National Physical Laboratory

CMMs, Articulated Arms and Laser Scanners

NPL has several CMMs suited for different sizes of components (from sub-millimetre to around one metre), which can be programmed to measure a wide range of features ranging from simple dimensions such as lengths, diameters, radii, through form and geometry parameters including flatness, straightness, parallelism, cylindricity, to complex geometry elements such as angular intersections, plane angles, etc. Measurements of artefacts against CAD models or drawings can be undertaken and article inspection reports produced. One CMM is fitted with a laser scanning head, which can be used to rapidly scan an object.

Large object can be measured using seven axis articulated arms, fitted with laser scanners and touch probes. These can rapidly measure an object whilst giving the operator great flexibility to access complex shapes.

Extremely small components (size in the order of tens of millimetres) and those that have small features can be measured on a micro-CMM with sub micrometre accuracy or a variety of unique NPL built instruments, including a metrological AFM.

CMMs, Articulated Arms and Laser Scanners

  • CMMs
    • Leitz Infinity: Highest accuracy CMM
    • Zeiss UMPC: High accuracy CMM
    • High-accuracy co-ordinate metrology of small components - micro CMM: micro co-ordinate metrology capabilities to satisfy the extreme demands of quality assurance for the measurement of size, form and position of microsystem parts
    • Combined CMM/laser scanner system: accuracy and speed
  • Laser Trackers: systems capable of high accuracy measurements over long distances, for example the system used by NPL can measure 40 m distances to within ± 0.2mm
  • Non-Contact Dimensional Measurements: NPL provides dimensional measurement facilities and standards for industries requiring accurate measurements using non-contact optical instrumentation.

Microstructured surfaces

NPL provides a one-stop service for the characterisation of the form and texture of surfaces through an extensive range of facilities.

  • 3D scanning optical microscopes
  • White light interferometry
  • Stylus instruments
  • Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)

Freeform equipment and software at NPL

Measurement capabilities at NPL.

  • Fringe Projection and Photogrammetry
  • Articulated arms and laser scanners

Other capabilities

  • Access to XCT systems



Customer Service tel: 020 8943 8631

Last Updated: 31 Jul 2017
Created: 2 Aug 2010


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission