3D fitting check gauges

Ideas and feedback for your ProtoMAX.
Post Reply
User avatar
ProtoMAX Master
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:48 pm

Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:15 pm

There has been a few projects posted that have 3D parts, interlocking pieces, inner supports, press fit inlays etc. I myself am going to start posting fun things in these categories. So I starting thinking to myself, how can you do this without using measuring tools? Make a tool that allows you to do so! The following concept you are about to see will not work with all projects and it changes based off wear of each machine. It is more of an educational piece so you all can understand certain concepts and play around with them.

The material I used is .125 thick aluminum and this gauge will only work for that thickness. Any time you have parts interlocking, you must account for the material thickness to match the holes as a dimension. So all the fingers and holes on the gauge are also .125.

Step #1 Guess and Cut
When you load the 3D check gauges coupon, the tool offset is what controls if the parts fit together or not. The best thing to do here if you do not have a precision measuring device is to guess what you think the offset is of your machine and cut. I set my first tool offset to .015 because I installed a fresh new mixing tube.

Step #2 Fit the gauges together
The top and bottom of these parts will tell you if the machine is too tight/loose in X
The left and right of these parts will tell you if the machine is too tight/loose in Y
If either X and Y have different results on the same parts that is okay! It just means there is a .0005 deviation between the two motors, mixing tube issues, material not flat etc. This also indicates you may be able to press fit inlay at this tool offset (do this by flipping the gauge upside down).
The fingers fitting into the holes lets you know if an inner support will work at this tool offset.
First shot.png
Step #3 Adjust and Recut
We just learned the tool offset of .015 was best suited for press fit inlays. Our goal is to make inner supports work for the real part we want to cut. We are going to have to bring the tool offset in a little bit more to remove extra material to make that happen. I changed the Tool Offset to .0145 then cut again. The results were both X and Y mated correctly. This would make interlocking parts work correctly. The “Cool Unicorn Puzzle” is a good example of this.
Second shot.png
Step #4 Adjust and Recut again
It took me three additional cuts to figure out how to get the peg through the hole. The Tool Offset needed was .013. Removed just enough material to fit snug and not be too lose.
fifth shot.png
3D check gauges coupon.omx
(32.9 KiB) Downloaded 170 times
User avatar
Dave F
OMAX Employee
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:13 pm

Sat Feb 08, 2020 5:53 am

Really great tutorial on the importance of tool offset to part fit as well. Note for all users that the .030" ID mixing tube will wear and elongate over time and best to perform checks on fit if this is critical thru the life of the tool to assure offset is continually accurate. (You can also rotate mixing tube a bit to mitigate elongation). Thanks for showing us this valuable gauge creation and cutting lesson!
Post Reply