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Application Notes
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Shape Evaluation of a Marking Stamped on a Metal Surface / 3D shape measurement using a laser microscope


Marking is a technique applied to products or parts for the purpose of identification or traceability. Various marking methods are used including inkjet, laser, and stamping. Metal stamping is a standard method in many industries and involves using a very hard material to stamp a design onto a metal piece. Unlike engraving, stamping leaves a semi-permanent marking without producing chips in the metal. The size or position of each mark affects its visibility while the stamp’s depth affects durability. These marks need to be evaluated to ensure they are in the correct location and stamped to the corrected depth.

The Olympus solution

Olympus' OLS4100 3D scanning laser microscope utilizes a 405 nm semiconductor laser for high horizontal resolution enabling users to accurately measure the width of a stamped mark. The microscope’s confocal optical system provides accurate three-dimensional data of micron-sized irregularities on a surface. With the OLS4100, users can accurately reproduce 3D images and make reliable measurements in the z-axis direction. The stitching function seamlessly combines multiple in-focus images to create a single panoramic image, making it simple to get a complete overview of a marking.

Marking stamped on a metal plate


Objective lens 5X;  5×5 stitching


Objective lens 20X


Objective lens 100X, Zoom 1X


Objective lens 100X, Zoom 1X

Olympus IMS

Products used for this application


With the Olympus LEXT OLS5000 laser scanning confocal microscope, noncontact, nondestructive 3D observations and measurements are easy to produce. Simply by pushing the Start button, users can measure fine shapes at the submicron level. Ease of use is combined with leading-edge features to deliver an acquisition speed four times faster than our previous model. For customers with larger samples, LEXT long working distance objectives and an extended frame option allow the system to accommodate samples as large as 210 mm.
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