‘CMM To GO’ – First Portable CNC Coordinate Measuring Machine

The zCAT is heralded as the worlds first truly portable CNC Coordinate Measuring machine (CMM) and offers a compact self-contained measuring unit that fundamentally differs from traditional CMM design and operation. Invented by Homer Eaton, inventor and pioneer of portable arm CMMs (PCMM), the zCAT portable CMM brings coordinate metrology onto the production floor.

The unique 4 axis CMM configuration provides X, Z linear axis together with a 360 degree rotational base and 360 degree probe rotational axis. On-board PCB provides motion control, error mapping, |++ interface and ControlCAT metrology software.

The zCAT provides a unique cylindrical measuring range with diametrical range of 720 mm and 250mm of Z measuring range. Claimed accuracy is the the range of 7-8 Microns with repeatability of 2-3 Microns.

Weighing less than 14 Kg zCAT takes CNC measurement wherever its needed allowing deployment directly to manufacturing process. The measuring system is powered by a built-in 10.8 volt lithium ion battery providing a remote 4 hour operation between charges. The supplied power charger provides quick recharges between or during use.

The zCAT is the easiest CNC CMM to use and is designed with the intention of lowering the training threshold needed to successfully program and operate a DCC CMM.


The ControlCAT geometric measurement software is presented on a ‘flip-up’ intuitive icon-driven touchscreen and provides the core of zCat’s metrology functionality. Part program generation is performed by “Teach & Repeat” whereby simply moving the touch-probe and taking part measurements manually the system remembers and reproduces all movements for subsequent accurate repetitive measurements. The unique zCAT clutch seamlessly shifts from computer to manual control automatically.

To expand measurement capabilities further, the optional PC based zCAT MK4 3D measurement software is available connected to the Zcat using Ethnet or wireless connection. A 3D CAD file (STEP or IGES) can be used to generate inspection programs off-line and away from the production floor or directly on the zCAT.

“We have many zCAT customers from numerous different industries including Aerospace, Automotive, Medical, Machine Shops and Plastics. Customers want to have automated 3D measurement  right at the machine where their parts are being produced with inspection performed by the machine operator.” states Jeff Petersen International Sales Manager of ZCAT LLC.

“We have some customers who actually set the zCAT on the bed of a milling machine and measure parts before they are removed from the fixture” further comments Jeff.

The user value of zCAT can be further enhanced with the quick-swap ‘Loc-N-Load’ fixture system. Inter-locking fixture plates quickly secure and release parts creating highly repeatable setups and allow multiple fast-swap part setups.

For more information: www.zcat.com





One thought on “‘CMM To GO’ – First Portable CNC Coordinate Measuring Machine

Comments are closed.