USB Microscope in a Haas Mill

Thursday, May 12, 2016 3 comments

We are using a microscope in a Haas mill to visually inspect parts for layout accuracy as well as after machining.


vinu-p says:
Thursday, May 12, 2016 at 08:19 AM
Hi robocnc. Email me directly at and I will send it to you directly.
robocnc says:
Friday, April 1, 2016 at 04:48 AM
Hi Vinu-p, you did take a video and posted it. Can I have the link of the video?
vinu-p says:
Monday, February 22, 2016 at 04:27 PM
Here at the Vincennes University HTEC, we have a 600 hour CNC training class for veterans and civilians. It runs 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, for 15 weeks. In it we cover a lot of basic measuring and layout work in the very beginning. After all, if you can’t understand a print and measure the finished part you are not going to be much of a machinist. This “boring” material tends to make some long days even longer and interest in the class begins to waiver until we hit the machines and start making chips. You know, the exciting stuff. In an attempt to reduce the amount of time that they are not on machines we have started using our Haas mills to inspect the NIMS Layout and Bench Work parts. We purchased a USB microscope and connected it to an old laptop and from there we hooked up a flat screen TV. The microscope software has some measuring options but we wanted to “scan” the parts to make a visual inspection of sorts. By adjusting the “Z” height of the microscope you can adjust the amount of zoom. We set ours up so that when we measured a 1/64 th inch increment on the big screen it actually measures 1”. With the zoom set and the part mounted in the vise, we have the student set the work offset using the crosshairs on the TV screen. So, now they are learning about work offsets while we are still doing layout work. Next they call up the appropriate program to inspect the part. OK, now they are learning to navigate the control panel. Then they run the program in single block. This shows them that part measurements are actually coordinates in a CNC program. An added bonus is this has all but eliminated any bickering about if a part is in the tolerance range or not. Especially since a 1/64” tolerance has been blown up to 1” on the screen. We do use a 6” rule to measure right off of the TV screen to see if a part feature is out of tolerance. An inch or less is fine. Anything beyond that looks like a football field and there are no arguments. Instead the discussions have moved from “you’re being too picky” to “OK, now what can I do to make this work?” Our inspection time for the NIMS Layout project is about 4 or 5 minutes including setting the work offsets. Much better than the 10 minutes plus without using the microscope. The program follows the layout lines and arcs just as it would if they were machining the part. Since there are full circles we used the “I and J” method to define the full circles and we get to talk about this ahead of actually writing programs. We follow the same process to inspect the NIMS Bench Work project. The difference is we check it once for the accuracy of the layout work and then again once completed to check the actual locations of the part features. This only works in the X Y axis. Any Z depths still have to be checked manually. But this still is a huge time saver. The total cost we have in all of this was about $100.00. The USB microscope is around $65.00 on Amazon. A USB cable extension was needed to reach the laptop and it was about $26.00 for a 10 ft cable. We already had the TV and laptop. I will be happy to share the CNC programs with anyone that is interested. I do recommend that anyone using this process run a spindle warm up cycle at the end of the day. The reason is as long as the machine is powered up with the servos on and the table is moving there is oil going to the spindle. Too much oil in your spindle may cause it to overheat. Running the warm up program O02020 will help work this excess oil out and prevent the problem. Also there are some machine settings you can use to prevent an accidents such as a tool change, coolant, spindle on and other problems from pushing the wrong button on the control. Below is the header portion for one of our inspection programs. We did take a video of a part being checked and we will be posting it later. % O59162 (NIMS LAYOUT PROJECT INSPECTION) (BOB NASH 2-10-16) (VINCENNES UNIVERSITY HTEC) (RECOMMENDED MACHINE SETTINGS) (SETTING 6 - FRONT PANEL LOCK - ON) (SETTING 9 - INCH) (SETTING 32 - COOLANT OVERRIDE - OFF) (SETTING 76 - TOOL RELEASE LOCKOUT - ON) (SETTING 81 - TOOL AT POWER UP - 0) (RAPID OVERRIDE - 25%) (MOUNT PART IN VISE) (PLACE STEEL RULE ON PART AND FOCUS ON 1/64 SCALE) (ADJUST Z AXIS UNTIL 1/64TH IS MAGNIFIED TO ABOUT 1" ON THE SCREEN) (LINE UP CROSS HAIRS WITH FRONT LEFT CORNER OF THE PART) (SET G54 X Y WORK OFFSETS) (SINGLE BLOCK THROUGH PROGRAM TO INSPECT PARTS)

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