Machine Design

Updating the tripod

Taking reliable measurements usually requires special, rigidly mounted fixtures and complicated machine setups, so they are usually taken inside specially built labs.

To give technicians the freedom to take measurements almost anywhere, engineers at Faro Technologies Inc., Lake Mary, Fla., redesigned the tripod. They gave it integrated wheels and designed it so that it folds up for mobility. They also added fixed-mount footpads for stability. Patented "lock-and-hold" struts attach to practically any part being measured or fixture holding parts with either clamp mounts or magnets. The 47-lb tripod is 30% more stable than conventional theodolite stands, which can weigh up to 235 lb. It is designed to work with the Faro Control Station.

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