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Fórum » Only in English » Mach3 related issues » Low Profile Tool Height Setter. (A contact probe suitable for electrically insulated tools.)
Low Profile Tool Height Setter.
tweakie Dátum/Date: Szombat, 2012-04-28, 13:45 | Üzenet/Post # 1
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This is something I have been meaning to do for some time now – construct a low profile tool height setter which is suitable for use with diamond and other electrically insulated tipped tools. It is early days yet and I have not yet resolved all the obstacles but where there is a will there is always a way. biggrin

Having designed and tested a simple circuit, perhaps the most difficult part is constructing the PCB so I have decided to tackle this area first. The other mechanical parts should be relatively easy (hopefully).

To keep the profile as low as possible my initial thoughts were to use surface mount components but after a bit of experimentation I found that by making suitable cut-outs and placing the components within the thickness of the PCB this was, by far, the best solution.

The PCB layout was constructed using ‘Abacom Front Designer’ and the vector toolpaths with ‘Vectric VCarve Pro’.

This is my prototype PCB, awaiting it's components (and a bit of delicate soldering).

Full constructional details, of the complete project, will be made available once it has been finalised and tested etc.

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 7824673.jpg(63Kb)


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tweakie Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-04-29, 13:13 | Üzenet/Post # 2
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Another part made this morning.

This is the top cover which has pockets machined to give clearance for the components and the various solder connections.
The PCB has also been modified with the outer diameter increased to 43mm and the central hole reduced slightly. Oh the joys of R & D. biggrin

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 0241596.jpg(66Kb)


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-04-29, 14:00 | Üzenet/Post # 3
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Hi tweakie, nice design!
What will be the switching or sensing element?


H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-04-29, 17:53 | Üzenet/Post # 4
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Hi Amator,

The whole thing is still within my head and the design has not yet been finalised but it is basically a 3 point contact mechanical switch similar in operation to a 'touch probe'.

Tweakie.


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-04-29, 17:59 | Üzenet/Post # 5
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tweakie, I see. Does it mean that the switching point will be at a constant height and can be reached by any tool?
I tried earlier the same method, the biggest problem was the exact height and swithing point to create. Hope You will be succesful, that tool would be useable to set the diamond tip to mirror.


H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-04-29, 18:20 | Üzenet/Post # 6
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Hi Amator,

Quote (Amatőr)
Does it mean that the switching point will be at a constant height and can be reached by any tool?

Yes indeed sir.

I am aiming for a total height of around 12mm.

Tweakie.


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-04-29, 18:28 | Üzenet/Post # 7
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Quote (tweakie)
I am aiming for a total height of around 12mm.

That would be really "low profile"! Made me curious.


H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2012-04-30, 17:44 | Üzenet/Post # 8
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Hi Amator,

Just to keep you in suspense I am not going to disclose what’s inside until I have fitted all the electronic parts (still waiting for one component from China) and tested it to prove that it works but this is the progress so far.

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 3093283.jpg(54Kb)


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-05-01, 09:11 | Üzenet/Post # 9
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tweakie, You know how to prepare the news smile

H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-05-01, 10:54 | Üzenet/Post # 10
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biggrin biggrin

OK then here is a sneak preview of the parts so far. smile

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 8066531.jpg(65Kb)


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tweakie Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-05-06, 13:42 | Üzenet/Post # 11
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Hi guys,

Well, a bit more progress this weekend.
Perhaps the most difficult part, for me, was turning the contact ring from A4 stainless steel and it’s insulator from s.r.b.p.
The components have now been fitted to the PCB and it just needs the 3 core connecting cable for it to be tested.
Just thought you may like to see a few more pictures.

Tweakie.



Csatolások/Attachments: 2079128.jpg(101Kb) · 1630485.jpg(63Kb) · 4910052.jpg(48Kb) · 9307040.jpg(54Kb)


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-05-06, 16:08 | Üzenet/Post # 12
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tweakie, nice work! The contact ring will reach one of the three points?
How could You make a precise 12mm switching height? Or will You measure the height it switches and give it to the software?


