CMM Inspection and Validation for Parts​

Utilizing an outside service organization for dimensional inspection and validation can have significant advantages for your manufacturing and quality operations. The majority of the time spent on Coordinate Measurement Machine inspections is in the initial programming and set up of new components for measurement. Our business model is built around the focus of augmenting your CMM capabilities and capacities only when you need it. Use our ISO17025 accreditation, wide variety of measurement equipment and our large staff of degreed engineers to speed up your new product introductions or your troubleshooting needs. This will allow you to focus on your core mission of qualifying and validating your companies daily production needs. We can then work with you to transition those learnings and programs to your operation. The following details some of our high quality dimensional inspection service offerings.

Fixed Coordinate Measureing Machines (CMM)

Utilizing large volume CMMs running PolyWorks, Calypso and PC-DMIS to capture dimensional data on parts with an envelope up to a 2.5 x 2.0 x 1.0 meters and heavy components (up to 15,000lbs), 3DES offer a unique ability to facilitate your projects.  Fixed touch probe CMM’s offer the best accuracy available for your projects and ours have measurement uncertainties down to around 0.0001”.  These machines employ touch probes to physically touch areas of your parts to collect tactile data as the probe makes direct contact with your part surfaces.  This direct physical contact reduces the typical noise that is seen in the light based scanning technologies and allows a higher level of accuracy and precision.  Because various straight and angled probe extensions can be used, data can be collected in deep holes that are generally out of the ‘line of sight’ of many light based scanning technologies.

We also offer services using multi-sensor CMMs that combine touch probing with vision and light based scanners.  These CMMs combine the best of the touch probe scanning and light based scanning methods.

Industrial CT Scanners

Industrial Computed Tomography (CT) scanning allows metrology of internal surfaces of parts and assemblies without the need to disassemble or section the items. We use the latest generation of CT scanners that include metrology grade CMMs.  This new form of the technology adds equipment to the standard CT equipment which allows extreme control of part positioning, temperature and source to stage to detector calibration.  3D Engineering Solutions is the first to add CT scanning to their ISO17025 scope of accreditation.  We are engineering metrologists and have brought that knowledge to CT scanning with great success.

CT scanning opens up a world of dimensional measurement never before possible with touch probe CMMs or light based CMM technology.  You can now not only see interior sections of your complicated parts that are not reachable with probes or light, but also inside the material itself to define porosity, inclusions, delamination and other potential defects.  Contact us today to discover the new possibilities that this technology can offer to help you reach your goals.

Structured Light Systems

Using precision non-contact inspection utilizing the latest blue light structured light technology, 3DES is able to measure small medical instruments through vehicle sized objects. This latest version of CMM technology comes out of the original White Light Scanning form of structured light scanning.  Adding a blue light source prevents stray white light from potentially interfering with the data.  The camera only looks for the narrow band of blue frequencies and filters out the rest.  Since the ambient light around measurement equipment has very little of these frequencies, the noise level in the data is greatly reduced.

This technology combines a precision projector and powerful camera to capture many images of the part being measured.  A pattern of black lines are projected onto the part and captured by the camera.  The individual pixels are then triangulated through a series of these captures to create a point cloud.  Those small point clouds of various sections of the part are combined to produce a point cloud of the entire surface being measured.  Each point cloud is aligned to its neighbor by means of targets (small stickers with reflective dots) or a geometry based alignment (when the surfaces cannot allow foreign objects [FOD] and where enough geometry is present).

Like all of the scanning technologies, you are left a point cloud representation of the entire part.  This allows extraction of any print dimension and more importantly allows extraction of dimensions not on the print that may be needed later for troubleshooting or comparison to other parts.

Portable Laser and Probe CMMs (PCMM)

Product inspection verifies part conformance in relation to design specifications and confirms whether critical tolerances and quality standards are being met. By using 7- axis portable CMMs, our quality inspection services offer several key advantages over conventional inspection services.

Inspection processes using gauges or touch based CMM measurement services can be slow and inefficient, limiting your ability to inspect every critical feature or surface of a part. By using non-contact, fully integrated laser inspection and digitizing, our highly trained engineers can quickly gather high-density part geometry and dimensional data that is accurate and detailed enough to assure quality at a higher level than ever before.

These articulated arm based CMMs offer a hybrid option of both touchless laser scanning and more accurate touch probe scanning in one device.

The portability and speed of our 3D laser inspection service even allows an on-site inspection to be performed in process, which improves your ability to pinpoint quality problems, reduce errors and troubleshoot processes.  We have multiple mounting options for the equipment such as tripods, clamps, magnetic mounts and vacuum mounts.  This allows us to measure in almost any condition or position.

They also outperform traditional Fixed CMMs by having 7 axis to maneuver the probe.  Traditional CMM’s only have 3 which limit the full range of motion that those instruments can position themselves in.

Using high-resolution data from the latest 3D measurement technologies, our detailed product inspection reports will help reduce troubleshooting and engineering time by eliminating guesswork. This not only positively affects your bottom line but also reduces development-cycle time.

Confocal White Light Scanning

A newer touchless CMM scanning service that we offer is confocal white light scanning. This is different from the White Light / Blue Light Scanning mentioned above in that it employs the reflected frequency of light to measure distances by. The system works by sending white light through an optic and allowing that light to be broken up into its different frequencies (colors). When those frequencies refocus on the other side of the optic, each one is focused at a different distance. When a surface is contacted, the frequency that is in focus at that point is reflected back through that optic and will be read at a higher intensity than all the other reflections.

This yields some very distinct benefits over other types of light based scanning service. The primary one is related to the specularity of the surface being measured. Specularity refers to the ‘shininess’ of the surface. Light based scanning systems have a harder time interpreting highly reflective to mirror surfaces. In those cases, a water soluble paint or powder must be applied to receive consistently clean data. For Confocal White Light systems, this is not an issue. You can in fact measure highly specular surfaces or even transparent surfaces!

Vision Systems

Our Coordinate Measuring Machine Vision Systems employ various magnification of optics to help measure parts for this service that we provide. In each image that is viewed in these CMMs, we are able to lay out geometry and specify the number of points that are calculated by the system for each feature. So if we need 10,000 points around a circular feature on your part, the system can apply its algorithm to that feature and generate that number of points! All of this data is collected to a high level of accuracy in 2 dimensions (X, Y) and a slightly lower level of accuracy in the other dimension (Z). However, our system combines vision and touch probe CMM and Confocal White Light CMM Scanning to provide Very high accuracy data in all 3 dimensions. Integrated into the system is a Zeiss true 4th Axis which allows us to maintain our coordinate system as we rotate the part.

CMMs Services for Every Application

Our CMM inspection services provide a wide array of the best touch and touchless technologies available to support all of your inspection needs. Our services are used in every industry and for every type of components including the following:

  • Ceramic Composite Matrix (CMC) components
  • Additive components of all types
  • Other exotic aerospace parts, assemblies and materials


  • We believe we have measured every component of a vehicle at one time or another!
  • Automotive gage and fixturing


  • Additive components
  • Implants
  • Surgical instruments

Contact us today to see how we can augment your internal resources and capabilities.

Man works on CMM Inpsection and part validation
Dimensional Inspection For Parts

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