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Analysis of Laser Tracker-Based Volumetric Error Mapping Strategies for Large Machine Tools

Design and Precision Engineering Group, IDEKO, 20870 Elgoibar, Spain
Department of Mechanical Engineering, EHU-UPV, 48013 Bilbao, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2019, 9(7), 757;
Received: 28 May 2019 / Revised: 1 July 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 5 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Processes and Machine Tools for Advanced Metal Alloys)
PDF [2117 KB, uploaded 5 July 2019]


The measurement and compensation of volumetric error in milling machines of medium and large size is a key aspect to meeting the precision requirements of the most demanding applications. There are several solutions for volumetric error measurement—usually based on laser or in calibrated artifacts—that offer different specifications and lead to a variety of levels of precision, complexity of implementation and automation, cost of equipment, and measurement time, amongst others. Therefore, it is essential to have tools that allow, in each case, analysis as to which is the optimal calibration strategy, providing the criteria for evaluating different measurement equipment and strategies. To respond to this need, several tools have been developed which are able to simulate the entire calibration and compensation process (machine, measurement, model adjustment, etc.) and apply optimization methods to find the best measurement strategy for each application. For a given machine architecture and expected error ranges, the compensation error for each strategy is obtained by propagating measurement uncertainties and expected machine errors through the measurement and compensation model fitting process by Monte Carlo simulations. The use of this tool will be demonstrated through the analysis of the influence of the main design parameters of a measurement strategy for the calibration of a 3-axis machine tool, based on the measurement of tool position with a laser tracker. View Full-Text
Keywords: volumetric calibration; virtual optimization; Monte Carlo; laser tracker volumetric calibration; virtual optimization; Monte Carlo; laser tracker

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Iñigo, B.; Ibabe, A.; Aguirre, G.; Urreta, H.; López de Lacalle, L.N. Analysis of Laser Tracker-Based Volumetric Error Mapping Strategies for Large Machine Tools. Metals 2019, 9, 757.

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