ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

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swissi
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ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by swissi »

ProbeApp Version 2 has officially been released and offers now the ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets with the new “Tool Offsetter” module which is a Tool Offset Manager integrated into the ProbeApp.
Checkout the updated ProbeApp User Guide for detailed information about all the features.

Pic1.png

As I have seen on many forum posts, configuring and using the correct Tool Height Offset method can be a very confusing subject as the method that should be used differs based on machine and tool holding type. I have to admit that I personally struggled with this subject at the beginning as CNC12 does not have a clear built in guidance to select the correct method and I had to do a lot of searching and reading to find the answers. But even then, when I was not using my machine for a few weeks I had to go back to my notes again to make sure I’m setting Tool Offsets correctly.

The ProbeApp Tool Offsetter is designed to put an end to this confusion. When the Tool Offsetter is started for the first time, it will walk you trough a Guided Setup Questionnaire and will configure the correct Tool Height Offset Method automatically based on the answers to those questions. If a method has been configured, this method will be enforced and there’s no more guessing what method to use and how to use it even when you come back after a few weeks of not using the machine.

Machines with fixed Tool Holding and a fix distance between the Z-Home position and the machine table can use a simplified method by setting a fixed Reference Height at the Z-Home position and measure all Tool Height Offsets as the distance from the Z-Home position to the point where the tool touches the Tool Setter. This method only works reliably if the Z-Homing process has an acceptable, repeatable accuracy. If the machine is homed with a Servo Index Pulse (ZRI) there’s no need to verify the accuracy but depending on the type of homing switch, it might not be as accurate as you think it is and it’s recommended that you check the homing accuracy before you use this method.

The Guided Setup does include a process to test the Z-Homing accuracy by re-homing the Z-Axis multiple times and re-measure the distance from the Z-Home position to the top of the Tool Setter and it will tell you the maximum deviation that occurred on all measurements.

Pic2.png
Pic3.png
Pic3.png (9.81 KiB) Viewed 472 times

Checkout the Tool Offsetter User Guide for detailed information about all the features.

Here’s a screen shot of a typical "ProbeApp-Tool Offsetter” screen in Reference Tool Method mode. Right-Click the screen shot to open it in a separate browser window and than read the legend below with a description of all the features:

Pic4.jpeg
Legend:
  • 1) Shows which Height Offset Measurement Option is currently Active
  • 2) Tool Information is read from the currently open job file and if the Diameter in the CNC12 Tool Library doesn’t match the Tool Info from the job file it will be highlighted with red font on yellow background
  • 3) & 5) If a Tool that’s being used in the currently open job file has a height offset of 0, it will also be marked with red font on yellow background (unless the tool is the reference tool)
  • 4) The currently active tool is marked as such and if any tool information is found in the currently open job file it will be displayed here
  • 6) The Manual Positioning check box allows to mark tools that are oversized or have an odd shape like a fly cutter that need to be positioned manually with the Tool Setter. The probing cycle will prompt for manual positioning before probing
  • 7) The Height Offset of the Reference Tool is forced to be 0
  • 8) No Height Offset measurement is possible for the Reference Tool as it needs to be set at 0
  • 9) The Reference Tool is highlighted with blue and it the TP is the reference tool it will also show the Input the TP is connected to
  • 10) If a Diameter Offset # or Height Offset Number doesn’t match the Tool#, it will be marked in red font on yellow background. Also tools with the same D# or H# will be synced if a change is being made.
  • 11) The currently set Reference Height is being displayed with the date and time when it was established. If you try to measure a new tool height offset and the Ref Height was set more than 24 hours ago, you will get a warning that you might need to establish a new reference height first.
  • 12) This button is used to set the Reference Height. 11) and 12) will not be displayed in the Fixed Home Method
  • 13) The Return function will re-open the Tool Offsetter after a probing cycle has been completed
  • 14) Allows to fine tune the probing cycle as needed
  • 15) Will give detailed Information about the currently active Reference Height Method and which cycles of the ProbeApp should be used. The Instructions are dynamically built based on configuration settings.
  • 16) This button will change to SAVE if any tool information has been changed that needs to be updated in CNC12

