine would then move it’s lens on both the X and Y axis calculating the precise dimensions of the object.
A device of this nature has countless applications. These types of measurements are used not only in the recreation of physical and virtual objects but as a means of quality control to ensure that each item manufactured fits within whatever specifications are necessary for proper operation. Such precise measurements are usually required for smaller items. Today’s video measurement technology allows for the design, testing, and measurement of items that need to be within a few microns of tolerance.
As smaller and more sophisticated devices are being designed and manufactured the science of metrology is becoming is becoming more important. Video measuring devices will continue to evolve and become more precise as the necessity for more accurate measurements becomes necessary. There are a wide variety of devices available on the market to day with varying levels of tolerance, speed and accuracy. Although they have been around for a long time video measuring machines are just now hitting their stride and have cemented their place in the manufacturing and design sectors.