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Three DRO questions (just want to confirm)

Maplehead

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#1
If I install a DRO like iGaging onto my micro mill, the operation is such that I manually spin the axis wheel while the DRO reads out the travel, correct?
So basically all I would be purchasing is the luxery of not having to count any more?
Secondly, does a DRO greatly increase productivity time?
 

dlane

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#3
Correct, bolt hole pattern is nice
 

Maplehead

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#4
What about protecting the scales? Is that another project in itself to rig something up to keep swarf and all away from them?
 

tweinke

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#5
Yes you wild need to make covers for iGaging scales. Aluminum angle works nice.
 

JimDawson

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#6
The Igaging scales are pretty immune to normal crud, as are most others. A simple shield over them should suffice. I use magnetic scales on my machines and they are unshielded. Just wipe down the mag strips when needed.
 

Maplehead

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#8
You also won't have to account for lead screw backlash like you do with the handwheel dials.

Tom
Hi Tom
I read on another forum that that could be an issue without some kind of spring. The thread was from 2006 so maybe this is resolved with modern DRO’s?
This is getting to be a lot more than three questions.
 

RandyM

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#9
Hi Tom
I read on another forum that that could be an issue without some kind of spring. The thread was from 2006 so maybe this is resolved with modern DRO’s?
This is getting to be a lot more than three questions.
That's OK, we aren't counting.
 

JimDawson

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#11
Hi Tom
I read on another forum that that could be an issue without some kind of spring. The thread was from 2006 so maybe this is resolved with modern DRO’s?
This is getting to be a lot more than three questions.
That really only applies to CNC machines where you need zero backlash in the leadscrews. By their very nature, a scale on the table automatically compensates for backlash on the readout. In other words, the DRO is reading that actual position of the table rather than the rotation of the leadscrew.
 

RJSakowski

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#12
One of the great advantages of a DRO is it is reading absolute position on the machine and therefore impervious too any lost motion issues like backlash. Another advantage is to be able to set up multiple reference points to perform various machining operations.

Using a spring or some other means of controlling backlash will not improve positional accuracy when a DRO is installed. It may improve surface finish by reducing chatter though.

For instance, I will want to drill five holes on a 1" bolt circle with the center located 4" from the back and 5" from the left edge. My 0,0 point will be located at the left back corner. I move to position 5",-4" and set my readout to incremental 0,0. I then locate the positions of my five holes and drill. If I have a bolt circle feature it becomes even easier. When finished, I go back to the absolute reading and continue with my other operations.

Many don't bother with a scale cover although I would personally recommend using them. With a little forethought, it isn't difficult to protect the scales.It doesn't take much for protection. Some thin sheet metal, a piece of plastic sheeting or even some rubber sheeting will do. The z axis doesn't really need any cover because there is very seldom anything flying up there which would damage the scale. However, I have always installed them on my DRO installs.
 

Ed ke6bnl

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#13
I put Igaging dro on my last Burke mill. what a difference it makes especially on an older looser mill. I did add a Touch DRO Blue tooth read out for both x and y and they enable a lot of other features like bolt holes and offsets. Sold the mill right after the install and put glass scales on my new to me mill and saved the Touch DRO for my lathe with igaging type readouts mounted with no bolt holes hard drive magnets and other neodymium magnets for securing to bed.
 

woodchucker

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#14
If I install a DRO like iGaging onto my micro mill, the operation is such that I manually spin the axis wheel while the DRO reads out the travel, correct?
So basically all I would be purchasing is the luxery of not having to count any more?
Secondly, does a DRO greatly increase productivity time?
Well it depends on whether it's just a readout, or a calculating DRO. If it calculates, it does bolt hole patterns, center finding. etc. So it depends on what you are talking about. The Touch DRO is a full featured DRO, I am considering it myself.
 

jlsmithseven

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#15
DRO is wonderful. Say you have to take a piece out to inspect it for some reason. You can place a stop on the vise jaw, take the piece out, inspect it, put it back in, and go right where you left off almost instantly. It's so much more accurate than hand turning the wheel and so much quicker.
 

