CMM software, fixturing, training
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  1. #1
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    Default CMM software, fixturing, training

    I have over a decade of inspection experience, but I'm still rather new when it comes to CMMs. I've mostly tought myself everything that I know, and I am the only person at my job who knows how to run/program the CMM. Anyway, I started getting good at it, and now I'm swamped with requests, etc. etc. Anyway, long story short, it looks like they're finally going to invest in some much needed equipment that I've been begging for for a long time. Don't know what kind of budget I'll be working with, but either way, I want to make sure this is money well spent so I have a some questions listed in order of precedence.

    The CMM in use is a CORDAX DISCOVERY D8 (26" x 22") using Nikon CMM Manager software. The parts I typically inspect the most are precision machined parts, plastic molded parts, and a few metal stamped parts.


    CMM Fixturing/Gridplates:
    I need this in the worst way. I've been working with these junky acrylic grid plates with 1/4 x 20 standoffs from a retired vision system. I don't even have all the standoffs that the system originally came with, and I have only two clamps. I've resorted to using binder clips, and all kinds of other jury rigged nonsense to hold parts down. I think the best thing to do here is get a good package deal, and probably have it customized for our CMM.

    CMM Calibration Ring:
    I am told that I need one of these to inspect internal diameters to tenths. I have never seen one, and I don't know exactly what this is. But I consistently get a .0004" oversize when I inspect internal diameters, and a CMM calibration ring would supposedly solve this.

    Stylus Rack/TP20 Modules:
    Since I am now writing programs to be used by other inspectors, I feel like I need one of these. Particularly due to some of the small styluses that I use. I would really like a dedicated module for my .3mm stylus. I also have some .2mm styluses on the way to try out for a GR&R next week.

    CMM Software:
    CMM Manager seems to work okay, but it seems to crash more often than I think it should. Calibration is due next month, so I'm going to ask about the latest version to see if that helps any. Anyway, most places I've been around seem to use either PC DMIS or Calypso. So I wonder of CMM manager is really adequate. One of the things that makes me wonder about this was a situation I was on the other week while constructing some features. Basically, I had to determine the length of a cylindrical feature at the bottom of these radiuses. I feel like I should have been able to project points from the radiuses on the bottom of the cylinder which I was able to do, but it took a ridiculous amount of steps to do it. I got the dimension, but I just don't think I should have had to construct some satanic looking occult symbol to do it lol.

    Training:
    I don't know exactly where I stand on this, but I would like to learn more, and I am reaching the limits to what I can teach myself from manuals and help guides. Currently I'm trying to figure out how to use the "move part" function for inspections that require the part to be flipped to expose other features.I also would like to import CAD files properly. I also want to start utilizing the crash protection, and safe cube features now that other people will be running my programs.


    Anyway, I know it's alot. Just looking for input. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    For fixturing I like rayco. Nice grid plates and fixturing accessories.

    I'd say the same thing about pcdimas crashing as your said about Nikon.

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  4. #3
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    Software:

    Sadly, PC-DMIS is, by far, the worst CMM language I have ever used (out of about a dozen). PC-DMIS is buggy, makes more types of fundamental calculation errors than i can elaborate on here, isn't laid out logically, and crashes regularly.

    Calypso is one of the best, but not sure if it will work on an old Cordax.

    One of the only languages I haven't tried is open DMIS, but have only heard good things about it.

  5. #4
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    Any ideea what would work on CMM Mitutoyo Crysta Plus 544 ?

  6. #5
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    I second Rayco for fixturing. They're kinda high, but good quality. You could get out the door with a plate, stand-off magnets, standoffs, and tension springs for for $5K ish or less. Depends on the size of the plate and how big the standoff kit.

    For a reliable ring gage, Glastonbury Southern Gage will make you anything you want, all traceable to NIST. We use a Quik Chek triangle of theirs here. It has 3 bores of known size, with distances between of known size, with angles between of known size. It is also traceable to NIST. They run $5K and cost $500 every two years to send them back for calibration/verification.


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