The key to successful dimensioning and inspection of a complex profile is the model. This can be a virtual 3D CAD model or a physical model, such as a prototype. Using metrology software and a portable CMM, either model form can be accurately dimensioned and inspected.
Using 3D CAD Model: Compatible metrology software works with the 3D CAD file and portable CMM (coordinate measuring machines) to ensure design intent, and eliminate the need for 2D inspection drawings, while closing the loop on digital workflow. CAD-based inspection is a good practical first step toward the goal of a complete MBD (Model-Based Definition) environment. The central concept embodied in MBD is that the 3D CAD model provides all of the detailed product information necessary for all aspects of the design intent.
CAD-based inspection involves inspecting the physical part measurements against the CAD model. Metrology software connects to and controls measuring devices such as scanners and laser trackers as well as stationary and portable CMMs. It also accommodates both presentation and intelligent GD&T specs from CAD models.
Intelligent GD&T datums are imported directly from the native CAD software with the 3D model and provide nominal dimensions. In short, using a digital measuring device, such as a portable CMM, metrology software becomes a conduit, accurately comparing a finished mold or part to its virtual 3D CAD likeness.