Touch probe for measuring / digitizing
by mpatoulachik, published
It is used to measure and digitize / scan objects by detecting when and where the probe touches the objet.
You will have to print a bunch of parts (could be made with a cnc mill or a lathe as well) and make 2 pcb plates. (could be done by hand if you are good at it.
It requires no soldering on the steel balls (it can be difficult)
This one is made to be used in a CNC mill (43mm collet mount) but the concept can easily be adapted to any kind of CNC machine (3d printers...)
The electrical contact is cut as soon as the probe touches something from any direction.
I use it with my Profiler CNC and Galaad to run it, Mach3 supports it as well.
It gives quite good results scanning at 0,1mm resolution (plunge probing).
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Yes, the thick lines are the outline (cut through) and the thinner ones are isolation routing. I did everything with a 1,2mm mill.
The tracks around the holes are there to isolate the screws from the PCB. The two open circles are supposed to create half-islands to make soldering if the wires easier (retains lead from spreading and limits heat transfer)
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-Cut 3x 3mm drill bits to use the shanks as contact pins (length 13mm)
-Make the PCBs (I milled mine, but etching would be fine as well).
-Find some springs
-Find 6x 4mm steel balls (I got mine from Conrad Electronic)
-Solder two wires on the PCB (in the "C" areas is easier)
-Connect to your CNC input
-To adjust how vertical the probe is, slightly unlock the 3 nuts on top and turn the 3 screws until you get the right position. Then tighten the nuts again.
I use an old 3,2mm mill bit as stylus, it works quite well.
This design requires no soldering on the steel balls.
The parts are printed but can be done with conventional machining tools (lathe, drill press).
In the Zip file you will find all my source files (Solidworks) and also the Galaad files I used to mill the PCBs (best file is "PCB Both")
Some parts represeted as small tubes are actually the springs.
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