Caliper2PC - Digital Caliper and PC Based Digital Readout

Caliper2PC - Digital Caliper and PC Based DRO (Digital Readout) & Tachometer for Mill, Lathe, Drilling Machine and 3D Digitizer

HQ500 Metal Lathe HQ500 WiFi Lathe Concentricity Lathe Leinen Lathe with Glass Scale Milling Machine Bernardo Cross Table with Linear Scales Tachometer Proxxon KT 150 Proxxon BFB 2000 Proxxon BFW 40 DRO Tablet Warco Mill Drill Scales XY-Axis Dividing Head Dividing Head Gear Bernardo Mill PROFI 550 LZ Bernardo quantum D210x320E Touchscreen Cross Slide Compound Rest Apron Carriage Tailstock RPM Sensor Shielded Cables Mill DRO Emco Interface Milling Machine Cockpit Pressure Sensors Propellor Android DRO Pantograph Video Edge Finder Glass Scale DigiMAG Digital Caliper Readout Mill Lathe Virtual Interface Excellon Mach3 Modbus Mach3 Caliper2PC Tachometer Tachometer Settings Linear Pattern Bolt Hole Circle Holes Coordinates Cone Calculator Work Piece Center Circle Center Finder Optimum Lathe with Caliper2PC DRO and Touchscreen Top Slide DRO Digital Readout Control Panel Display Settings Relais Control Panel Encoder Caliper with Capture Button Excel Interface Auto Capture Event Controlled Output Ports
.New! New WiFi Interface - Caliper2PC Interface can now be connected through WiFi. Caliper2PC supports analog devices. Strain gauges, pressure sensors, temperature sensors, humidity sensors etc. can be connected. Caliper2PC with digital pantograph function. Caliper2PC with rotary axis DRO. Caliper2PC with Video Edge Finder. Caliper2PC supports glass scales and rotary encoders with 5V TTL quadrature output, the new BIN6 (24 Bit) protocol used in Harbor Freight digital calipers, iGaging DigiMAG ™ (21 Bit) protocol, as well as Mitutoyo Digimatic ™ devices. Caliper2PC software with Feed Rate Display and On Screen Keyboard for Touchscreens! Caliper2PC supports TCP Modbus for Artsoft's ™ CNC software Mach3 ™! CNC machines with step motors can be controlled, lost steps can be found at run time


By Tomer Lanzman


Lowly priced digital calipers have been available on the market for some years. Most of them are produced in China or the Far East and possess a serial interface, over which measuring data can be transferred to other devices. Despite their price ($10 - $20) these calipers are very reliable and precise. Apart from the original use as calipers, they can be used as position display or Digital Readout DRO for linear axles of small machine tools in the same way as linear glass scales. For this purpose digital scale readouts with mounting brackets are available in different lengths. In small CNC machines these scales can serve as reference givers and tool length givers. Even a 3D Digitizer / 3D Scanner for 3D measurements as well as tensile tests can be easily implemented. A complete workshop can be digitized for little money.


Digital Caliper Readout Mill Lathe


fig. 1: Sample Application of the Caliper2PC Interface, Screenshots Excel Interface and Caliper2PC Software. 


To use the measuring data (capturing, displaying, converting etc.), it is necessary to connect the digital calipers to a PC using their serial interfaces. For this purpose the interface and multiplexer Caliper2PC has been developed and is described here (see video).

Within the scope of this project the hardware and software required to equip the machines accordingly have been designed. The result is a future-oriented, user-friendly and adaptable system which offers aside from the numerous implemented features, space for own additions (API - software interface).


Milling Machine


fig. 2: Milling Machine with Caliper2PC DRO X,Y,Z and glass scales.  

Optimum Lathe with Caliper2PC DRO and Touchscreen


fig. 3: Optimum Lathe with Caliper2PC DRO and Touchscreen.  


The communication between the multiplexer Caliper2PC and the host PC occurs via USB or via WiFi. No external power supply is required, since the Caliper2PC is power-supplied by USB from the host PC or from a USB power supply. The Caliper2PC offers on the input side connections for up to 6 digital calipers. This way it is possible to connect, for example, a milling machine (3 axes; x-, y-, and z-axis), a lathe (2 axes) and an additional digital caliper for the QA (see fig. 1). To connect the digital calipers to the Caliper2PC interface, a connecting lead must be attached (see chapters "Pin Assignment" and "Retrofitting Calipers" ).

All supported linear encoders can be used simultaniously (e.g. glass scales, linear scales and Mitutoyo Digimatic devices). The DROs can be reset to zero or to any given value in any position. For every linear encoder the Caliper2PC interface offers an additional input port for an edge finder or to connect a pedal switch to capture the momentary value for instance (see chapter "Retrofit with Capture Button"). Alternatively, reference switches or end switches used with CNC machines can be connected to detect and process the switch states. The Caliper2PC software can be used with a webcam as a video edge finder.

In addition, two tachometers are implemented in the Caliper2PC interface. This allows displaying and regulating tool machines' spindle speeds.





Copyright © Dipl.-Ing. Tomer Lanzman. All rights reserved.