Here is a new toy for anyone to make. It is a great addition to my HF Mini Mill CNC. I got the idea from a article in the magazine Digital Machinist. It is a web cam that can be used for many, many things such as accurate optical measuring, locating, centering holes, measuring angles, edge finding and so on.
The conversion is explained in great detail in the article including listing what web cam to use. The one in the article can be bought on line from Walmart for $9.95 but I didn't want to wait so I went to Walmart and bought a different one made by the same manufacture. The only problem was, it had a different shape so I had to make a new housing and trim the board down a lot and add an extra mounting screw hole. It wasn't to much trouble to make and it only took about 7 hours to make on a lathe. The plastic is made from ABS and parts were glued with Weldon. The metal is 12L14 and the screws are 4-40 and 2-56 and a couple of really small self tapping screws from the camera.
The lens it manually focused and I had this thing focusing down to were the lens was literally on the part. I didn't think I needed to be that close so I backed it out to were the lens is now roughly .375 of the part. It is extremely clear even at that range.
The software is Mach 3 with the Point Cloud plug in.
The photos show the story.
Last edited by Micro Rotors; 02-08-2008 at 12:27 PM.
Some screen shots of me dialing it in and focusing. I used a piece of torn paper to focus in on the little hairs of the paper. Also you can see the 64th scale in the picture.
Yup, I found that out yesterday ... Thanks for the link anyhow!
I had loads of fun doing it anyhow, besides I got a ton of self accomplishment doing it myself and seeing it working. Also I like making my own tools when I can.
I have one addition to it that I would like to do. I wanted to add a few LED's to it but, it has to much glare to it. So I have been researching night vision web cams and found out something very interesting. You can convert a regular web cam to night vision by removing the IR filter off the lens and adding two pieces of a photo negative to the lens and it will read very well in the shadows that the camera makes.
I will start on this on Saturday.
Last edited by Micro Rotors; 02-08-2008 at 02:37 AM.
Zarzul has been selling his version for a while. See link.
Another Aussie Adventure in Optical Edge/Centre Finding
EDIT: I re read my post and it sounds like I tried to rain on your parade. Sorry not my intention.
Your Mount looks pretty good. Certainly a lot prettier than my effort.
Don't worry about it, I didn't see it or take it that way at all. I did see yours this morning and it did inspire me though!
Is the software freeware or where did you buy it? A very nice job. yesterday I recived my first real fullsize CNC mill in my home chop (Maho). And this tool must be a very nice adon to teachin holes patterns and so on. I have to make or buy on of these.
Nice work Bill
If you mount the camera on the side of the head and then use the script that Greolt created then you can leave it permanently mounted. Have a look at his laser crosshairs thread and you will get the idea.
Perth, Western Australia
so you get an accuracy of ~0.003 or you get more
The opinions expressed in this post are my own. -Les opinions exprimé dans ce messages sont les mienne
Cool beans Bill,
I started working on mine yesterday.
I got the idea from S_J_H on the Homeshop machinist forum a few days ago.
This will be a real time saver for positioning the spindle at the part origin for my programs.
He also uses Centrecam for lining up on a part.
Think i'll wait to see your night vision conversion first.
http://www.hossmachine.info - Gosh, you've... really got some nice toys here. - Roy Batty -- http://www.g0704.com - http://www.bf20.com - http://www.g0602.com
I am using Mach 3 and the plugin Point Cloud and yes they are free if you just want to use it for this tool or 500 lines or less of code.
Not sure, I will find out tonight though. I just made it and zeroed it in on the full size mill at work yesterday during lunch. It's at home now waiting for me to play with it tonight. I will see exactly what the accuracy is and post the info here.
I am trying not to have it permanently mounted to the machine. I am having the ATC system that Hoss has graciously handed to us and I think thats enough to were I might have to put a counter balance system on the machine in which I am trying very hard to avoid and have done a good job of that so far. I am going to take Hoss's ATC one step further though, I am investigating, well ripping off the design of the carousel from the HAAS VF-3 at work. I just don't have the bed Hoss has and I think I can get it to work without having the thing attached to the machine, just next to it. (Hoss, I might need to pick your brain on controlling this one).
Well I am surprised you didn't already jump on this one! I will be doing the night vision conversion this weekend and that will eliminate the need for lighting. These things really create a bad shadow when you have them down on your work piece. Your thoughts on it being a time saver, are mine exactly!
BTW ... The magazine ... Digital Machinist ... GREAT STUFF!