Dimensional measurements are concerned with forms and dimensions of physical objects. They are virtually infinite in types, as many as mechanical designers’ creativity is able to generate to implement sought functionalities. Specific instruments fitting the specific geometries are needed in principle, resulting in an undesired proliferation. The coordinate approach is general instead. In a first step, points on the workpiece surfaces are sampled and their coordinates in a system of coordinates are measured. In a second step, these coordinates are numerically reduced to the sought geometrical characteristics (measurands). This is particularly suitable for inspecting mechanical parts: the actual measured geometry is compared with the nominal one on the drawings (or CAD models) to verify conformity to the prescribed tolerances.
The applications of coordinate metrology are very diverse and often require support to ensure the metrological traceability as well as to achieve specific results. The INRIM research group is specialised in solving such problems.
To foster knowledge transfer to industry, the INRIM established in 1997 and has run since the CMM Club Italia. It organises periodic seminars and is in fact a nation‑wide network of coordinate metrology practitioners.