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Haimer Measurement Probes

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Andrew Johnston28/06/2012 21:42:57
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4719 forum posts
532 photos

I'm thinking of buying a Haimer Zero Master Analog:

**LINK**

and a Haimer Centro:

**LINK**

for use on both my manual and CNC mills. Does anyone have experience of Haimer equipment, and in particular either of the above items? I'm especially interested in the quality, or otherwise. Of course practical experience of their usefulness, or otherwise, would also be helpful.

Best Regards,

Andrew

Phil P28/06/2012 22:42:33
486 forum posts
128 photos

I have one of these :-

**LINK**

And can say it is a superbly made bit of kit, my only gripe is its physical size.

The one you are looking at would be a better bet if space is limited under the machine spindle.

Phil

Andrew Johnston30/06/2012 09:50:12
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4719 forum posts
532 photos

Hi Phil,

Thanks very much for the heads up on Haimer quality; just the information I was looking for. I'll go ahead and order the items this weekend.

I'm running a Tormach CNC mill and a manual Bridgeport, so not big machines. However the main reason for choosing the Zero Master is that Tormach have standardised on a tooling system based around a 3/4" R8 collet, which I also use on the Bridgeport. Tormach sell the Zero Master and so have an adapter available to convert from 10mm to 3/4", so it'll be easy to use the Zero Master on both CNC and manual. Of course this isn't be true for the Centro, but then I'll be using it less often.

Regards,

Andrew

John Alexander Stewart01/07/2012 13:28:01
750 forum posts
51 photos

Andrew; why not a cnc touchprobe?

I have one (recent order) from cnc4pc; literally currently hooking it up, so I can't give a report yet. (tomorrow??)

Linux-CNC comes with touchprobe routines, so hopefully finding and aligning parts in my CNC mill will become much easier shortly, and the machine will do the work, not me with wigglers, feeler gauges, and all that.

Another JohnS.

Versaboss01/07/2012 14:58:06
414 forum posts
50 photos

Hi all,

Whenever I see one of these probes like the one in Phil's link I wonder for what purpose can the vertical movement of the probe be used? Complicated sentence, but I can't formulate it better. Although I see that in the horizontal plane the instrument works as a (bulky) edge finder, I see no sense in touching a workpiece from above. Don't tell me you know then how far away the spindle is from the work, there is no absolute reference and the milling cutter does not stick out exactly the same distance as the probe ball. So I'm lost what one can do with that instrument.

Greetings, Hansrudolf

Michael Gilligan01/07/2012 20:35:35
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13573 forum posts
586 photos

Hansrudolf,

I think you will find the Z axis lets these probes work as a cost-effective substitute for one of these.

i.e. for Metrology rather than Machine set-up

I remember we had a massive CMM at Kodak in the late 1970s [probably one the first in the country], mostly used to check the plastic mouldings for the little cameras.

MichaelG.

Andrew Johnston01/07/2012 22:04:51
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4719 forum posts
532 photos

John: I've not come across cnc4pc before; looks very interesting, but there are no figures for accuracy or repeatability? I'll be interested to hear your report. I did consider a touch probe. The version of Mach3 that I use has macros for using a touch probe to locate vice jaws, hole centres and work piece X, Y and Z. Indeed the manufacturers of my mill sell a digital touch probe. I've recently seen one in action and very nifty it is too. However, it is eye wateringly expensive and would be rather less useful on my Bridgeport. That's why I went for the Zero Master, it is much cheaper, will be equally good on both CNC and manual mills and I'm prepared to swallow the slightly longer time to set zeros by manual means on the CNC mill. It's got to be quicker than my current method involving fag papers!

Hansrudolf: As Michael says the Z function can be used as a cheap CMM or digitiser. There is however, utility in probing the workpiece in Z. If you make the probe the master tool 0 and set the relative lengths of the cutting tools to the master tool in the tool table, then setting 0 on the work piece with the probe will take into account the variable lengths of the cutting tools.

Regards,

Andrew

Edited By Andrew Johnston on 01/07/2012 22:05:58

Versaboss01/07/2012 22:15:09
414 forum posts
50 photos

Thanks Michael and Andrew, all clear now (more or less). I'm no CNC machinist,unfortunately frown

Greetings, Hansrudolf

Eccentric Engineer01/07/2012 23:35:11
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22 forum posts
3 photos

Hi Andrew

I've been using the Haimer 3D Tastic for a while now, best bit of measuring gear I've ever bought.


I only have manual mills with DRO and got sick of using a combination of edge finders, coax indicators, and dial indicators, to locate edges, hole centres, align the vice and table etc etc. Since I got the Haimer I've not used anything else, just pop it in the collet chuck and it'll do the lot.
I use the vertical movement to reset the swivel table square, or the top of a job in the vice, something a touch probe wouldn't be good at.
It's also useful not having to subtract half the radius of the probe each time.

I got the New Generation one because of the bigger 50mm dial and it's only 4mm longer than the Zero Master Analog
**LINK**

Cheers Gary

Michael Gilligan02/07/2012 07:45:35
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13573 forum posts
586 photos

These do look superb!

