Scanning is a way to capture the geometries of workpieces with a lot of points in a reliable process, to measure dimensions, shape, and orientation in a functionally correct manner.  Contour scanning uses a feedback control algorithm in conjunction with the sensor and the coordinate measuring machine.  By using information about the nominal contour, scanning speed can be increased significantly.

When scanning without a defined path, also often known as scanning with feedback control, the sensor tracks an unknown contour while the coordinate measuring machine controller maintains a target level of deflection.  This operating mode is used if there is no defined path available or if it is not sufficiently exact.

Scanning with a defined path UNCONTROLLEDIf a defined path is available, this information can be used to implement the scanning process.  In the simplest case the scanning path is defined by a contour that has been measured in advance by using a CAD model, by measuring or entering nominal elements, or by using other sensors on a multisensor coordinate measuring machine.

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