The Mechanical components of this group of instruments were created as a logical further development of measuring microscopes and measuring projectors.  They primarily consist of a mechanical stage with mechanical bearings (Fig. 5a).  The Z axis also runs on mechanical bearings.  For instruments with higher precision and higher temperature stability, these components are made of aluminum (with high thermal conductivity), and special constant-tension guide way systems are used.  Today these machines are usually fully automated in all three axes, and their measuring range is approximately 200 mm to 400 mm.  Larger measuring ranges are not normally economical in connection with this design.  Higher performance systems usually integrate automatic transmitted and reflected light.

High-end desktop units also feature mechanical probing systems and laser sensors.  All of these systems can therefore be classified as multisensory coordinate measuring machines.