On the Application of Replica Molding Technology for the Indirect Measurement of Surface and Geometry of Micromilled Components

Federico Baruffi, Paolo Parenti, Francesco Cacciatore, Massimiliano Annoni, Guido Tosello

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The evaluation of micromilled parts quality requires detailed assessments of both geometry and surface topography. However, in many cases, the reduced accessibility caused by the complex geometry of the part makes it impossible to perform direct measurements. This problem can be solved by adopting the replica molding technology. The method consists of obtaining a replica of the feature that is inaccessible for standard measurement devices and performing its indirect measurement. This paper examines the performance of a commercial replication media applied to the indirect measurement of micromilled components. Two specifically designed micromilled benchmark samples were used to assess the accuracy in replicating both surface texture and geometry. A 3D confocal microscope and a focus variation instrument were employed and the associated uncertainties were evaluated. The replication method proved to be suitable for characterizing micromilled surface texture even though an average overestimation in the nano-metric level of the Sa parameter was observed. On the other hand, the replicated geometry generally underestimated that of the master, often leading to a different measurement output considering the micrometric uncertainty.
Original languageEnglish
Article number195
Issue number195
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Replica technology
  • Roughness
  • Surface metrology
  • Dimensional micro metrology

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