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Author Topic: Laser pointers to set starting mill position  (Read 4355 times)

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Offline bdmsb

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Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« on: November 28, 2009, 11:50:32 AM »
Are there inexpensive laser pointers available to chuck in the mill spindle and point me to a reference point on a work piece? Most common laser pointers are too bright and the spot is too big to set the origin. I built one once out of a "bullet" laser pointer but it was short lived and it seems like there ought to be a commercial one. I have seen expensive optical finders. There must be lower cost options these days.

Offline budman68

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Re: Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2009, 12:22:10 PM »
Unfortunately, the only ready made one of these that "I" know of is the Laser finder:

http://www.lasercenteredgefinder.com/main.html

I heard good things and bad things and even bought one. The stem was bent and it ran out about .020. Told them about it and they kindly offered me a replacement or a new one. Since it was made out of aluminum, I opted for a refund and I ended up building my own with one of these:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.5942~r.91939619

Works great but I do not hold it in the spindle. I have it attached to the headstock on the side and I use a macro to locate the origin of my work. Now to be fair, I know "Rich" on this forum bought some of these and he was unhappy with the line thickness so your mileage may vary.

Dave
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Just because I'm a Global Moderator, don't assume that I know anything !

Dave->    ;)
Re: Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2009, 12:26:35 PM »
Are there inexpensive laser pointers available to chuck in the mill spindle and point me to a reference point on a work piece? Most common laser pointers are too bright and the spot is too big to set the origin. I built one once out of a "bullet" laser pointer but it was short lived and it seems like there ought to be a commercial one. I have seen expensive optical finders. There must be lower cost options these days.


I would strongly recommend either using probing, or a USB camera.   Lasers are just not very precise.  Personally, I find probing to be the fastest, most accurate method.

Regards,
Ray L.
Regards,
Ray L.

Offline bdmsb

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Re: Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2009, 02:11:51 PM »
My work mostly consists of milling operations on plastic materials. I need to index off a corner of a new piece, and the corner is often a raised edge inside the mill vice, too low for a wiggler. My accuracy requirements are modest. But the laser seems to offer something unique ... the ability to run through a program and verify the cut path on the workpiece. This would be a huge asset to me.

Offline Fastest1

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Re: Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2009, 07:03:08 PM »
Dont use a wiggler use a digital probe. Zarzul has them for under 100.00 in the bargain basement section. Work great.
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather, not like the passengers in the car! :-)

Offline bdmsb

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Re: Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2009, 07:28:33 PM »
Google returns no links for "Zarzul".

Offline Sam

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Re: Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2009, 07:43:10 PM »
Zarzul is a member of the forums here. Here is where you should start.....

http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,5004.0.html
or
http://www.wildhorse-innovations.com/
"CONFIDENCE: it's the feeling you experience before you fully understand the situation."
Re: Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2009, 08:58:54 PM »
Zarzul is a member of the forums here. Here is where you should start.....

http://www.machsupport.com/forum/index.php/topic,5004.0.html
or
http://www.wildhorse-innovations.com/

That probe is available for only $100 from Arnie Minear, who actually manufactures them.  You can contact him at  aminear@wyomingwireless.com

Regards,
Ray L.
Regards,
Ray L.

Offline Fastest1

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Re: Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2009, 09:57:58 PM »
Looks like Arnie might be letting others deal his products. The link was from the bargain basement to wild-horse was Arnie's the site claims the probe is designed by AM designs. I wonder who that could be?
I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather, not like the passengers in the car! :-)

Offline bdmsb

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Re: Laser pointers to set starting mill position
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 10:25:55 PM »
I bought this laser edge finder:

http://www.lasercenteredgefinder.com/main.html

It serves my needs perfectly. I'm using it to index off a known point on a work piece I need to duplicate. I find it exceptionally handy for previewing the tool path of a program before I run it, and for measuring positions with the DRO. Thanks for the referral.