It's interesting to see details of How it Works [Patent on Espacenet]

Shame they don't make something much smaller ... My little BCA MkIII uses 11mm o/d collets.

MichaelG.

Chris Courtney02/07/2012 10:46:17
28 forum posts

The cnc4pc touch probe is manufactured by Wildhorse Innovations Inc and is stocked in the UK by Lester Caine. It is availible as both a finished unit and as a kit with a range of shaft sizes. It has a small degree of adjustment to enable the tip to be adjusted to be concentric with the axis of the mounting shaft.

**LINK**

There are quite a number of designs for touch probes around, the best are all based on the original Renishaw patent (now expired) as is the Wildhorse version. I haven't used the this particular probe but I would expect it would work pretty reproducibly in the short term, but would probably require periodic re-setting. Lester is selling a kit for £65+VAT and a completed probe for £80+VAT.

I have been surprised how well a simple silver steel rod held in an insulated collar mounted in a collet works when used as a touch probe with MACH3. Once you have taken the trouble to set up a few touching routine it becomes very quick to find edges, corners and hole centres.

Chris

Edited By Chris Courtney on 02/07/2012 10:47:59

John Alexander Stewart02/07/2012 22:09:08
750 forum posts
51 photos

Chris - thank you for that interesting posting, and link.

Andrew - got it running yesterday. Still needs some sorting out in my brain.

- Ok - LinuxCNC - added one line in the config file (as per documentation) to get the lpt port pin sorted out. (eg, it comes in on my system as "parallel port pin 13"

- Simple tests worked really well. It was like "wait a sec - it worked??" so I ran tests again... It worked a second time.

- I have a Gecko G540 that has a very low current pull up resistor on each input, so I wired the probe so that the LED was reversed; the LED when wired normally pulled the line low. (yes, I could add a pull up resisitor to provide more current, but it's not a big deal)

- Like you, I used to use paper, edge finders, whatever. We'll see how accurate this is when it's all tuned up as per the instructions, well detailed in the links via Chris.

- on my KX1-with-non-stock-controller, there's not a lot of space from spindle to work table; noted that there's a shorter probe available, which will reduce accuracy a bit but will give another inch of clearance.

So far, so good.

Another JohnS.

Andrew Johnston02/07/2012 22:51:42
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4719 forum posts
532 photos

The story so far: I ordered the Zero Master and Centro online from Haimer on Sunday morning. Got an email acknowledgement, and an email from Haimer this morning saying they had passed the order onto their UK distributors. No mention of a UK distributor on their website. This afternoon I got a quotation from the UK distributor, exactly as per the Haimer prices on their website, except that euros have been replaced by pounds!? Given the exchange rate today that means I'm paying a premium of about 20% just to buy from the UK distributor. And to add insult to injury I'll be paying UK VAT at 20% instead of German VAT at 19%.

I'm going to 'phone the UK distributors tomorrow morning and ask if they really mean pounds, and if so ask what 'value' they're adding that justifies an extra £120 over the euro prices.

Regards,

Andrew

Richard Parsons03/07/2012 07:52:44
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645 forum posts
33 photos

Ah Andrew you have run into that problem. I call it ‘Zoning’. It is probably illegal in the E.U. as it is a restrictive practice preventing the true open market. If I want something which either I cannot get in Hungary (the local agents do not stock it and do not want the bother of ordering it), or they have a minimum order quantity I sometimes go to Becs (Vienna). There I can buy it if it is in stock. They ask me for an address for the paper work I have to given an Austrian address or the sale gets cancelled and that is it. Their reasons range from “we cannot support you” to “it outside out licence. You will have to use the Hungarian main agent etc”. Actually the Germans are the worst they will not even talk with you if you do not speak German.

But all is not lost, petition the European Parliament to investigate a case of ‘Restriction of Trade’ quoting what has happened etc and wait. The Hungarians got a slapping for doing it as did the French suppliers. I know it will not help you as it will not change anything, but you get a warm glow when you read the results.

KWIL03/07/2012 10:08:32
3106 forum posts
56 photos

Andrew I have sent you a email on this subject.

K

Andrew Johnston08/07/2012 11:20:43
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4719 forum posts
532 photos

The saga continues........

I called the UK distributor and had a brief, but unsatisfactory conversation, along the lines of the person concerned didn't set the prices, it was a straight euros to pound conversion, no added value, take it or leave it. So I left it; companies like that deserve to go out of business.

However, I do have a cunning plan, so watch this space.

Regards,

Andrew

Andrew Johnston28/07/2012 11:24:24
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4719 forum posts
532 photos

The cunning plan is now coming to fruition. After my unsatisfactory conversation with the UK distributor a further internet search revealed a metrology company in St. Albans that advertised all the Haimer kit, for purchase online. Their prices were much more reasonable, basically Euros converted to £, give or take a few percent. A couple of days after ordering I get an email to say everything was out of stock, will be available at the end of July, do I want to cancel or wait. I wasn't entirely surprised; I had wondered how a company operating out of a small industrial unit could afford to hold stock of all the items shown on the website. These included high end slip gauges and hardness testers; not cheap items! Anyway, I said I'd wait, and then had second thoughts, as Haimer had a note on their website saying that prices would be going up at the beginning of August. After a 'phone call to the company I got an email stating that the price would not go up; the price I'd been quoted would be the price I paid.

