Offset 3d probe: So crazy it just might work?

Hey Everyone,

I’ve been heavily considering getting one of those fancy 3d probes with the sphere on the end. The nifty ones you can use to touch off on curved surfaces and such. There are a few out there with 1/8" shafts that look promising but they all have the same downfall, they require a tool change.

My dream would be to use something like fusions in process probing to automatically inspect parts and set all sorts of nifty offsets. I know that in this endeavor, the physical aspects are the easy parts. The real challenge here is going to be in software…luckily, I know some people who enjoy a good programming challenge. (Myself included)

So here is what I’m thinking:
I only want to probe against conductive materials so that simplifies things tremendously. (Sorry wood and plastics workers)
We could come up with a tool holder that mounts to the side of the Nomad 3 spindle block. The probe would then be in-line with the spindle. We would just need to measure and offset the z/x of the probe.
The probe would be considered another tool with these pre-defined offsets. I’ve seen this technique done most often with laser cutters and pick/place machines. Usually with a camera for vision systems or a visible laser for setting x/y.

The thing that makes the physical bit tricky is that the probe needs to get out of the way once it’s done! What makes it even trickier is that it needs to reliably get back to the same spot for the next probing.
I’m thinking a retraction or flip up system could work, with a slight preference towards a flip up probe.

Sidenote: I know CM is not going to be the answer here, it seems gSender can be bent to our will though.

I’ll keep this thread up to date with progress and further thoughts but feel free to chime in with anything you like. I’d love your ideas as well as your critiques :wink:

Please see:

That is going to be a great reference, thank you kindly Will.