Quality Innovations: 3-D Inspection on the Go
May 1, 2010
At this year’s Westec show in Los Angeles, near the company’s headquarters in Anaheim, CA, Verisurf Software Inc. and select Mastercam resellers introduced Master3DGage.
This complete hardware and software solution automates the 3-D inspection process and verifies manufactured parts directly to 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) models.
Master3DGage integrates a Hexagon Metrology six-axis portable coordinate measuring machine (PCMM) with Verisurf’s 3-D model-based inspection software. This complete solution provides a fully automated digital process to inspect directly to CAD models anywhere on the shop floor.
Indeed, portability is one of its key features, says David Olson, Verisurf’s director of sales and marketing.
The system is fully battery operable and light enough to allow operators to easily lift and set the device into a computer numerical control (CNC) machine or use it to inspect fixtured parts. With the optional Wi-Fi configuration, operators can lift the system without worrying about wires dangling and getting in the way.
It is one of the lightest high-precision arms available, says Olson, and as precise as any other arm on the market today.
The fully 3-D software enables operators to inspect and display the variance in real time. It allows operators to quickly probe the part to determine if the parts are within tolerance.
High Precision PartsThe Master3DGage rapid inspection process eliminates dependence on 2-D drawings, dozens of hand tools and gages. It also eliminates the need to route products away from the manufacturing process to fixed inspection areas. In addition, it completes a fully digital 3-D design, simulation, manufacturing and inspection workflow.
The system inspects quickly with these three steps:
Align: Align manufactured part to 3-D CAD model by probing part to corresponding alignment targets on 3-D CAD model.
Inspect: Inspect manufactured part in real time by manually probing or by following automated inspection plans.
Report: Report inspection results are automatically generated in HTML and Excel formats.
The system can help determine the variance in a machine. Operators will be able to see the actual precision of a machine, and see if it is wearing. They also will get an idea of how well the machine cuts parts. In addition to testing parts and the machine, it can determine how the fixturing is holding up, Olson says.
Master3DGage can turn a manual process into an automated one: the alternative to automated inspection is using a drawing and pair of hand calipers. By automating the inspection process, customers can improve product quality, manufacturing productivity and shop profitability.
And after an inspection is complete, it can be saved as an inspection plan so operators can rerun that inspection at any time. Software guides the operator through the inspection of each feature.
Software has the ability to enable the operator to apply 3-D model-based definition, so operators can take generic models of a CAD file and apply 3-D geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) to the CAD file.
This high-precision solution does not come with a high price, as it is priced thousands less than many other systems, according to the company. The Master3DGage sells for $33,000, which includes the complete hardware and 3-D software system, a full set of manuals and tutorials, and a sample inspection part. The tutorials show operators how to inspect that sample part.
The company says that the best fit for this product is small to medium machine shops that are new to model-based inspection. “It allows them to experience the benefits of model-based inspection at an entry-level price,” Olson says. “Most people who get involved in this product will go on to purchase larger inspection arms and add-ons.”
The system will be sold exclusively by select Mastercam resellers worldwide.
For more information, contact:
Verisurf Software Inc.
1553 N. Harmony Circle
Anaheim, CA 92807