Metals Handbook, Volume 6: Welding, Brazing, and Soldering by AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR METALS


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The system locates a position by assigning it values along the x, y, and z axes of travel. Another system used is the polar coordinate system. This system locates a point in space by its distance or radius from a fixed origin point and the angle this radius makes with a fixed origin line. It is analogous to the coordinate system used on a radial-arm saw or radial-arm drill. Types of Measurements. As stated earlier, fundamentally, CMMs measure the size and shape of an object and its contours by gathering raw data through sensors or probes.

1). The CMM is used to make numerous contacts, or hits, with the probe; using all axes of travel, until an adequate data base of the surfaces of the object has been constructed. Various features of an object require different quantities of hits to be accurately recorded. For example, a plane, surface, or circular hole can be recorded with a minimum of three hits. Fig. 1 Elements of a CMM showing typical digital position readout. The probe is positioned by brackets slid along two arms. Coordinate distances from one point to another are measured in effect by counting electronically the lines in gratings ruled along each arm.

Large axis travels can be obtained, and heavy parts are not a problem, because the weight of the part can be decoupled from the measurement system by proper design of the machine base (foundation in a large machine). This is not as practical in smaller CMMs, and this configuration is most popular for large machines. The gantry configuration was initially introduced in the early 1960s to inspect large parts, such as airplane fuselages, automobile bodies, ship propellers, and diesel engine blocks.

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