Measurement System Types and Characteristics

Measuring Microscopes (Toolmakers Microscopes)


Measuring microscopes combine an optical microscope with a table capable of precise movement to measure targets. As with optical comparators, a telecentric optical system is used to enable accurate measurements. Measurements can be performed in a non-contact manner, so there is no risk of damaging the target.
Different types of measuring microscopes are available to match different applications. Examples include toolmakers microscopes, factory-use measuring microscopes, and general-purpose measuring microscopes. The characteristics of these microscopes are outlined below.

  • Toolmakers microscopes: Originally used to measure tools, these were the first measuring microscopes.
  • Factory-use measuring microscopes: These microscopes are suited to the measurement of small, processed parts and similar items.
  • General-purpose measuring microscopes: These microscopes support a wider range of applications than toolmakers microscopes and can measure large objects.

Construction and Applications

Construction and Applications of Measuring Microscopes
Measured data display
Objective lens
Movable stage
Stage movement handles (X and Y handles)

How to Use a Measuring Microscope

  1. Place the target on the stage.
  2. As with general-purpose optical microscopes, subject the target to transmitted light or reflected light, and then align the edge of the shadow with the reference lines to perform measurement. Use different lighting (such as backlighting and coaxial illumination) depending on the target.
  3. The measured values can then be output as various types of CAD data.

Handling Precautions

  • Just as with general-purpose microscopes, measuring microscopes must be used in an environment free of dust. The stand on which the measuring microscope is installed must also be level and free of oscillations.
  • After use, cover the measuring microscope to prevent dust from adhering to it.
  • The calibration interval for measuring microscopes is 1 to 3 years.

The Latest Measuring Microscopes

Recent models of measuring microscopes are able to instantly measure dimensions without XY stage movement or focusing, enabling the measurement of many objects in a short amount of time.