Other new Features of ProbeApp v2
  • Enhanced Dual Probe Tool Setter cycle for machines without fixed Tool Holdings. This cycle now also supports the combination of a Touch Probe and a fixed Tool Setter. Also the Tool Setter screen now shows the currently active tool on the bottom of the screen. The probing cycle with the fixed TT does support the “Manual Positioning” flag of a tool set in the new Tool Offsetter module. If a tool has been flagged for “Manual Positioning”, the probing cycle with the fixed TT will pause above the TT with the message to manually positioning the tool. Pressing the Cycle Start button will continue the probing cycle.
  • New temporary default Probing Cycle overwrite function when the ProbeApp starts. In version 1, the macro file mfunc58.mac could be customized to directly open a certain probing cycle instead of the main menu by calling the ProbeApp.exe file with a parameter like this: ProbeApp.exe -ToolSetter. Changing the mfunc58.mac file like this changes the default behavior of the M58 command so pressing the Probing Button on the VCP will always open the ProbeApp now in ToolSetter mode. If it is preferred that the M58 command always opens the ProbeApp with the Main screen but would like to have the M6 command to open the ProbeApp-ToolSetter directly, the temporary overwrite function can be used by setting the CNC12 variable #29500 to a certain value before calling the ProbeApp with a M58 command. Check out the Tool Setter User Guide on how to use this function.
  • Selection frames are now much more visible with a bright, red selection frame
    Pic5.png
  • The Bore Cycle has a new option for a 3-point only cycle. This can be used if the center of a bore needs to be probed that doesn’t provide a full 360 degree surface
    Pic6.png


Here some more links showing the features of the ProbeApp and the ProbeApp in Action:


The new ProbeApp V2 is available now to all Supporters. You can become a Supporter by making a donation in the amount of whatever you think is reasonable. Contact me at swissi2000@gmail.com if you are interested in becoming a Supporter and get the ProbeApp.

If you have any Probing Devices you should definitely look at the ProbeApp as it will give you many options you don't get with the CNC12 built in probing cycles. If you have a Tool Setter and ever wondered if you are setting the Tool Height Offsets correctly, you must get the ProbeApp V2 as it will make things a lot easier and more transparent. If the ProbeApp does safe you from a broken tool by setting the Tool Height Offsets properly, you'll be happy you made that investment to become a Supporter.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them in this thread for everybody to see.

-swissi
If you are using Fusion 360, check out my CNC12 specific Post Processor
If you are using a Touch Probe, Tool Touch Off Device or a Triple Corner Finder Plate, check out my ProbeApp

Contact me at swissi2000@gmail.com
mrichards
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Re: ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by mrichards »

Just installed this on an OAK servo system.
The app is fantastic, as was the support from swissi to get it going.
Really great work!
------------
Mark
Upnorth
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Re: ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by Upnorth »

I want to echo what mrichards said. I have been using probe app for a little while now and highly recommend it. It simplifies probing and has plenty of probe cycles to cover any situation I have needed so far. Its worth trying and after you use it to set up a few parts you will wonder how you ever got along without it.
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Re: ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by Nigelo »

As said above, Swissi has done some really good work with his Probe App especially v2 which I now use and is a serious addition that perfectly compliments Centroid's already excellent products.

I would also like to thank Swissi for his very rapid support for sorting out some issues that were particular for my router setup and intended usage
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Re: ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by cnckeith »

right on!
When requesting support READ THIS POST first. http://centroidcncforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=60&t=1043

Please ALWAYS post a FRESH report. To make a report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ecvg0VJp1oQ.

