Wilcox Associates, the developer of the PC-DMIS family of Enterpise Metrology Solutions, offers AutoPath, a software tool designed to reduce part-programming labor and optimize probe paths for fast, safe measurement cycles. The optional add-on to PC-DMIS can reduce programming time for CMMs and other measurement devices such as portable arms, vision systems, multi-sensor devices and probe-equipped CNC machines, the company says.
The application is designed to optimize probe paths, automate probe and probe-angle selection and enforce best-practice rules for feature measurements. According to the company, it enables users to create programs for a single measurement machine and then adapt the programs to run on several different devices. It also allows users to convert existing programs to run on other measuring equipment; re-energize old measurement programs that have become inefficient after years of edits and modifications; and ease translating measurement requirements from various sources into PC-DMIS format.
The programmer begins by using the tool to create an inspection plan or skeleton program using the CAD model as a template. The plan contains information such as datums, features and surfaces to be measured, tolerances and more. The application reads in the machine’s profile from the PC-DMIS database, then marries the inspection plan to device-specific information to generate an executable measurement program. It then evaluates the probe’s movement and generates a probe path.