Another project; 1980s Mitutoyo CMM resurrection
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  1. #1
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    Default Another project; 1980s Mitutoyo CMM resurrection

    Evenin folks,

    You might have spotted a thread I had about a DIY CMM a while back. Someone suggested I get an old one and screw with that.

    Ended up being exactly what I did. I have a J403 in my basement. Heavy bugger; weighs 1800# all together. I finally got around to taking it apart today, and I think I understand it a bit better. Weíll see how many photos I can cram on here:



    Apparently the Z-axis is manual, while the x and y axes are semi-auto or something. Thereís a lock and fine adjustment, but no screw.



    Nothing too complicated here; couple of switches, servo and screw. The weird thing is, the wheels are on a linkage that seems to engage by air. Iím not sure I understand why. I guess this system is supposed to be convertible from DCC to manual? Not sure why youíd want to, but OK.



    This is where the encoder signals end up apparently.



    I think, I donít know, that this might be the box for the probe signal to go through. Maybe? I guess? Not really sure what it is. Company went out of business apparently.



    Again, no clue what this is. It takes the same plug as the control box, which makes me think itís the servo drivers. Iíll have to take it apart tomorrow and see.

    Itís an exciting project. Even if I can simply get the encoders to send a signal, I could retrofit the thing with new screws and servos. It came with a copy of Virtual DMIS, which is kinda cool. Itís not exactly my top priority, but itíd be cool to hear what you guys know about the stuff I donít. More to come.

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    It’s a little late but IMO any brand of CMM is better than mitutoyo for one specific reason: The PCI card that connects our CMM to a PC does not come with a driver that will support an OS past Windows XP. If you want to upgrade, well I hope you don’t mind shelling out $10-15k for the new software just to get the driver, even if you want to use another manufacturers software because everything goes through that card.

    Even better, the mitutoyo rep told us that the software hasn’t really changed in the past 15 years we’ve had it so it would be that $10k investment for a Windows driver.

    I don’t even want to think what you’re going to be limited to with a 80’s vintage CMM.

    I would never put one in my own shop.

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    The wheels being engaged by air is effectively an axis release. Our LK was the same, with the original controller you could disengage the drives with buttons on the control and move it around by hand. When I did the retrofit I bypassed that so that the traction system is always engaged. I have talked about the retrofit I did on here before, no need to repeat it unless you have specific questions.

    I mentioned in your previous thread about Deva. They have full hardware retrofit kits for manual and DCC machines, and various useful accessories. My experience with them was excellent. Value for money is really very good too, and prices are all clearly displayed on their website. If you go that route then Hazzert's concerns above are a non-issue.

    Their DCC retrofit kit effectively replaces everything on a DCC CMM apart from the motors and scales. You get a pci / pci-e card with regularly upgraded drivers and connectivity to a pretty solid range of inspection software (we use PowerInspect), or I++ support if you need it. Also you get a combined servo amplifier / IO controller unit and a controller with a 3 axis joystick, two buttons and a touchscreen. If you need special interfaces to the scales, they can supply those. The deva card supports Renishaw and Tesa motorized probe heads, can interface to a touch probe with or without a probe interface, and can be paired with a scanning controller for scanning heads and non-contact optical heads.

    All the parts can be bought individually if you don't need the whole kit.

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    I really like the sound of that Gregor, if the machine wasn’t solid except for the XP limitation I’d suggest that to the guys up stairs. Thanks for the lead.

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    BRAINSTORM:

    I take this Mitutoyo giant of a casting and retrofit a Quadra chek 3000 to it. I then slam screws and servos on it and build a Mach3 router-looking machine. I create a probing post to create the programs. Two separate systems that donít communicate much besides ďEnterĒ and ďend.Ē

    Never mind that the Quadra chek 3000 is more than likely out of my price range, how does this sound?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thunderskunk View Post


    I think, I don’t know, that this might be the box for the probe signal to go through. Maybe? I guess? Not really sure what it is. Company went out of business apparently.
    That appears to be a 2 port PS/2 KVM switch. I doubt it has much to do with the CMM itself.

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    I am parting this bad boy. As cool of a project as it might have been, I have better uses of time and space. Replaced with a Renishaw Equator.

    Does anybody need any of the components on said machine? Youíve got first dibs.


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