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Basics - Laser Tracker, Part 2: Fundamentals

January, 2021

Are you looking to learn the fundamentals of laser trackers including their capabilities, advantages when compared to other measurement practices, technical tips and next-generation functions? Our free metrology resource website offers key knowledge and information related to dimensional measurement instruments, environment requirements, selecting the right tool for the job, and various inspection processes.


1 Overview

What is a laser tracker? A laser tracker is an inspection tool that accurately measures large objects by determining the positions of optical targets held against those objects. Laser trackers take measurements by having the technician first sets up a laser tracker on a tripod with an unobstructed view of the object to be measured. The technician removes an optical target, known as a retroreflector (SMR), from the base of the laser tracker and carries it to the object to be measured, moving smoothly to allow the laser tracker to follow the movement of the retroreflector. It calculates the displacement from a reference position in a 3D Cartesian coordinate system (XYZ axes).

2 Capabilities and Advantages

Laser trackers allow for accurate 3D measurement of large objects by determining the positions of optical targets held against those objects, giving users an advantage over single dimension or 2D measurement instruments such as calipers, micrometers, and large optical comparators. Laser trackers have the advantage of being portable and providing a measurement range of several meters. Being wireless tools, they also give flexiblity beyond part inspection, enabling machine tool measurement, alignment checks and even calibration of motorized objects such as robotic arms.

3 Core Technology and Advancements

Learn about the core techology that drives these tools, and the next-generation laser tracker using the principals of these tools of in new ways to bring added-value to production and quality inspection. Modern laser trackers are increasingly advancing in portability, durability, measurement accuracy and continually seeing newly-developed functionality.

Measurement Fundamentals is an informative site offering knowledge related to dimensional measurements in manufacturing, including laser tracker basics. Visit the site to learn more about the topics above and more!