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Measuring Step Gauges Using the NIST M48 CMM



John R. Stoup, Bryon S. Faust


The Moore M48 coordinate measuring machine (CMM) has provided NIST with flexible measurement capabilities for many years. The machine’s state of the art performance was further improved following the move of the machine into the new Advanced Measurement Laboratory (AML) on the Gaithersburg, Maryland site. These improvements are particularly evident in the measurement of 1D step gauges of lengths approaching a meter. This paper will describe the measurement process currently used for these long 1D artifacts. The development of the data collection algorithms, data analysis techniques, and process control methods will be discussed. The impact of thermal issues, elastic deformation resulting from probe contact, gauge fixturing, and coordinate system generation and the impact of these considerations on the measurement uncertainty budget will be presented in detail.
Measure Magazine


CMM, coordinate measuring machine, step gauge, dimensional metrology, uncertainty


Stoup, J. and Faust, B. (2011), Measuring Step Gauges Using the NIST M48 CMM, Measure Magazine, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created April 1, 2011, Updated February 19, 2017