To increase the resolution of the measuring sensor alone is a simple task. But without optimizing the structure and drive that moves the sensor, a simple increase in resolution is no improvement. Conventional drives are composed of a spindle, motor and linear encoder. Due to the nature of the system, there is a certain play that has a negative effect each time the system starts up and brakes, and in the reciprocating motion that is required for 3D topography analysis. The linear drive is constructed play-free. This allows high measurement speeds – exactly in the reciprocating motion in 3D topography analysis. Compared to other systems, the pre-travel can be reduced by up to 60% – this produces enormous benefits with narrow tolerances – even for short possible measurement distances. The play-free linear drive also allows outstanding positioning accuracy that is also required for topography analysis.