I got all the items ordered, minus one additional probe, this week. So far I've only had time to unpack and look at the items, not had a chance to try them yet. First impressions are that the build quality is excellent; really nice bits of kit. Nicely packaged, complete with short manuals and a calibration certificate.

I am now looking forward to sending an email to the UK distributor 'explaining' why they didn't get the business!

Regards,

Andrew

Pete30/07/2012 23:02:11
78 forum posts

Andrew,

I have a Haimer digital unit,. It's doubtful anyone could find fault with Haimers quality. I can understand and fully sympathise with you about some of the problems with various dealers and the games they happen to play just like you've experienced. Since I wasn't planning on using mine on a second mill, I haven't given it all that much thought. But given the way the Haimer is adjusted and set up for zero runout for that exact machine, it may or may not be practical to try and use it on two different mills. But I could be completlly wrong, so please post what you learn. This tool is about the only reason I can see that there's that internal set screw within a R-8 taper since it allows the endmill holder you would use to hold the Haimer unit to be inserted and be sure it's always at the same position each time in the spindle.. Most or any other spindle taper would need a permanent mark on the endmill holder and the spindle to use for alignment.

You will not have a good day if you happen to drop that unit. As far as I know there's no one in all of North America that can repair them. I can't say if there's anyone in your area that can. For myself, I'd need to return it to Haimer.

Pete

Andrew Johnston31/07/2012 21:32:51
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4719 forum posts
532 photos

Hi Pete,

Thanks for the info. I hadn't really thought about the issues of runout when using the indicator on two different mills.

I did a few tests using the indicator on the CNC mill this evening. I zero'd the indicator in one position and zero'd the relevant CNC axis. I then turned the indicator through sucessive right-angles, zero'd it and noted what the CNC readout said. Total deviation across all four points was about 0.04mm. Not particularly good. The runout of the spindle and collet is less than 0.01mm, probably about 0.006mm by estimate. At this stage I'm assuming that most of the extra runout is caused by the holder that the indicator sits in. It uses a single side screw to hold the indicator, which is bound to make it run slightly eccentric. I need to play around and see what results I get. I also need to try the indicator on the Bridgeport, once I've swung the ram end for end to replace the slotting head with the milling head.

At some point down the track I might fiddle with the setting screws on the Haimer, but definitely not at the moment!

Regards,

Andrew

PS: Dooooh, of course what I should have done is noted how the deviation varied with the position of the screw.

On edit: Just tried it again; total deviation now 0.025mm as shown on the computer screen. I'm not doing precision work, so I'd be happy with 0.02mm or better. I need to give everything a good clean and then try again. I'm not convinced about the screen readings versus the slide move either, as the CNC mill is driven by stepper motors and is thus open loop. It'll be interesting to try the indicator on the Bridgeport against a quality (Newell) DRO. The position of the screw didn't seem to matter that much, although I will replace the screw with a home made one. While bought from the US the holder is Chinese, and one thing the Chinese can't do is use decent quality set screws. This one is brass and it's still rubbish. Oh, and the hex socket didn't match any Allen keys I've got.

Edited By Andrew Johnston on 31/07/2012 21:54:51

Pete31/07/2012 23:57:13
78 forum posts

Hi Andrew,

Your more than welcome. These units once fully adjusted are an extremly accurate piece of equipment. I ran into a problem with mine due to inexperience with it till I figured out where my seemingly random results were coming from, and that just might possibly be what your seeing. During initial setup, your edge needs to be spotlessly clean and burr free. The same goes for when your using them. It can be easy enough to pick up a false edge just due to a burr, metal chip, or if your trying for close to jig boring accuracy and a dead on zero, even a film of heavy cutting oil could I guess be just enough to throw your results out to get that very accurate zero adjustment.

By now you've gone thru your manual and do understand what's needed. But others who might be considering buying one will be reading this also. You did mention using a collet to test the unit. For those that don't know it yet. Haimer recommends using an end mill holder as a dedicated holder for these units. Ideally you'd never remove it from that tool holder since for the final adjustments you zero the 3-D units probe to the spindles center line using Haimers built in adjustment screws. All or at least most spindles and collets have enough runout that the end mill holder is the much better way to go to get repeatable results. Now if your spindle and collets show .0001 for runout? Then you don't even need to be reading this.

These are a pretty expensive bit of tooling, There certainly not required for Model Engineering or almost anything I can think of done in a home shop. To get the most out of them, they do need the machine their used on to have a very good DRO. Considering their quality and accuracy, I think that their high price is justified.

I've also yet to understand just why most or all Chinese built tooling still has those soft and it seems non standard allen wrench openings. That's more than a bit frustrating.

Pete

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