Locating A Tool Changer/Probe Changer In Polyworks

Published by CMMXYZ on April 4, 2022

PC-DMIS Tech Tip:

This is a video tutorial on how to locate a Tool Changer/Probe Changer in Polyworks.

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Welcome to a new Tech Tips video by CMMXYZ. In this video, let's locate a tool changer, also known as Probe rack or Probe changer using PolyWorks. Tool changer is a mechanical rack that holds the detachable component of the probe like stylus holders and modules to make an automated switch to reduce programming time. Before locating the tool changer, first, calibrate the probe modules. I've calibrated three probe modules for this video, then clamp the tool changer in the CMM. To learn how to calibrate a probe, please check out a video on how to calibrate a probe in PolyWorks by CMMXYZ. After calibrating the probe, it's time to define a tool changer. Go to Probe Device Properties icon, then in Probe Device Properties dialogue box, we have Reference sphere tab, where we can define a reference sphere. Tools tab, where I have my three probe modules. Then the Tool changer tab where we define the tool changer. I'll come back to the Tool changer ports tab later in this video. In Tool changer dialogue, go to Add icon, and then in Definition tab define the Tool changer. I have MCR 22 changer with four ports, but you can select your tool changer appropriately using the drop-down and set the number of ports.

Next, left to right orientation is the direction in which the tool changer is clamped according to the CMM axis. My tool changer is clamped in X+ direction of the CMM axis and the up orientation is Z+. Next in Configuration tab, check on Approach position. Approach position marks the start point from which the tool goes to switch the modules. Move the probe to a safe distance from the tool changer and click on Read position to populate the XYZ coordinates of the approach position. Keep the tool orientation at A0, B0. Set the approach speed, that is the speed at which the probe moves towards the tool changer, Docker distance, that is the distance from which the probe moves at Docker speed, and Coupling which is the speed used when the probe is being switched. I'm keeping all the values at its default value. Next in Compensation tab, leave all the values at default as there is no port center offset. For naming the tool changer, either set it at automatic where a default name is given or give a specific name, then click on Create to create the Tool changer. After creating the tool changer. You can observe that there's a warning symbol warning us that the tool changer hasn't been located. Apply the changes and click on OK. Then to locate the tool changer choose a calibrated probe and make sure you have the same probe component on the machine. Then go to Reference sphere icon and use the drop-down to select Locate tool changer icon. Then select the Tool changer from the drop-down and click on CNC probe. Follow the instruction and take a point on the back of port one using the probe. Then click on Continue to start the locating process.

Once the locating process is completed, you can assign the probes to the required ports. To assign the ports, again, go to Probe Device Properties icon and go to Tool changer ports. Here, assign the ports in the Paths and Tools column and then in Paths column choose the module of the probe component and then in Tools column, choose the probe name going in that port. I have probe 3 by 40 in port one with TP20 standard first module, probe 4 by 20 in port two with TP20 medium force module, probe 2 x 30 in third port with TP20 standard force model. Since I'm not using the last port, I leave it empty. Then apply the changes and click OK. Now, when you change the tool in PolyWorks, the machine automatically moves and switches to probe using a tool changer. This was a video on locating a tool changer. Thank you for watching the video.

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