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What is a CMM?
A coordinate measuring machine (CMM) is a device that measures the geometry of physical objects by sensing discrete points on the surface of the object with a probe.
Various types of probes are used in CMMs, including mechanical, optical, laser, and white light. Depending on the machine, the probe position may be manually controlled by an operator or it may be computer controlled.
CMMs typically specify a probe’s position in terms of its displacement from a reference position in a three-dimensional Cartesian coordinate system (i.e., with X,Y, and Z axes).
In addition to moving the probe along the X, Y, and Z axes, many machines also allow the probe angle to be controlled to allow measurement of surfaces that would otherwise be unreachable.