The Benefits of a Flexible and Portable 3D Non-Contact Profilometer

For many applications, including quality control and research, it is of great importance to understand and quantify the surface of a sample. Profilometers are usually used to scan and image samples, which also helps to study surfaces. The inability to accommodate nonconventional samples is one of the biggest problems with conventional profilometry instruments.

Sample size, geometry, the inability to move the sample, along with other disadvantageous sample preparations can cause some of the difficulties in measuring nonconventional samples. Nanovea’s portable 3D non-contact pro­lometers, the JR series, is portable and has the ability to overcome most of these issues by scanning the sample surface from multiple angles.

Importance of the Portable 3D Non-Contact Profilometer

It is difficult to measure nonconventional samples, because there are problems that arise when mounting the sample onto a stage. Nanovea’s JR25 does not require the sample to be mounted; the only requirement is for the sample to remain static. Therefore, large objects, such as walls, cars, or machines can be easily scanned. The JR25 is compact in size, which makes it portable and versatile. Measuring samples that are not flat and whose area of interest is difficult to reach is possible due to the JR25’s ability to tilt its pen sensor at an angle.

The 3D Non-Contact Profilometer uses a chromatism technology that allows it to measure any surface with minimal sample preparation. Nano to macro heights can be measured with minimal influence from the reflectivity, transparency, and curvature of the sample. The flexibility and portability of Nanovea’s JR25 3D Non-Contact Profilometer make it easier to measure large range of samples in comparison to conventional profilometers.

Measurement Objectives

Equipment Featured


3D Non-Contact Pro­lometer

Full portability with Nanometer Resolution

25 mm XY Scan Area

White-light Chromatic Confocal Technology

No Sample Size or Weight Limits

Measurement Objectives

This application consists of the Nanovea JR25 3D Non-Contact Pro­lometer scanning floor concrete and building wall in an outdoor area. The instrument’s portability and ability to measure nonconventional surfaces is presented. A tilted sample is also measured to show the ease with which samples of different geometries are measured.

Pro­filometry Results

Concrete Roughness

The raw false color view and 3D view of the concrete surface is shown below. Even though the instrument is outdoors, it still provides high-resolution of the scan. The data collected shows that there was almost no noise from the stage or from the environment.

Concrete Surface Roughness

By applying a filter to the raw scan, the roughness of the concrete surface can be calculated from the same scan. The roughness was calculated after applying a Gaussian filter with a cut-off index of 2.5 mm to the surface. The average roughness can be taken from the Sa value of 27.47 micrometers.

Wall Surface

Despite being angled at a 90 degree position, Nanovea’s JR25 3D Non-Contact Profilometer is still able to acquire high-resolution data. Again, little to no noise is present from the scan despite the unique setup of the test. The False color and 3D images shown below are of the raw scan of the wall.

Wall Surface Roughness

The Wall surface roughness was calculated with a Gaussian filter of 2.5 mm.

Tilted Sample

The JR’s ability to tilts its pen, combined with the measure angles allows the Nanovea JR25

3D Non-Contact Profilometer to easily measure very large samples with complex geometries while still attaining high-quality data.


This article showed the ability of Nanovea’s JR25 3D Non-Contact Pro­lometer to easily measure samples that are almost impossible to mount and scan with a conventional profilometer. Its compact size, stage tilt, and ease of use make it stand out from other profilometer instruments. Despite the unique stage, the resolution and quality of the scans performed is still impressive and does not diminish the accuracy of the results.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Nanovea.

For more information on this source, please visit Nanovea.


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