Value, precision and 3D modelling

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 June 2004




(2004), "Value, precision and 3D modelling", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 76 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Value, precision and 3D modelling

Value, precision and 3D modelling

Keywords: Machines, Measurement, Modelling

It is reported that the latest three-axis gantry coordinate measuring machines manufactured by ITP Ltd, can also be equipped for five-axis light milling operations, believed ideal for economic prototype modelling covering a wide range of industrial and engineering products.

These machines, which are rugged enough for use in even harsh environments, are claimed to provide the most competitively price gantry systems currently available, and can be supplied in a wide range of sizes ranging from:

  • X-axis, 1,500-4,000 mm;

  • Y-axis, 1,500-12,000 mm; and

  • Z-axis, 1,000-3,000 mm.

Smaller machines are suitable for toolmakers and mould/pattern makers, with the larger machine having the capacity for extra large items, or other extended products up to 12 m or more in length. Where used for the production of prototypes or models, three-axis plus two-axis manual milling of modelling boards, polystyrene, clay and light alloys can be successfully carried out from CAD/ CAM design inputs. This is said to lead to considerable savings.

These gantry machines also provide high performance, reliable operation as coordinate measuring machines. These are precision products, incorporating stainless steel bearings, with mechanical counter balance and a friction drive. They are equally at home in the workshop or standards room, with applications throughout industry. Construction is virtually all granite, with low expansion rates ensuring high accuracy, which is dependent upon the size of the machine but typically in the region.

The probe systems provided will support Renishaw PHI0M, PHSI, SP600 and laser scanning, with Axel software as standard for geometric, surface and tubular inspection. Optional software packages also available include Delcam Power Inspect, QCT Geometric-Surface and Metrologic.

Features claimed of the machine design result in high measuring accuracy. These include a Y-axis movement equipped with twin scales, with interpolation used for precision quill position determination. Centre rather than side location of the Z-axis quill mounted on the X-axis cross beam provides greater rigidity which eliminates the effect of potential beam twist or deflection. Control is via state-of-the-art 32bit controller which will support many different software packages including Windows 98-2000-XP and NT. The machines also have a 5 year mechanical warranty and are supplied with a measurement health check facility.

Details available from: ITP Ltd. Tel: +44 (0) 1788 570357; Fax: +44 (0) 1788 567991; E-mail:; Web site:

Related articles