Various manufacturers' Web sites offer a plethora of information on their own coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) and accessories. But few sites are available to address the concerns, experience and knowledge of the user community, where Web site visitors are encouraged to ask questions and share their CMM knowledge to benefit rookies and industry veterans alike.
www.cmmtalk.com. Launched in February, CMMTalk bills itself as the first independent cyberspace community dedicated to the tens of thousands of CMM programmers and professional users in North America. Managed by CMM professionals, the site's mission is "to create, manage and maintain a professional independent cyberspace location for the CMM community to visit for enrichment of their own knowledge while passing on their experiences and knowledge to fellow professionals."
The site boasts forums for visitors to share opinions and experiences on a variety of topics, including vendor specific issues. Forums include:
- Hardware--CMM and Portable. Users of various CMM and portable hardware brands can discuss CMM hardware, service, and related issues and experiences.
- Software. Individual forums for the most popular CMM software packages allow visitors to exchange ideas, experiences and provide a place to post questions and answers.
- Code Samplers. Share code solutions with others and swap ideas to help improve applications.
- Operating Systems. Discuss various operating system experiences, problems and solutions.
- CMM Calibration. Discuss CMM calibration ideas, experiences and solutions.
- Sensors. Exchange probing information, ideas and tips.
- SPC and GD&T. Share statistical process control and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing issues, knowledge and experiences.
- General. This area is for all miscellaneous discussions that are not appropriate for the specific forums.
- Buy/Sell Listings. Visitors can post information on equipment they are looking to buy or sell.
- Employment. Companies can post job listings, and individuals seeking employment can post resumes.
Additional features on the site include:
- News and Events. Link to articles, magazines, news sites and trade shows that cover the various aspects of CMMs.
- 24/7 Chat. This section allows instantaneous exchange of ideas and experiences in a real-time chat room.
The site also encourages visitors to list suggestions for improving the site, as well as post general comments.