digital eyes for your CNC
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  1. #1
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    Default digital eyes for your CNC

    How many times have you strained your eyes to see the condition of your cutting tools in a turning center? Do you have to keep a flashlight and mirror or magnifying glass nearby? How often does the operator pull and insert out just to look at it?

    Well I may have found a solution to this problem I purchased a cheap digital Microscope off Amazon. This is a 10X magnifier with led lights and it is powered through a USB connector and will work with any Windows XP computer.

    By holding this hand-held microscope up to your cutting tool you will get a view of your cutting tool that looks like the photos you see in the insert manufacturers catalogs. No more two pair of glasses, no more leaning in to get coolant dripping on your head as you strain to see if your insert is chipped. Now it is just hold the camera to the insert and shoot.

    The best part of this story is that no one wants to carry around a laptop computer to the machine. Here is where the Okuma P200 control comes in, with the help of Bryan Newman of Partners in Thinc, we loaded the software onto the control of my Okuma Captain turning center. Now you can plug the camera in to the USB port and right on the screen you can see your tool. You can even take still photos of it to show your tool rep or boss just how bad or good your insert is performing.

    Pretty cool, and if you have a laptop near the computer you can just use it so folks without an Okuma wont have to go wanting. I ll bet this may become a regular feature on machine tools in the future.

    Charles
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails photos-digital-microscope-use-001.jpg   photos-digital-microscope-use-003.jpg   photos-digital-microscope-use-004.jpg   photos-digital-microscope-use-005.jpg   photos-digital-microscope-use-006.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Actual photos of tools, should have cleaned the coolant off of some of them.

    Charles
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails insert-chipped.jpg   stillcap12.jpg   stillcap16.jpg   threading-insert.jpg   vcmt-insert.jpg  


  3. #3
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    Pretty cool. Not bad for $52 with free shipping.

    We have PCs at all the machines here. This would be a cheap tool to add to each one. My 6" calipers cost more than this toy.

    Thanks.

    Amazon.com: GSI High-Definition Scientific Digital LED Microscope, USB Video Connection to…

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    Brilliant, Charles, thanks for the tip.

    Joe

  5. #5
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    Two Thumbs Up!

    Great Idea Charles.

    You can bet there will be a run on Amazon.

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    Looks like a great tool for job shops....how many times have I heard "how long has that insert been in there"?

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    Very good idea and I gonna get some .Thanks for sharing.
    Scott

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    Very good idea Charles, now to save up to get one of them and a laptop.............

    JP

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    Now all you need is an optical graph, and you've got yourself a portable optical comparator.

    Do I get a finders fee?

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    Actually in looking through the ones on Amazon, there was one that came with a measuring program and calibration stuff. wonder how accurate it is?

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    I wouldn't mind having that set up, nice idea. Would be nice to have more than 10x though.

    I'd love to have an integrated video measuring system for a milling machine. For small stuff it would be great. Hard to mic a part you can't even see.

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    Actually I got the idea of doing this a year ago from this forum. I forgot who it was but someone had posted in the metrology forum about using one of these as a poor mans optical comparator. He used it and some kind of measuring software to measure a tap as I remember. It just took me this long to post about it.

    Actually it takes some practice to use as there is no image stabilization so if you are a little shaky with your hands it may not work well for you. If you mounted it to a magnetic base with an articulated arm it would work well but be a little slower to use. For those with older eyes it may just help out in other areas as well.

    I do expect you will see this type of technology finding its way into the machine tool area anyway. Just nice that my Okuma can accept it now.

    I also sent this into Okuma and I suspect it will be posted to the Blog by next week sometime.

    Charles

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    Pretty cool!
    Now next step a toy robotarm for 52$ to hold the camera?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xjenderfloip View Post
    Pretty cool!
    Now next step a toy robotarm for 52$ to hold the camera?
    I was thinking there must be a way to build a coolant-proof housing that has some kind of shutter like a toolchanger carousel. Then you could bolt it down at a location and program a little sequence to move the tool into position for an insert check.

    The photos look great--just like the ones in the Sandvik book from their online course.

    Cheers,

    BW
    CNC Cookbook: Blog

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    Quote Originally Posted by BobWarfield View Post
    I was thinking there must be a way to build a coolant-proof housing that has some kind of shutter like a toolchanger carousel. Then you could bolt it down at a location and program a little sequence to move the tool into position for an insert check.

    The photos look great--just like the ones in the Sandvik book from their online course.

    Cheers,

    BW
    CNC Cookbook: Blog

    That is the idea Bob, why train people with these beautiful photos when they cant see the tool like that anyway. Not that the photos are wasted but lets face it if you have a way that works and it is cheap enough why not include that capability with the control.

    As for the other, yes it has been brought up once or twice with my friends as we talk about how to use this thing. The only problem is you need mirrors or multiple cameras to get the side of the insert you want to see. Everyone is different you know... But still a plausible idea. The guys at Okuma already have software that is made to keep track of parts and insert life, now they can insert a photo of the tool and use that to make a determination of when to change the insert. Before they just use torque or power changes.

    Charles

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    I have that exact same microscope though not loaded at a machine. We bought it for inspection of parts and tools. I honestly think it is a POS for optics and such and pic quality sucks but you get what you pay for. We are looking for something better.

    I will say that the real time display has come in handy several times and it is nice to grab a pic of what you are looking at to send somewhere. We had a real problem with some thread inserts and I will able to grab a nice, close up pic of our issue and send it to the OEM. There was just no disputing our problem once I showed them a pic of theirs and their competitors. Proof in the pictures!! Then they had to find something else to blame...

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    Pics on mine are just fine, at least as far as I need them to be but like you said you get what you pay for. I suppose you may get unlucky and get a crappy one. I have dropped mine several times, had to put it back together once and it still seems to work just fine. Dropping it in the coolant pan wont be a good idea though.

    There are some different models, as I bought mine a year ago just to play with it, I got the cheapest one I saw. If it ever breaks I might try one of the more expensive models just to see if there is any difference.

    Charles

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    IMO, just not enough resolution for microscopic type work. Just too grainy. Sure looks like it works slick on the machine though and that would damn cool to just reach in with your scope to inspect tools in a lathe. that can always be a bitch

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    Excellent idea Charles. @$59, that would pay for itself in no time. No more taking an insert out to look at it, see that it's still pretty OK, but then think.......we'll, I've already got it out, may as well just go ahead and turn it.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tonytn36 View Post
    Excellent idea Charles. @$59, that would pay for itself in no time. No more taking an insert out to look at it, see that it's still pretty OK, but then think.......we'll, I've already got it out, may as well just go ahead and turn it.
    In that regard it would pay for itself pretty quick eh..


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