This paper presents a new error separation method for accurate roundness measurement called the orthogonal mixed method. This method uses the information of one displacement probe and one angle probe to separate roundness error from spindle error. This method was developed from the mixed method, which uses the information of two displacement probes and one angle probe to carry out the error separation. In the present paper, the relationship between the characteristics of the mixed method and the probe arrangement is analyzed. Well-balanced harmonic response of the mixed method is verified to be obtainable for the case where the angular distance between the displacement probe and the angle probe is set at 90°. This orthogonal mixed method also has the simplest probe arrangement, because it requires only one displacement probe and one angle probe to realize the error separation. Optical probes were used to construct an experimental measurement system that employs the orthogonal mixed method. The displacement probe and the angle probe both use the principle of the critical angle method of total reflection, and they have stabilities of 1 nm and 0.01 in., respectively. The measurement results show that roundness measurement can be performed with a repeatability on the order of several nanometers.
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