XYZ Probe

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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby BigC » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:00 pm

TReischl wrote:
ozymax wrote:I have a small USB powered microscope mounted on my Z axis.
This allows me to locate material edges, holes in the material, features I wish to avoid etc.
It's very accurate and fast to find my reference points. Then I use a Z touch off plate to set the Z height.
Not sure what control system you have, but I use Mach3 and Klaus's video plugin. https://kd-dietz.com/pages/eng/plugins/webcamv3/changelog/wcam_changelogv3.html
Just thought I'd mention it.


Now that is clever! Can you post some more information, like which microscope you use? Maybe some pics of how you have it mounted, etc?


INDEED:- It just so happens I have 2 of those field microscopes I use for my fishkeeping hobby (to determine egg hatching times). The main one I use is a Veho and the other is a lesser known model (below) given to me in return for some promotional work I did for the sales team.
microscope package.jpg

Fertile mento sml.jpg


I may have a secondary use for this one now :idea:
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C
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby TReischl » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:22 pm

BigC:

Since I saw your post this morning I have been diligently researching setting up a usb microscope. Seems very straightforward so I have ordered an el cheapo on Amazon. Should be here day after tomorrow. My wife has one that she uses in her master gardener stuff. Attempted to "borrow" it for a bit to see how things work. That did not go well, LOL.

The laser has been useful, but this looks lightyears ahead of that solution.

Right now I am sitting here looking at my machine figuring out where to mount it when it gets here.

Thanks for posting that information. For some odd reason I have not seen or heard about it before. Sure is going to solve a lot of issues!
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby BigC » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:03 pm

TReischl wrote:BigC:

Since I saw your post this morning I have been diligently researching setting up a usb microscope. Seems very straightforward so I have ordered an el cheapo on Amazon. Should be here day after tomorrow. My wife has one that she uses in her master gardener stuff. Attempted to "borrow" it for a bit to see how things work. That did not go well, LOL.

The laser has been useful, but this looks lightyears ahead of that solution.

Right now I am sitting here looking at my machine figuring out where to mount it when it gets here.

Thanks for posting that information. For some odd reason, I have not seen or heard about it before. Sure is going to solve a lot of issues!

Not a problem buddy.
Like you, I'm miffed at how I didn't think of utilizing this before.it won't solve the auto XYZ probe but it will enable us to get a closer look at the situation and not rely on fading eyes and pieces of paper...Thank you for jogging memory
My other one (VEHO) is a far superior model but it probably won't need a fantastical item for this task. I cant imagine it would be too difficult to fashion a little angular two-piece clamp affair around the router/spindle to hold it. The length of the USB cable may be an issue but there are connectors for that. Let's know how you get on.
microscope unboxed.jpg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTCjm5oLSqo&t=12s
For those interested, it's not bad at video either.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCS4HxqDnSU
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C
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby ozymax » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:53 pm

I played around with the small cheap ebay microscopes early on and decided to spend a bit more money on a better quality one.
I even have a small laser pointer kicking around somewhere, that I tried.
I managed to find a secondhand Celestron microscope.
Microscope.jpg

I'm not near the machine for a couple of days, so can't get any pics of the mounting.
Glad my suggestion has got people thinking.
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby Adrian » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:07 am

Curious what the advantages of a lasers and microscopes are over an automated XYZ setup? You've still got to manually jog and "eyeball" with the former which isn't going to be 100% repeatable or does the microscope feed back into the control software and automatically line up on a mark?
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby BigC » Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:30 am

Adrian wrote:Curious what the advantages of a lasers and microscopes are over an automated XYZ setup? You've still got to manually jog and "eyeball" with the former which isn't going to be 100% repeatable or does the microscope feed back into the control software and automatically line up on a mark?

Gotcha on that one Adrian (but at least it's got us talking about the subject) Wouldn't it be good if some kind of automated linkage be incorporated into these smaller machines. For now, I still think the XYZ probe is still the best thing on offer but as you say it's still not fully automated and the machine still needs to be jogged.

Ultimately I would like to have some kind of out changeable router bit/tool linked to the software that would automate the whole XYZ process, Whereby given the input criteria of your specific CNC machine bed. Then the machine software decides where is the best XYZ. (it would have to be some kind of 90 degrees insert or rail I would imagine and lasers would have to be the essential core) Finally using this head/tool position set your board and stops up accordingly.
That maybe would be asking too much though :roll:
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby ozymax » Wed Nov 13, 2019 11:06 am

You still have to manually jog whilst using the microscope, but by using the plugin that I referred to previously (Mach3 only), you have more control than just a video image.
Say you have a previously drilled hole or pocket in the piece of material. You can turn on a cross hair, a circle or a rectangular reference that is all adjustable to what ever size you want.
Line up the circle to the drilled hole or line up a rectangular shape to the edges of a feature and you can very accurately set your origin point.
Even the colour of the cross hair can be changed depending on the material colour you're working with.
One thing I love about using the video screen, is that you don't have to lean over the machine to get an accurate sighting of a reference point, as you do when using a laser pointer.
As to the repeatability, I've found the microscope to be extremely accurate.
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby Jan.vanderlinden » Wed Nov 13, 2019 4:01 pm

Big C.
You said,
I still think the XYZ probe is still the best thing on offer but as you say it's still not fully automated and the machine still needs to be jogged.

I don't know how much more automated you can get by loading the program, hit the send button and let the machine find the XYZ locations.
When it's done you simply load whatever program you need and run it.

