What is a coordinate measurement machine? A coordinate measurement machine, commonly abbreviated to CMM, is a measurement tool that takes a geometric reading of an object using a probe that senses the angles and points that make up the object. The probe on a CMM can be one of many types including white light, optical, laser, or mechanical. Furthermore, the probe on a CMM can be either manually or computer operated. On the Fowler zCat DCC CMM, the probe is both manually and computer operated and transitions smoothly just by how the operator decide to use it. Most CMMs utilize the Cartesian coordinate system to determine the discrete points on an object. This movement along the X, Y, and Z axes helps to create a precise three-dimensional model of a part.