People sometimes ask why they should use a measuring microscope. There are two specific situations that quickly come to mind that call for a measuring microscope, and some additional features of these microscopes can add more capabilities in these two situations.
First is the need for very quick high-accuracy measurements. With a measuring microscope, this is accomplished when the operator simply places their sample on the stage and locates the starting point of the feature they wish to measure. They press zero on the counter and then move across the feature to the end point. The display instantly shows the distance traveled.
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Second is the need for high-accuracy measurements across large distances beyond the field of view of a traditional microscope. Measuring microscopes are designed to be accurate to within microns, even when measuring features up to 300mm (roughly 12 inches) in the X and Y axis and as high as 175mm (roughly 7 inches) in height.
The capabilities of measuring microscopes can be further improved with items such as a laser auto focus. A laser auto focus can be added to a measuring microscope with a motorized Z axis. This combination leads to a system with increased accuracy and repeatability by eliminating the subjectivity of each operator’s perception of when the feature is in focus.
A measuring microscope can also be equipped with measurement support software to further enhance its capabilities. The use of this tool takes the microscope to the next level. Without support software, a measuring microscope provides coordinates of each point measured and leaves all the calculations up to the operator. With something as simple as a circle, getting the diameter can be tricky; you would have to measure the circle exactly in the middle to measure across. With the right software, any three points on the circle can be captured and the diameter is instantly calculated.
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Measuring microscope software also offers the ability to create testing routines. When an item is being mass-produced and samples need to be pulled for quality checks, isn’t it helpful when the software guides you through the test? Software can navigate the operator to each measuring point and then check the results of each measurement against design value and a tolerance factor. Software can also provide a simple pass/fail with something as uncomplicated as color-coding the results or exporting your data to your own management system.
Possibilities of Measuring Microscopes
Today’s newest measuring microscopes offer excellent versatility and high-performance measurement with sub-micron precision. Whether samples are small or large, simple or complex-and whether measurements are being taken by a novice or an expert-the features offered by these microscopes can be tailored to fit your needs. If we look at a current measuring microscope, for example, it has been modernized with advanced microscope features.
Low- and High-Magnification Observation
Many conventional measuring microscopes only accept a measuring objective or metallurgical objective and, therefore, are unable to meet the requirements for a wide variety of observations. The current microscope, however, can accept both a metallurgical objective and a measuring objective by exchanging a revolving nosepiece with a measuring objective adapter.
This means that both metallurgical optics and measuring optics are combined in one microscope. This new measuring microscope is able to satisfy a range of needs, whether measuring a wide area or a tiny region, the size of differences between features or even assisting the user in deciding their best observation method.
Manual and Motorized Focus Options
With focus control available with either manual or motorized operation, users can choose the microscope model that best addresses their needs in terms of samples and measurement content, regardless of stage size. Manual Z-axis focus models offer familiar handle operation for rapid vertical movement, convenient for measuring samples with variety of heights. Motorized Z-axis focus models deliver improved operability and reduce handling fatigue when focusing or taking height measurements.
Detachable Digital Readout (DRO)
To enable swift, convenient checking of measurement results and equipment status, a detachable digital readout (DRO) can be positioned either attached the microscope frame or placed on a desktop in whatever area is most convenient to the user. The DRO indicator displays the device status and settings.