H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2012-05-07, 06:40 | Üzenet/Post # 13
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Hi Amator,

Yes, you are quite correct. The contact ring normally bridges the 3 contacts under spring pressure - when any one (or more) of the contacts are opened, the probe triggers a logic low output.
The exact height of the probe is finally measured then this dimension is entered within the Mach3 macro as the offset (in a similar way to the operation of my current 'touch plate').

Tweakie.


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Amatőr Dátum/Date: Hétfő, 2012-05-07, 22:09 | Üzenet/Post # 14
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tweakie, thanks for info! My first idea to make a tool setter was that I need a correct switcing height, for example 20,00mm.
It is really dificult to create so exactly. Much easier to create a tool setter with an "unknown" switching height and then give the software the measuder value it switches. Cool idea!
What does the electronics do? Is it for create 5V from supply voltage or a Scmitt-trigger? Or maybe a debounce purpose.
Anyway what tools did You use to engrave and cut PCB?


H1i.hu
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Kedd, 2012-05-08, 07:54 | Üzenet/Post # 15
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Hi Amator,

Thank you for the compliments.

Although the final product looks extremely simple a lot of thought went into creating a design where the contact points and contact ring are as rigid as possible. This has reduced any contact flexibility to a point below which I can measure and also because switching occurs at the ‘break point’ between these rigid contacts the dreaded ‘contact bounce’ does not really enter the equation.
The electronics are only there to form an ‘electronic switch’ where the probe output is normally logic high (5V) but goes to logic low (0V) when any one (or more) of the 3 contacts is made open circuit. I have tried various, different, circuits to achieve this and overall the simplest design has ultimately turned out to be the most suitable.
I did not get enough time over the weekend to connect the lead and test it all so that will have to wait until next weekend but I have every confidence that it will work (if luck and good fortune is on my side). biggrin
The PCB was isolation routed with a 30 deg. engraving point and pocketed / profiled with a 2mm carbide cutter intended for cutting fibreglass.

Tweakie.


Some of the earlier designs. My routing depth is normally set at 0.2mm but increased track isolation width can be achieved by increasing the Z depth to 0.25mm or 0.3mm.


Tools used.
Csatolások/Attachments: 4363655.jpg(59Kb) · 2921354.jpg(72Kb)


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tweakie Dátum/Date: Szerda, 2012-05-09, 13:03 | Üzenet/Post # 16
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The jack sockets, I had been waiting for, arrived today and I just had to test the probe so took a day off to complete and try it out (I could not wait for the weekend).

IT WORKS !! biggrin biggrin

It works, just as intended, using my existing Auto Tool Zero macro (changing the plate thickness and retract height accordingly).

Tweakie.

Csatolások/Attachments: 3713481.jpg(65Kb)


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elektron Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-05-13, 00:01 | Üzenet/Post # 17
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Hi

Is there a youtube video where it shows what it can do ?

Have a good day and night .
 
tweakie Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-05-13, 14:47 | Üzenet/Post # 18
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Hi elektron,

The purpose is to align the tool tip with the surface of the work and set the Z xis DRO to zero.

Once the work is positioned the probe is placed on top of the work and the axis jogged until the tool is over the probe. Then 'Auto Tool Zero' is clicked, the Z axis lowers until the tool activates the probe then the Z axis is automatically raised 15mm minus the thickness of the probe and the Z axis DRO set to 15.00.
With the probe removed and the 'Goto Zero' clicked - the tool tip will lower to the surface of the work and the Z axis DRO will read zero.

Very poor video but is shows the above probe

Tweakie.


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elektron Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-05-13, 14:55 | Üzenet/Post # 19
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Hi

Many thanks for the video and explanation, if I will get doing something similar I will show you too.

elektron (electron in english)
 
picengraver Dátum/Date: Vasárnap, 2012-05-13, 16:51 | Üzenet/Post # 20
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Tweakie,
That's slicker than STP oil additive.
Regards,
John


I paint with a blue light beam.
 
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