Totally confused on older CMM's and what you can or cannot do w/ PD-dmis (for example
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  1. #1
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    Default Totally confused on older CMM's and what you can or cannot do w/ PD-dmis (for example

    The Son and I started looking on ebay one eve just to see about used CMM prices. I have tried to do some homework, read some basics, and even called a few CMM resellers. I'm confused as a CMM newb on what I could or could not do with (say a) $4 or $5K used CMM from the 80's or 90's w/ some form of ancient PC and (usually) some PC-DMIS version? Say 4.x version (I see 4.3 and 200x listed often for versions ).

    I just wanted a primer on what it's high level capabilities are? Anyone have a paragraph in them on what we could do as a father/son start-up w/ a older manual CMM w/ some type of early CMM software package? I also see some others from other vendors but this PC-DMIS seems most common.


    Say I want to inspect a part. Plate ID 123: Suppose it is 4" x 8" x 1/4 thick 1018 steel. Has 3 holes. OD.5" 1" and 1.5" inches. I want to test and report on several data points to pass/fail it, record the data on the test, and then print a report (or stuff it into a XLS or DB CSV file). Is that in the realm of this type of buy? again... clueless but seems like some basic that would serve us and save some time and cost ?).

    - Could I put the plate down on the manual CMM, pull up (some job ID) on the PC / CMM package indicating we'll check and report on plate ID 123. Maybe a wizard on-screen provides the walk-thru and instructs me through some type of testing routine?

    - Can I import DXF (at least) of plate ID 123 and then in some fashion via the PC-DMIS program quickly and w/o a programming degree setup a part test procedure that would get reused over and over.

    Just wondered if there is a good reason or not to keep looking at something like this for us?
    2 vendors just wanted to stuff me into a full-on used CMM retrofit system w/ crazy $16K starting points and I understand that's cheap in CMM world but we are just not there.

  2. #2
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    I've been programming and operation a CMMs for about a decade.
    There are so many different option you can get with a CMM, a lot more info is needed to truly help you.

    What size is the CMM?
    In my opinion manual CMMs are kinda useless and a pain to operate and not as accurate as DCC machines or portable these days.
    It could be very difficult to operate a large manual CMM.

    What head is attached?
    There are several different head types that can be attached, manual head, fixed head, automatic, continuous...

    What level of software?
    PC-DMIS comes in 3 distinct favors, PRO, CAD, and CAD++ with different capabilities and there are different modules you can add on too. There are probably a dozen of those.

    The last point i have to make is about the price. The company i work for bought a new small (5,7,5) machine last year for 70, 80 grand. What condition do you think a machine that is less than 10% of the original price is in?

    I think you should look at portable, romer machines.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by countryguy View Post
    I just wanted a primer on what it's high level capabilities are?
    Your best bet to get those basic questions answered is to ask the folks that sell new ones. They will be the most eager to have you understand that you -need- one, and you need to buy one of theirs. Work backward toward used bargains from there. Share what you learn on this forum. Most any answer or comment you'll get from this forum will be negative with the words "you can't do that" most likely included.

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