Active suspension structure for micro probing systems
Start: October 2011
Student: Khalid Alblalaihid
Supervisors: Simon Lawes
This project is concerned with the development of a variable stiffness suspension structure for application in a novel low force contact metrology probe. There is an inherent compromise in tactile co-ordinate metrology between the desire for a probing system that is flexible enough to be sensitive and maintain low contact force, whist being robust enough for long life and insensitive to external influence. This is particularly pronounced in the area of µCMM where small stylus size means that contact forces must be no more than a few milli-Newtons in order to avoid damage to the part surface. There have been many different approaches to tackle this conflict, ranging from development of ultra-sensitive MEMS type probes to attempts at measuring surfaces by proximity using vibrating probes. This work presents an alternative approach that instead, using conventional contact and conventional manufacturing methods, provides a probe that can switch between a stiff state and a flexible state as required by the stage of the measurement cycle.
Micro probing systems with the developed active suspension structure