What Is a Coordinate Measuring Machine? How Does Leasing One Save You Time & Money?

Excedr - Coordinate Measuring Machines

Excedr’s leasing program can source virtually all instrument types and accommodate any brand preferences you might have. Request a CMM lease estimate today and see how leasing can discount your metrology equipment’s price.

All equipment brands/models are available

The Advantages of Excedr’s CMM Machine Leasing Program:

  • Eliminates the upfront cost of purchasing equipment by spreading its cost over time
  • Minimizes equipment downtime with included complete repair coverage and preventive maintenance
  • Takes advantage of potentially 100% tax deductible* payments, providing you significant cash-savings
  • Expedites the administrative work needed for instrument procurement and logistics
  • Conserves working capital,  enabling you to reinvest in your core business and operations (staffing, inventory, marketing/sales, etc.)
  • Accommodates all manufacturer and model preferences

*Please consult your tax advisor to determine the full tax implications of leasing equipment.

The coordinate measuring machine (CMM) has made dimensional inspection more accurate, efficient, and flexible, all while streamlining measurement and inspection processes through automation, superb design, and the use of computers and software.

A typical CMM can be categorized as an optical CMM or multi sensor CMM. These models are commonly used to measure the geometry of an object along three separate axes using various types of touch probes that collect a series of precisely measured points on the surface of an object. However, there are other CMM models, including bridge, shop floor, gantry, and horizontal arm CMMs, all of which serve distinct purposes.

CMMs can provide highly-detailed and accurate level of inspection that ensures specifications are met and all measurements are within the required tolerances, making them highly useful in quality assurance (QA), quality control (QC), inspection, assembly, and much more. 

Besides inspection and QA/QC, CMMs can also be used for other applications, including reverse engineering , where a 3D model of an existing part is created for use in 3D computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), computer-aided engineering (CAE), or other software, using measurement data acquired from the existing part.. This can be useful in duplicating a part or determining whether any mistakes were made during the manufacturing process.

With the increase in automation and software-based technology, automated coordinate measuring machines are becoming more and more essential in machine shops, metrology labs, and a number of industries, including the aerospace and defense, automotive, medical, heavy machinery, and energy and power industries.

CMM Types, Configurations, & Probes

There are various types of coordinate measuring machines available, all of which serve different needs according to design, probe type, and software compatibility. However, they are all designed to provide high-accuracy measurements and


There are various bridge-type CMMS available, however, all bridge CMMs consist of a moving staging table (bridge) configuration that includes a measuring head used to determine values on the Z-axis by moving up and down the bridge of the machine.

The bridge covers the distance of the machine’s base. The same measuring head also determines the values on the X-axis, which is accomplished by moving the head back and forth across the bridge. Y-axis values are measured by moving the entire bridge over the granite base.

Fixed-bridge CMMs, also known as stationary CMMs since they do not move, measure the Y-axis by moving the staging table instead. Consequently, a stationary CMM can determine Y-axis value with a higher degree of certainty, but is unable to support larger amounts of weight.



A cantilever CMM is used for smaller measuring ranges. It differs from a bridge-style CMM in that the moving measuring head is attached to one specific side of the machine’s base, making this type of measuring machine less flexible.

The machine’s large support base combined with it’s low weight allows for efficient and accurate measurements with very little measurement uncertainty.


Horizontal Arm

This type of coordinate measuring machine is not as accurate as others. However, horizontal arm CMMs are very useful when measuring larger parts and workpieces that don’t require highly accurate measurements. Their flexible design makes measuring difficult-to-reach features easier, and their size can accommodate larger pieces.

Horizontal arms on either side of the machine are paired, working simultaneously to produce measurements that are collected via one single coordinate system.



A gantry configuration is similar to a bridge CMM, but is typically much larger. The machine’s measuring volume, which determines the maximum size of an object the machine can measure, is increased by raising the bridge on mounted pillars.

Being structurally similar to a bridge CMM, but capable of measuring much larger parts with a high degree of accuracy, make the gantry CMM highly relevant in the aerospace industry.



There are many varieties of portable and handheld CMM devices that include both contact and noncontact options, such as articulating arms and laser tracker systems. Portable CMMs are used to determine highly accurate measurements and can provide more information than a caliper or micrometer.

The computer-aided design means inspection of manufactured parts is precise and accurate, and their mobility in comparison to large, stationary CMMs can be a huge advantage in shops where space is a limiting factor.


Touch Probes & Probing Systems

Coordinate measuring machines use different types of probes and probing systems to generate an electrical signal each time the probe contacts a point on the manufactured part. The position and angle of one of three probes on its axis is determined by a sensor monitoring its position, allowing for more complex surfaces to be measured.

When the probe contacts or detects a particular location on the surface of an object, the machine samples the location of all three position sensors and measures the location of that one specific point on the object’s surface that’s come in contact with the specific location on the object’s surface.

This process is then repeated across the object, creating a point cloud that describes the areas of interest on the object’s surface. The point cloud is then used to generate a three-dimensional digital image, or map, of the object.

