A self-calibration rotational stitching method for precision measurement of revolving surfaces

M. Y. Liu, Chi Fai Cheung, X. Feng, C. J. Wang, R. K. Leach

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


When measuring revolving objects, it is often desired to obtain not only the geometrical form of the workpiece, but also the topography of the surface, as they both affect the performance of the part. However, holistic measurement of the entire three-dimensional surface of a revolving part is challenging since most surface measurement instruments only have limited measurement ability, where the bottom and the side surfaces cannot be measured. One solution to obtain geometrical form and surface topography information simultaneously is to add a precision axis to rotate the object while performing surface topography measurement. However, this solution requires a high-cost precision rotation stage and adjustable mounting and alignment aids. Moreover, errors in the rotation will be added to the measurement result, which can be difficult to compensate. Stitching is a method often used for measuring revolving surfaces without the need for precision motion axes, as the method is applied at the software level, and errors in the rotation can be compensated by the stitching algorithm. Nevertheless, the overall accuracy of stitching is limited when the number of sub-surfaces is large, since the measurement and stitching error accumulate along the stitching chain. In this paper, a self-calibration rotational stitching method is presented which can compensate for the accumulated error. The self-calibration method utilises the inherent nature of a revolving surface and compensates for the registration error by aligning the last dataset with the first dataset. The proposed method is demonstrated by measuring grinding wheels with a coherence scanning interferometer and simultaneously rotating the grinding wheels with a low-cost stepper-motor. It is demonstrated that the proposed stitching measurement method is effective in compensating for accumulated registration error. The proposed self-calibration rotational stitching method can be easily extended to a wide range of applications for measuring revolving surfaces using various measuring instruments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-69
Number of pages10
JournalPrecision Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018


  • Precision measurement
  • Revolving surfaces
  • Rotational stitching
  • Self-calibration
  • Ultra-precision machining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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