Straightness error is a parasitic translation along a perpendicular direction to the primary displacement axis of a linear stage. The parasitic translations could be coupled into other primary displacement directions of a multi-axis platform. Hence, its measurement and compensation are critical in precision multi-axis metrology, calibration, and manufacturing. This paper presents a two-dimensional (2D) straightness measurement configuration based on 2D optical knife-edge sensing, which is simple, light-weight, compact, and easy to align. It applies a 2D optical knife-edge to manipulate the diffraction pattern sensed by a quadrant photodetector, whose output voltages could derive 2D straightness errors after a calibration process. This paper analyzes the physical model of the configuration and performs simulations and experiments to study the system sensitivity, measurement nonlinearity, and error sources. The results demonstrate that the proposed configuration has higher sensitivity and insensitive to beam's vibration, compared with the conventional configurations without using the knife-edge, and could achieve ±0.25 μm within a ±40 μm measurement range along a 40 mm primary axial motion.
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