Tormach Fab Lab: Haimer 3D Sensors

After a bit of time off, we’re getting back into the swing of things on the blog.  Today’s video topic is in response to several recent questions we’ve fielded recently about a very useful gauge: the Haimer 3D Sensor. For those unfamiliar, Haimer 3D sensors can be used to quickly and accurately find milling work offsets in X, Y and Z.   When properly setup, these will exceed the accuracy of most other edge finding techniques available to the small shop machinist. Here are two things to keep in mind:

  1. Prior to the first use of the Haimer 3D sensor, you’ll need to place it in a dedicated tool holder and calibrate the gauge so the tip is in line with the center line of the mill spindle.  Once you complete this procedure, the sensor will accurately find XY offsets.  As long as you don’t remove the sensor from the toolholder or crash/drop the sensor, you should only need to occasionally recheck the gauge calibration (i.e., once per month, once per year – whatever you feel comfortable with as a shop procedure)
  2. To use the Haimer 3D Sensor to find Z offsets, you simply need to measure the gauge in its tool holder in the same manner as you measure all the tools in your tool table.  Just remember to pre-load the tip so that both needles on the dial read “0”.

Here’s a Fab Lab Skill Builder episode to help you get started with using any one of the Haimer 3D sensors that we carry.  In it, Mike C. demonstrates how to calibrate the sensor, and also how to find several common work offsets: edge, center of a square, and hole center.

  Ready to try one of these on your mill? Click here to Buy Haimer 3D Sensor products from Tormach More Tormach Fab Lab Videos:

Andrew Grevstad

With over ten years of professional experience in advanced manufacturing systems, digital design tools, and applied software, Andy Grevstad has worked in product development and technical support for Tormach since 2008. Grevstad has received engineering degrees from Michigan Technological University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a regular contributor to Digital Machinist magazine and also blogs weekly about CNC milling and related topics on the Tormach blog, Milling Around.

Andrew Grevstad

3 thoughts on “Tormach Fab Lab: Haimer 3D Sensors

  • Avatar
    02/19/2014 at 6:35 pm

    Great video, thanks.

    It seems to me that the calibration method described will address the runout due to the sensor to toolholder assuming that is the dominant runout source but won’t help with runout between the spindle and toolholder. If one were to mark the toolholder and mark the spindle and then always mount the Haimer into the spindle at the mark then wouldn’t there be an opportunity for even greater accuracy and repeatability?

  • Andrew Grevstad
    02/20/2014 at 7:49 am

    Steve, That’s a good point. If you mark your tool holder with respect to a reference on the collet and spindle you should be able to minimize total runout by reducing stackup error. This is an especially useful technique when using very small end mills – rotate the tool holder in the spindle with respect to the collet until you identify the position with minimum runout and mark that location for future use.

  • Avatar
    03/25/2014 at 4:07 pm

    I enjoyed this video very much and would like to suggest a similar video for the digital probe be considered.

    The simple probing is pretty straight forward, but the manual descriptons for the comprehensive probing screen leave a lot to be desired

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