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FARO® Knowledge Base

Scanning a Profile to Compare to Nominal CAD Data in Measure X, 4 or 3

Application Description

Scan a cross section of a symmetrical part to compare it to a CAD Nominal.



  • Mount the part securely by clamping or bolting the part.
  • Open a new file in Measure. Go to FILE> INSERT CAD PARTS to import the nominal CAD data.



  • From the construct menu, choose CONSTRUCT> CIRCLE> NOMINAL. Select 3 points on the bottom circle to establish a nominal circle.
  • From the Construct Menu, choose CONSTRUCT> POINT> NOMINAL. Select any point along the bottom circle. This will be used to establish the direction of the X-axis.
  • From the construct menu, choose CONSTRUCT> COORDINATE SYSTEM> 321. Choose N_CIRCLE001 for the +XY plane, First point on axis is N_CIRCLE001, Second point on axis is N_POINT001, direction of axis is +X, and origin is N_CIRCLE001. Choose the Nominal radial button and select okay.



  • Choose MEASURE> PLANE. Measure the bottom plane of the part.
  • Choose MEASURE> CIRCLE. Measure the bottom circle of the part. Use M_PLANE001 as the plane.
  • Choose MEASURE> POINT> COMP OFF. Measure a point on the outer surface, along M_CIRCLE001.
  • From the construct menu, choose CONSTRUCT> COORDINATE SYSTEM> 321. Choose M_PLANE001 for the +XY plane, First point on axis is M_CIRCLE001, Second point on axis is M_POINT001, direction of axis is +X, and origin is M_CIRCLE001. Choose the Constructed radial button and select okay.
  • Choose ALIGNMENT> CAD=PART. Measured Coordinate system will be C_COORDSYS001 and Nominal coordinate system will be N_COORDSYS001. Select OK.



  • From FILE> PREFERENCES> MISCELLANEOUS (Part Preferences) set Save Scan Lines as Features to Yes.
  • From FILE> PREFERENCES> SCAN MEASUREMENT (Part Preferences) select Start/Pause Scan with trigger, and set minimum distance to 2mm.
  • Choose MEASURE> SCAN> RADIAL LOCK PLANES. Select M_CIRCLE001 as the line. Set number of planes and minimum distance as desired. Begin scanning.
  • When scanning is complete, pull away from the surface to compensate.



  • By turning on whiskers (Highlight feature in review features and mark the Whiskers box) you may see visual error bars representing where the scan is in/out of tolerance.
  • From review features, select print. Enter header information, and select items to include on your report. This report will provide the maximum, minimum, average and standard deviation of the distance from the scanned points to the nominal surface.


Please see the attached document for more details.

Click here to download: Scanning a Profile to Compare to Nominal CAD Data


Keywords: scanning, nominal, CAD