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Evaluation of Software for Coordinate Measuring Systems



Cathleen Diaz, Ted Hopp


Coordinate measuring systems (CMSs) determine dimensional (length) characteristics of mechanical parts by analyzing 3-dimensional point data acquired on part surfaces. Data analysis software can contribute significantly to the total measurement error of a CMS. Factors affecting software performance include choice analysis method, quality of software implementation, and characteristics of the specific measurement task. Standard mechanisms to evaluate the effects of these factors on the quality of the measurement results are currently being developed and are just now emerging. NIST developed a Special Test service to evaluate the performance of Gaussian curve and surface-fitting algorithms that are at the core of most CMS software. This service is defined in coordination with an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) standards committee and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). ASME B89.4.10 is developing a new national standard, Methods for Performance Evaluation of Coordinate Measuring System Software. ISO is studying recent developments regarding an international standard for software testing. The NIST service is based on these emerging standards, an Algorithm Testing System developed at NIST, and test procedures specific to coordinate measurement tasks. This paper discusses the structure and principles of operation of the new service.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 1995 SEM Clinic
Conference Location


coordinate measuring systems, data analysis software, data analysis software, measurement uncertainty, metrology, orthogonal distance regression, software testing, standards, tolerancing machine


Diaz, C. and Hopp, T. (1995), Evaluation of Software for Coordinate Measuring Systems, Proceedings of the 1995 SEM Clinic, , USA, [online], (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created March 31, 1995, Updated October 12, 2021