Fiber Probe Based on Fiber-Buckling
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jul-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jul-13
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Dr. Jack Stone: INVENTOR [+1]
We describe a new method of sensing surface position for use with measuring systems that might range from simple linear measuring machines to Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs) operating in three-dimensions. In this document we discuss a new extension of ideas as previously described in a preliminary disclosure, NIST Docket #02-005P A Provisional Filing January 2002. At that time we discussed a measurement method making use of a flexible, thin-fiber probe. As in the previous disclosure, bending of the probe stem is measured optically in order to infer the deflection of the tip and hence the position of the surface touched by the probe. This current disclosure differs from the previous one in that the fiber is brought down against a surface moving in a direction parallel to the fiber axis, so that the bending occurs in the buckling or in a quasi-buckling regime. When buckling occurs, there is considerable mechanical magnification of any motion, so that it is possible to improve sensitivity by several orders of magnitude. This buckling can be used to extend the performance of the two-dimensional probe described previously to three dimensions. The probe could be used in a manner similar to existing probes for coordinate measuring machines (CMMs).