The only jogging that needs to be done is to get the spindle close to the touch plate.
There is no visual interpretation involved.
I've learned so much from my mistakes, I'm thinking of making a few more.
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby TReischl » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:22 pm

Adrian wrote:Curious what the advantages of a lasers and microscopes are over an automated XYZ setup? You've still got to manually jog and "eyeball" with the former which isn't going to be 100% repeatable or does the microscope feed back into the control software and automatically line up on a mark?


It sort of depends on what you are doing. I use two vises quite often on my machine. An automated xyz would only locate a corner and the surface for me. I need to tram the back jaw of both vises so that they are in line when I set them up. It is soooo tedious that what I have been doing is using a sacrificial back jaw on the vises and just mill them in place. That has gotten old too.

When I am not using the vises I have a method for setting locator buttons using the t track slots on the table. That works really well

As to the accuracy part of your question: Eyeballing something with a magnification factor can be extremely accurate, think optical comparator. Mine should arrive sometime today so I will get a better feel for how much magnification I can reasonably use. The one I ordered is 0 to 1000x. I highly doubt I will use anything above 50X. Right now I am staring at my machine trying to figure out the mounting. I do not want it mounted on the Z axis. Doing so will make for a very fussy setup due to parallax issues as the Z goes up and down. It is also going to be fussy mounted on the bridge axis, same issue it looks like. So I am thinking of building a mount more or less like is used on laser mirrors for adjustment.

I use Ger21's (Gerry) screenset 2010 which has a very handy button and macro that automatically does the math for the offset of the laser pointer or microscope mounting.

I totally agree with you on "eyeballing" a laser spot. For quite a bit of what I do it is not accurate enough, the dot is just too big not to mention it is not round but oblong in shape.

One of the interesting things is that mounting something like this on a cnc machine effectively creates a poor man's CMM. I highly doubt I will ever use it that way, but who knows?
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby Adrian » Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:06 pm

TReischl wrote:
Adrian wrote:Curious what the advantages of a lasers and microscopes are over an automated XYZ setup? You've still got to manually jog and "eyeball" with the former which isn't going to be 100% repeatable or does the microscope feed back into the control software and automatically line up on a mark?


It sort of depends on what you are doing. I use two vises quite often on my machine. An automated xyz would only locate a corner and the surface for me. I need to tram the back jaw of both vises so that they are in line when I set them up. It is soooo tedious that what I have been doing is using a sacrificial back jaw on the vises and just mill them in place. That has gotten old too.

That's why I used to make my own. At one time I was well into double figures with different fixtures. I could use four at one time to get multiple XY points for a single job or has many as I liked if I was setting XY points to translate back into the job setup. I think people think of these fixtures as being a one shot deal that can only do a corner. You can put them anywhere you like and, depending on your control setup, as many as you like.
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby TReischl » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:28 pm

Adrian? Are you saying you can use the xyz fixtures to tram a vise so that the fixed jaw is parallel to machine motion? I have not seen that done, of course there are a lot of things I have not seen!
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby Adrian » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:59 am

Don't see why not. For parallel you could use two and set the macro/routine to tell you how far out of alignment they are in relation to each other in any axis.
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby TReischl » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:21 am

Update on the microscope.

Built a mounting bracket for it out of some scrap aluminum I had in the scrap drawer. Used the mini mill for that. Well, mostly, I hogged out the holes for the scope and then finished them up on the router.

Plugged it all in, set up the software and presto! It works. Still have to route the wires tomorrow but that is not too bad.

Tested it out and it is going to work like a dream. Unless I am missing something these are sort of strange. The magnification sets the focus as far as I can tell. In other words I have not found a way to select a magnification and then focus? Not a problem though. This thing is extremely accurate.

The reason I wanted something like this is that I use vises a lot. I have two of them. They are used in tandem quite often. If I have a piece that is 6 X 24 for instance I will set up the two vises next to each other. If something is 48 long then I will move them further apart. So tramming them to each other gets to be an issue real quick. I gave that a test run today and it went way, WAY, faster than before.

Interestingly enough I do not need to use the lights it came with.

Finding the center of a hole is very easy. One of the options in the software is an adjustable circle around the crosshairs. So, what I did was adjust it to about the size of the hole it was looking at. Once that is done it is very easy to center the image on the screen over the physical hole.

Oh, what I do need to do tomorrow is work on the parallax, translation: get it looking perpendicular to the machine surface or parallel to Z axis. Right now it is pretty close but it needs some tuning.

I am going to enjoy using this thing.
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby Jan.vanderlinden » Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:38 am

Can you post some picture of your setup?
I've learned so much from my mistakes, I'm thinking of making a few more.
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Re: XYZ Probe

Postby TReischl » Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:40 am

Jan.vanderlinden wrote:Can you post some picture of your setup?


Probably tomorrow if I remember, LOL. Nothing fancy that is for sure. A plate with two smaller plates attached to it and fastened to the router mount. An interesting thing is that the device has a slight taper from bottom to top so there is no need to clamp it in place. When I get it all running the way I want I will get some shots of what it looks like on the computer screen and make comments about how this thing really works.

Let me say this to anyone who is thinking of buying one: Zoom does NOT work the way you might think. Zoom is a function of the distance the lens is from the object. What looks like a "zoom" wheel is actually a focusing knob. Strange. That is important because on a machine it may be at different heights and would need to be focused for that height.
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