for high-precision 3D metrology
Overview of features and benefits
- Easily integrated in lab, shop, or fully-automated industrial inspection setups
Modular and customizable to your criteria
- Reduces inspection cycle time: the non-contact optical scanner (or probe, depending on the setup) obtains up to 100,000 measurements per second. Each measurement represents a 3D topographic point.
- Flexible options for evaluating inspected parts: measured features can be compared to CAD drawings or to a set of user-defined GD&T callouts
- Simple scan definition and execution: The scanning sequence is defined once by teaching the system with a joystick. The scanning sequence can later be executed with the push of a button.
- Time-saving automated reporting: Following a scan, go-no-go reports can be produced and results logged in industry-standard formats
- Adaptable to harsh environments
- No consumables are needed: The optical galvo scanner does not come in contact with the measured surface, and therefore does not wear out like contact probes.
3D metrology and imaging of bores for industry and R&D
- Quality control
- Automated 3D production inspection, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T)
- Statistical process control (SPC)
- Research and development (R&D) inspection
- Reverse engineering and part-to-CAD
- Maintenance, repair and operations (MRO)
- Profilometry in harsh environments
- Full geometry
- GD&T parameters such as: position, profile, straightness, flatness, waviness, etc.
- Roughness: linear or area roughness
- Deviation from CAD model
- High-aspect-ratio features: teeth, undercuts, steps, grooves, splines, threads, channels, sharp edges
- Volume loss: surface wear or other damage
- Defect detection and characterization: corrosion, pitting, cracking, denting, scratching, porosity
- Thickness of semi-transparent coating, polymers and biological samples: single-layer or multilayer films
Examples of inspection applications
SurfaceInspect is a versatile system, delivering 3D metrology across multiple industries – both in high-volume production and in research labs. A few examples of applications:
- Dimensions and surface finish of parts made by machining, casting, injection molding, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, welding, brazing, soldering
- Dimensions and thickness of extruded materials – plastics, ceramics, glass – during or after extrusion. Tubing, sheeting, fibres, etc.
- Continuous casting
- Tool maintenance, edge inspection – sharp edges, chamfered edges, bevel edges, filleted edges, miter edges, burr detection
- Protective film thickness in aviation and automotive industries, on consumer products
- Multilayer thickness measurements in the cellphone industry
- Optical: etching and deposition thickness on waveguides
- Semi-conductors: coating on MEMS devices, hybrid circuits, fuel and solar cells; wafer topography, thickness, flatness, defect detection; inspection of thick film photo-resist coating on electronic wafers
- Ophthalmology: inspection of regular or intraocular contact lenses
- Bio-medical: tissue thickness; GD&T and surface finish of orthopedic, ocular, dental, and hearing aid implants; coatings that protect devices from corrosion or patients from complications
- Metallurgy: forging, metal deposition in vacuum deposition chambers
- Others: conformal coating, protective tool coating, vacuum chamber coating
The SurfaceInspect system comes with Novacam high-performance data acquisition software, which is
- PC, Windows®-based
- User-friendly for scan programming and visualization
An application programming interface (API) is available for system integrators and OEMs. With the API, a wide variety of online and offline applications can be accommodated.
Data analysis, 2D and 3D imaging
The following options are available for data analysis and 3D imaging:
- Data output options: 3D point cloud, height image, intensity image, roughness, diameter, STL file format
- Integrated turnkey solution with PolyWorks Inspector
- Output is exportable to turnkey integrated 3rd party CAD packages selected by the client:
- CAD/CAM software: PolyWorks, Geomagic, SolidWorks, Creo Elements/Pro (Pro/ENGINEER), etc.
