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Author Topic: Tool diameter measurement  (Read 3236 times)

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Tool diameter measurement
« on: May 21, 2008, 12:33:08 AM »
Has anyone set up a probe or laser reader to measure tool diameter?  Is this possible?

I need to find a way to measure tools over time to compensate for wear so that my part maintain proper dimensions.  I know that tools can be measured manually and then the tool diameter can be offset manually in the tool table.  Can this be automated?

Offline jimpinder

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Re: Tool diameter measurement
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2008, 01:56:32 PM »
Yes - you could, I am sure, use a probe to measure the current diameter of a cutting tool, compare that with the current diameter stored, and either change the diameter, or change the wear factor. You could do this quite simply with a vis basic program.

The problem would be, however, where do you measure the tool from.

If it is across the flutes of a slot drill, then you must be sure that your measuring tool is a right angles to the flute, or you will get an incorrect reading. I cannot think of a way to achieve this with any certainty.

Perhaps the only way would be with an electronic type probe, which triggers when the cutter touches it, and you rotate the cutter at a fast speed and move the probe into it on a slow feed.
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Offline jimpinder

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Re: Tool diameter measurement
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2008, 02:01:18 PM »
My experience with lasers is down to two Maplin lasers shining ot various detectors on my lathe/mill. I am down to less than 1/2 thou accuracy, and with a lens to focus the laser properly, I could get it finer. You could then shine this onto a detector. You could then move the tool in slowly to break the laser beam, but my concerns about the angle of the flutes hold the same argument.
Not me driving the engine - I'm better looking.

Offline DAlgie

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Re: Tool diameter measurement
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2008, 09:32:50 PM »
My experience with end mills that are worn, it is a mill we are talking about here I assume, is that you don't need to measure them, if they are worn you will know it by the noise the cut is making and the surface quality you are getting. To me, either of these degrade, then it is time to simply throw the mill away and put a new one in the holder, simple as that.
   DaveA.
Re: Tool diameter measurement
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2008, 01:20:08 PM »
Thanks for the help.  I think I can use a VB script and measure / compare / update routine to do this.

BTW, I'm using abrasive stones and rubber wheels, so measurements should be accurate enough for my needs.