(We pride ourselves on providing timely solid technical support but, without good information we may not be able to help and/or reply until such information is posted.)
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Re: ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by Sword »

Ditto! Buy yourself an early Christmas present and support Swissi's excellent work! 8-)
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Re: ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by RogDC »

Like others have said, Excellent work from Swissi on this App. The latest version is great with the included Tool Offsetter. It makes finding the reference point on your workpiece very easy.
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Re: ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by Upnorth »

Is there any chance the z height repeatability test could be expanded to the X Y axis also. I some times get an error of about .003" with my probe. Usually though the probe repeats within .0005". I would be good to have a test available to verify if the error is with the probe. It seems random. I measure a 2 4 6 block to test it. If I get an error on the first test it is usually correct on every following test. It is not a Centroid probe.
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Re: ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by swissi »

Upnorth wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:46 pm Is there any chance the z height repeatability test could be expanded to the X Y axis also. I some times get an error of about .003" with my probe. Usually though the probe repeats within .0005". I would be good to have a test available to verify if the error is with the probe. It seems random. I measure a 2 4 6 block to test it. If I get an error on the first test it is usually correct on every following test. It is not a Centroid probe.
When you use the Z-Home position as the FIXED Reference Height, the repeatable accuracy of the Z-Home position is very important as it directly impacts the tool height offsets that you store in the Tool Offset Library. That's why I have added the repeatable accuracy test of the Z-Home switch to the ProbeApp so users can verify if the accuracy is good enough or if they should use the Reference Tool Method instead.

The accuracy of the home switches for the X and Y axis has no impact on your probing results and that's why I haven't added any tests for them. There are many factors that can impact probing accuracy like backlash caused by the ball screw and/or motor coupler/gear box, binding, lack of proper probe calibration, probing speeds, deflection off the probe styli or a sticky probe trip mechanism to name a few.

One thing that most cheap probes suffer from is the deflection of the styli. Usually the stem of the probe styli is thin and long. If the force to trip the probe is high, the stem will bend first before it actually engages the trip mechanism. As I have seen from comments on this forum, many think you can correct that deflection by just using a pre-travel compensation but this is only half of the truth. Fact is that the trip force is not uniform in all direction and can vary a whole lot depending of the angle the probe gets tripped. On some probes I measured a difference of over 50gram of force depending on the trip angle. If you google "Deflection Calculator" you find websites where you can enter the diameter, length and material of your style and it will tell you how much your styli will deflect and you will find out that if your styli is thin and long, 50g of force does create a not insignificant deflection that is very difficult to compensate for. To compensate for this properly, you would need to create a 360 degree deflection compensation map and you would need to know at what angle the probe was tripped.

Cliff Hall (threadexpress) has made a great video about styli deflection:




The case you are describing where the first measurement is off and then gets better looks like a sticky trip mechanism that settles better into center position as more probing cycles are made. In no case can I see the accuracy of the X and Y home switch playing a role in the probing accuracy of measuring a 2x4x6 block.

-swissi
If you are using Fusion 360, check out my CNC12 specific Post Processor
If you are using a Touch Probe, Tool Touch Off Device or a Triple Corner Finder Plate, check out my ProbeApp

Contact me at swissi2000@gmail.com
Upnorth
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Re: ProbeApp V2: The ultimate solution for Tool Height Offsets

Post by Upnorth »

I should have been more clear in why I would like to test on the X Y axis. I was not talking about testing the home switches I want to test the accuracy of the switches inside the probe. I was thinking it would be nice to try multiple cycles to see its its off some times. Most of the time its very accurate within a couple of tenths (.0001") I seem to get random errors of about .003".

Probe tip has been calibrated for diameter and pre travel measured. Probe tip has been adjusted for concentricity. The way I measure the error is to put a 2 4 6 block in and use the probe to measure it. I only test it in the X Y going straight down the axis.

I do agree with you that it is likely a sticky probe mechanism. I think I will just buy a better probe.
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