- Imaging, visualization and numerical analysis software: ImageJ, Octave, MatLab, Mathematica, IDL, IGOR Pro
- Surface and roughness analysis software
- Exported data can be integrated with data loggers and SPC software
Microcam interferometer models
|Light wavelength||1310 nm, infrared|
|Interferometer enclosure||4U rackable enclosure|
445 (W) x 445 (D) x 178 (H) mm
|Depth of field||depends on the characteristics of the selected scanner (see table above)|
|Scanning depth range options*||3.5 mm||7 mm||5 mm|
|Acquisition (A-scan) rate||2.10 kHz||1.05 kHz||100 kHz|
|Axial (Z-axis) resolution||< 0.5 µm|
|Light spot size (Lateral [XY-axis] resolution)||4.1 - 146 µm, depends on selected scanner characteristics.|
|Standoff distance||1 - 100 mm for standard probes|
up to 1 m for non-standard probes
|Repeatability||< 1 µm|
|Thickness measurement range (in Air, IR = 1.0)||10 µm - 3.5 mm||10 µm - 7 mm||20 µm - 5 mm|
|Typical materials for thickness measurements||glass, polymers, multi-layer films, coatings, plastics, silicone, liquids, specular or non-specular|
|Sample reflectivity||0.1 - 100%|
|*To further increase maximum scanning depth, a mechanical displacement axis is available.|
3) Inspection station
Inspection station configurations are application-dependent and can be supplied by Novacam. Fixturing for the part is not included.
Types of inspection stations
|Lab or shop floor inspection||Automation and inline industrial inspection|
|If the the field of view (FOV) of the selected galvo scanner is larger than the scanned surface area, then the inspection station does not require moving stages. |
To scan surface areas larger than the FOV, the inspection station typically includes scanner displacement in 1, 2, or 3 axes. Motion controllers are included.
Granite tables are optionally available and recommended for some applications.
|The SurfaceInspect galvo scanner(s) may be integrated with third-party CMMs (coordinate-measuring machines), CNC (computer numerical control) machines, or any robots (as a robot end-effector) to support high-volume continuous flow manufacturing.|
4) PC, monitor and joystick
The SurfaceInspect system comes with a PC (with Novacam acquisition software), a monitor, mouse, and joystick.
Polyworks InspectorTM metrology software for full GD&T inspection of the parts can be purchased with the system. Custom data processing, reporting and defect detection programs can also be written based on client requirements.See “software” tab for more detail.
5) Hardware for multiplexing support (optional)
With optional optical switches, more than one galvo scanner (possibly in combination with one or more optical probes) may be multiplexed to a single Microcam interferometer.
Frequently asked questions
How long does it take to scan a surface with SurfaceInspect?
- Scan time depends on the surface area and aspects you need to measure. The SurfaceInspect features a galvo scanner which scans the surface in a raster fashion. The speed of the scan is user-programmable and the SurfaceInspect acquires up to 100,000 measurements per second, or roughly 1 million 3D topography points in 33 seconds. The user selects the lateral sampling distance in X and Y directions and the size of the area to be scanned, which together determine the number of points that will be acquired and the time that the scan will take. In general, dimensional measurements (GD&T) require the least amount of points and can be achieved the fastest. Defect detection requires the most amount of points, of course depending on the size of defect you are looking for.
The following is an example of scanning-time calculation (click table to enlarge).
For help on estimating the time required to scan your sample, please contact us.
Can SurfaceInspect measure parts that are not flat and high-aspect ratio features?
- Yes, depending on the geometry of the features to be scanned. Various curved surfaces and high-aspect ratio features have been scanned. Displacement stages can be added to the setup if required.
Can the SurfaceInspect be used to measure the thickness of a coating?
- Yes, if the coating is semi-transparent to infrared light and has optical thickness of 20 µm or higher (optical thickness = physical thickness * index of refraction).
Is the system easy to use?
- Yes. The scanning sequence (recipe) can be programmed with a joystick and can be recalled at later times with the push of a button.
Is the system able to work right on production floor?
- Yes. The system is ideally suited for both lab and shop floor inspection. Inline and robot setups are also supported. The SurfaceInspect can even be used to provide metrology in hostile environments such as extremely hot, cryogenic, or radioactive.
Can SurfaceInspect give us automated measurements and reports?
Does the light beam of the SurfaceInspect have to be perfectly perpendicular to the surface to be scanned?
- No. Some surfaces have been scanned with as much as 60 degrees between the light beam and the surface. The maximum scan angle depends on the material and surface characteristics.