How Profilometers Work & How We Save You Time & Money

Excedr - Profilometers

Excedr’s leasing program can source all metrology instrument types and accommodate any brand preferences your end-user might have. Request a profilometer lease estimate today and see how leasing can discount your measurement equipment’s price.

All equipment brands/models are available

The Advantages of Excedr’s Profilometer 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.

A profilometer is a type of measurement instrument used in both metrology quality assurance (QA) labs and on the machine shop floor.

These devices are also referred to as surface profilers or optical profilers, and are used to measure, or characterize, the surface topography of a product or part, as well as coating thickness and step height.

Topographic measurements are an important part of ensuring the dimensions of fabricated surfaces are meeting all the necessary requirements and standards. Besides surface topography characterization, surface profilers are also used for 3D imaging. 

By measuring the surface of an object, various characteristics like surface roughness, flatness, and other critical 2D and 3D dimensions can be determined. Surface roughness is particularly important to manufacturers who develop high-precision products and want to understand how long the product will last and how well it will perform. 

Although a machined surface may look smooth to the human eye, it often has many tiny heigh, depth, and spacing variations, or deformities.

These small variations, which can occur during the machining processes, often affect the performance and life-span of a complete product or individual part. Surface profilers can catch these variances early and before an entire batch of parts has to be scrapped.

Generally, profilometers consist of two basic components, a surface detection device and a sample stage. The detector measures surface irregularities and the sample stage holds and orients the part being measured.

Some profilometers have detectors that move, while others have moving sample stages. In some cases, both the detector and the sample stage can move. 

Profilometers are typically categorized as contact and noncontact. A contact-type measurement instrument is referred to as a stylus profilometer, or diamond stylus profilometer, and a noncontact instrument is referred to as an optical profiler or profilometer.

Newer measurement techniques, such as 3D non contact profilometry, that can perform measurements without needing to make physical contact with a part’s surface are preferred in advanced systems and processes.

Surface Profilometer Types, Methods, & Applications

Surface profilers are an important part of roughness measurement systems, providing accurate and reproducible results quickly. With every manufactured part, the International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO) standards must be met. 

One of the main goals of ISO standards is to reduce product failures. Therefore, it is critical to use the most accurate measuring equipment in your  production and assembly process to ensure that you are always compliant with these standards.

Stylus Profilometers

Contact surface profilers, known as stylus or diamond stylus profilometers, make physical contact with an object by drawing a diamond-tipped probe across the surface of the component. These instruments are referred to as stylus profilometers because they use a contact stylus probe, specifically a diamond 2- or 5-micron tip stylus. This cone shaped diamond is mounted at 90° to the plane of the stylus.

Using the stylus and a feedback loop, this instrument can detect surface deformities and the amount of force the component applies against the probe as it scans along the surface. The amount of torque on the arm of the instrument is controlled by the feedback system, which changes position as it scans.

These changes can then be used to reconstruct the topography of the component’s surface. Contact-type instruments are unaffected by optical interference or different types of lubricating elements. Atomic force microscopy uses the same concept, however, it is employed on a much smaller scale.


3D Optical Profilometers

Noncontact profilometers are referred to as optical profilometers, or optical profilers, and employ a variety of optical techniques, such as laser triangulation, to extract the same information that a stylus profilometer extracts.

Laser triangulation is the act of pairing a laser source with a camera in order to capture three dimensional images of a part’s surface profile. Some common examples of optical systems include white light interferometers and confocal or electron microscopes.

These instruments use wavelengths of light, instead of a diamond tipped probe, to compare the differences between a test surface and a reference surface. The height differences of a surface are then measured using wavelength, creating a 3D surface map.


Surface Profiling

Measuring the surface roughness of your manufactured parts is an incredibly important and highly regulated process. Besides being required to manufacture to certain, specific standards, constant testing of components can help you optimize your production and machining processes.

Some common examples of what surface measurement can determine includes:

  • The amount of frictional stress generated between two parts.
  • Whether or not there is risk of vibrations of assembled, interconnected parts.
  • The optimal type of machining used to manufacture a surface based on the roughness of that part.
  • Overall performance of braking system components.
  • The thickness of a coating material or film.
  • Maximum performance limit of a part is based on any irregularities that can worsen after operation or under certain conditions.

Depending on the type of surface profilometer you’re interested in, you will have the choice of range of specifications, such as instrument resolution, measuring range, indicated Z accuracy, tracing speed, straightness accuracy, measuring force, and much more.

It’s important to inspect the listed specifications of the instrument you’re interested in to make sure it can perform the measurements you need.


High-Speed 3D Profilometer Leases to Fit Every Manufacturer’s Needs

High-accuracy quality assurance systems are critical to manufacturing. Investing in an optical profiler will give any machine shop the ability to streamline their processes and manufacture top-of-the-line components. The accuracy of these precise roughness measurement systems will afford you peace-of-mind. 

If you’re interested in a profile projector or confocal microscope, we’re here to help. Our lease program is a cost-effective alternative to buying equipment outright.

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.

Profilometer Manufacturers & Models on the Market
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DektakXT, Dektak XTL

Surftest SJ-500, SV 2100, SV-3000, FTA-S3000

TopMap Micro.View+, TopMap Micro.View+, TopMap Pro.Surf, TopMap Pro.Surf+, TopMap Metro.Lab

3D Optical Profilometer VR-6000 Series, Wide Area 3d Measurement System VR Series

ZeGage™ Pro, NewView™ 9000, Nexview™ NX2, Compass™, Nexview™ 650, Guardian™ Industrial Enclosure, OEM 3D Optical Profiler Systems

Filmetrics® Profilm3D®, Zeta™-20 Optical Profiler, Zeta™-300 Optical Profiler, Zeta™-388 Optical Profiler


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.