There is an extensive selection of CMM probes available, which can either be contact or non-contact. Probes, depending on their design, can operate manually or automatically. When they are controlled automatically, they maneuver using Computer Numerical Control (CNC) or Direct Computer Control (DCC) software.

However, when used manually, they can be triggered by touch. These types of probes are referred to as touch trigger probes, and are quite common today. Multi-sensor probes that combine optical and touch scanning are also available.



The standard CMM programming language is called dimensional measurement interface standard (DMIS), however, it is not used by every CMM manufacturer. CAD/CAM programs are also used by some CMM machines.

Software compatibility should be taken into consideration when deciding what CMM system is right for you. Many machinists are trading in their master parts for master CAD models as software integration continues to make advances in measurement testing and inspection processes.


We Offer CNC CMM Leases to Fit Every Need

Procuring a shop floor CMM could give your machine shop an incredible advantage. However, you may not want to spend all your money in one place. Leasing with Excedr spreads those costs out over time, and greatly reduces the upfront costs of equipment procurement.

If you’re interested in leasing a portable or stationary coordinate measuring machine through Excedr, simply request a lease estimate or get in touch with us to learn more about our program and the costs of leasing.

If you’re thinking about procuring other types of measurement systems, such as 3D scanning systems, we can help. Besides CMMs, our leasing options include 3D measurement solutions: laser trackers, 3D laser scanners, and more.

Operating Lease

This off-balance sheet financing structure provides three options at the end of the term. The lessee has the option to return the equipment to the lessor, renew at a discounted rate, or purchase the instrument for the fair market value. Monthly payments are also 100% tax deductible which yields additional monetary savings.


If you recently bought equipment, Excedr can offer you cash for your device and convert your purchase into a long-term rental. This is called a sale-leaseback. If you’ve paid for equipment within the last ninety days, we can help you recoup your investment and allow you to make low monthly payments. This also frees up money in your budget rather than tying it down to a fixed asset.

Coordinate Measuring Machine Manufacturers & Models
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Bridge CMMs, Entry-Level, 4.5.4 SF, Enhanced Productivity Series, GLOBAL S, GLOBAL S HTA, Ultra-High Accuracy, Leitz PMM Gold, Leitz Infinity, Leitz PMM-C Line, Leitz Reference, Leitz Reference BX, Leitz Reference HP HTA Solution, Gantry, DELTA OPERA, Leitz PMM-G, GLOBAL Advantage, GLOBAL eXTRA, ALPHA 2.0, DELTA SLANT, LAMBDA SP, Leitz PMM-F, Horizontal Arm, BRAVO HA, MERCURY FX, BRAVO HP, TORO, Shop-Floor, 7.10.7 SF, TIGO SF, Leitz SIRIO SX/BX, Multisensor and Optical, OPTIV M 3.2.2 OPTIV M 4.4.3 and 6.6.4, OPTIV Reference

Nikon Metrology:
Bridge CMMs, Gantry CMMs, Horizontal Arm CMMs


Standard CMMs, CRYSTA-Plus M, CRYSTA-Apex V500/700/900, CRYSTA-Apex V1200/1600/2000, CRYSTA-Apex EX 1200R, High-Accuracy, STRATO-Apex 500/700/900, FALCIO-Apex 2000G/3000G/4000G/4500G, Ultra High-Accuracy, Legex 500/700/900/1200, Shop Floor, MACH-Ko-Ga-Me, MACH-V, MACH-3A, MiSTAR 555, CARBstrato

Bridge, XOrbit CMM, LH Compact CMM, LH Large CMM, Gantry, LH Gantry, LHF, Horizontal Arm, R-Series

Revolution® HB Shop Floor CMM, Revolution® Linear Motor CMM, Sumit 10.10.10, Revolution® Air Bearing Small Bridge CMM, Revolution® Air Bearing Large Bridge CMM

Bridge, Universal CMM, Benchmark CMM, Ares CMM, Kronos CMM, Gantry, MCT NT, MCT Starlight, MCT Plus, Horizontal Arm, Swan SI, Swan L, Jupiter


Operating Capital Benefits

Operating Capital Benefits

Excedr's operating lease structure allows you to keep your business credit line open for expansions, staffing, and other operational expenses. Additionally, it strengthens the cash flow of your business and keeps cash reserves free for business development opportunities.

Effects on Credit

Effects on Credit

Leasing / renting provides you with non-dilutive financing and does not hinder your future borrowing ability. You're able to acquire the equipment you need without the baggage associated with traditional financing.

Speed of Approval

Speed of Approval

Excedr's program allows you to respond quickly as your need for equipment and technology arises. You can be approved with minimal documentation and have the equipment you need in operation and generating revenue for your business quickly.

Refurbished Equipment

Refurbished Equipment

Unlike traditional financing and leasing companies, the Excedr program can accommodate refurbished equipment in addition to demo units. If you are looking for additional cost-savings, we recommend considering this option.