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MICRO METROLOGY | FEATURE


Measurement of Micro Parts and Features —


OVERCOMING TECHNOLOGY CONSTRAINTS GRAHAM WEBSTER, DIRECTOR, PLASTIC IT


For many OEMs, the trend towards


miniaturisation presents challenges in the design and manufacturing process. All industry sectors that manufacture parts or


features on the precision to micro scale must be in a position to verify the integrity of design once a part has been manufactured. Analysis of internal and external geometries becomes more and more difficult as part and


feature size reduces. Here, Graham Webster of knowledge-based consultancy Plastic IT looks at the issues facing OEMs, and analyses a new


technological innovation that addresses many of the issues surrounding the measurement and verification of micro injection moulded thermoplastic components.


The Part Verification Playing Field Across industry, it is fair to say that there is a trend towards miniaturisation, with sectors such as medical, aerospace, automotive and electronics leading the way. So saying, the modern-day manufacture of parts and components involves 3D integration of 3D micro parts, smaller and smaller parts and features with ever- decreasing tolerances being the order of the day.


As the part size and feature size on parts diminishes, various aspects of the design and manufacturing process become more problematic, and one such area is in the discipline of component or feature validation and measurement, the acid test as to whether a manufactured micro part fulfils original design intent, and is therefore fit for function. This article examines a 3D scanning technology new to the UK and Europe that allows for cost- effective measurement and validation of the internal and external geometries of micro plastic injection moulded parts, an aspect of the efficient manufacture of micro parts that has so far been serviced by various relatively inefficient technologies.


>> Continued on page 26 25 | commercial micro manufacturing international Vol 7 No.3


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