Ed ke6bnl

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#16
Well it depends on whether it's just a readout, or a calculating DRO. If it calculates, it does bolt hole patterns, center finding. etc. So it depends on what you are talking about. The Touch DRO is a full featured DRO, I am considering it myself.
I followed the plans for making the touch dro but would have never got it programed correctly without some real nice people on the form to guide me through the hole procedure. there is a Blu DRO that is sold as ready to use for a reasonable amount that does the same thing .
 

tweinke

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#17
I built one Touch DRO board for my 3in1 machine and it works pretty good, I bought a premade Touch DRO board for my PM727 mill and the premade board is definitely more stable as far as electrical noise. For me dollar wise and the accuracy level I need, Touch DRO works fine. If I was going to use glass scales or such I think it would be hard to beat one of the import DRO kits.
 

Ed ke6bnl

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#18
on my bridgeport I went to the glass scales from china, price was not much different than the Igaging set up at about $300 for all 3 axis. and works perfect
 

Ed ke6bnl

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#20
+1 on going the China direct route. I got a great full featured name brand DRO for less than half the price it would cost from a US based supplier.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Eas...32269307525.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.uswa9h
All you are doing is cutting out the middleman.

Eddy

your purchase and information is what got me to purchase the same way with a good experience. I was following you in a post. Thanks it worked out good.
 

Indy_328

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#21
I just installed the iGaging DRO's on my mill last month. Makes life so much easier. You'll love them. I don't get as much time in the shop but when I need it, I smile every time haha.................easy to install. To protect the X axis I just put a piece of aluminum angle on. Work like a champ
. IMG_3112.jpg IMG_3113.jpg IMG_3108.jpg
 

BGHansen

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#23
Not adding anything not already covered above other than opinion on productivity of a DRO. I used hand wheels on my mill for close to 30 years and put a 4-axis DRO (TPACtools.com) on it a couple of years ago. Other than marrying my wife, best move I've ever made. Maybe even on a par with our decision to start a family . . .

No worries about backlash. No counting dial turns. No doing math in my head (dial is at 0.050" and I need to move 0.023"). Absolute/Incremental indexing: Zero out on your vise jaw edge and locate the part relative to the corner. Move to the first hole (assuming things are located off from it) and zero out incrementally on it. Mine has holes on a circle, holes on a line and some crude surfacing. My shop got really cold last winter (on demand propane heat) and my DRO wouldn't display at > 20 F temps. Had a quick job to do and went back to hand wheels. It worked, but I really missed the read out. I ended up putting a heating pad on the read out to get it working.

I am much faster with the DRO. Your only regret will be you didn't add it sooner.

Bruce
 

killswitch505

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#24
Other than marrying my wife, best move I've ever made. Maybe even on a par with our decision to start a family . . .
I shot coffee out of my nose!!!!! BG if I didn’t already have a dro on my mill this would have sold me!!!!!!!!!! But seriously just pick em up if you’ve got the cash you’ll not regret it
 

Indy_328

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#25
Indy, is there a scale on that Y axis in the third pic?
Yes there is. I can't seem to find a pic of it but I did include (3rd pic) of tapping one of the holes for it. I used a screw taped to it to get the angle of the dangle close. I will take a pic tonight and post it but it is there
 

woodchucker

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#26
Yes there is. I can't seem to find a pic of it but I did include (3rd pic) of tapping one of the holes for it. I used a screw taped to it to get the angle of the dangle close. I will take a pic tonight and post it but it is there
Ah, so that's what the screw was for. Glad you mentioned that. Was trying to figure out what it was about. good idea.
 

BGHansen

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#30
I shot coffee out of my nose!!!!! BG if I didn’t already have a dro on my mill this would have sold me!!!!!!!!!! But seriously just pick em up if you’ve got the cash you’ll not regret it
Sorry for causing the mess! I was going to put something down like "not have a DRO is like getting out of your car in the rain to open the garage door. DRO is pushing a remote button for a dry drive in". I figure more of us could relate to our kids than our garage doors.

Bruce
 
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