In this study, a novel and simple measurement system for simultaneously measuring the geometric errors in six-degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) for a moving linear stage of a machine tool is designed and validated. Compared to laser interferometer and laser Doppler systems, this new measurement system is less expensive and capable of multiple functions. The proposed measurement system comprises an optics module, composed of two reflectors and two cubic beam splitters; a sensing module, composed of three two-dimensional position sensitive detectors (PSDs); and a helium-neon (He-Ne) laser. Using skew-ray tracing and a first-order Taylor series expansion, the 6-DOF geometric errors of the moving linear stage, which include translation and rotation errors, are analyzed. A laboratory prototype system is built to verify the effectiveness and accuracy of the proposed measurement system. The experimental results show that the displacement uncertainty and the angular uncertainty of the proposed measurement system are less than 1.2 µm and 0.4″, respectively. Compared with the Renishaw laser interferometer XL-80 laser system, the translational accuracy and the rotational accuracy of the proposed measurement system are less than ±1 µm and ±0.2″, respectively, when the linear stage travels 6 mm.
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