View Full Version : USB camera centering, punch marks, holes, edge finding

11-17-2011, 07:02 AM
That camera is now 20+ years old. Mounted by me in the early 90s on a drill press with cnc'ed xy slide. Uses is to find punch marks made by "transfer" punches to drill holes. Find Edges of stock, find hole centers.

NOW, Mach3 cnc program has a camera driver made into it. Also the laser scanner in the mill I wrote software for used this camera.
You jog over the hole, adjust screen circle-center lines.. and center again..

I've bought three newer ones off ebay this month since trying to gain a lot more resolution.. just bought #3 off there and I'll see if I gained anything. So far I've met some dishonest sellers who misrepresent the cameras as "new and great".

This works in a lathe as well as a milling machine. When I built the holder there in the picture I jb welded it to a flat round plate with a center 1/4" threaded hole, then put radial holes on the back plate to adjust it angularly, the center hole pivots, the top mount had a slight amount of cross adjustment.. I didn't need most that but adjustments make up for sloppy mounting. Once camera is tuned in to a hole the spindle made, no more adjustments needed, as long as the head is trammed.
(adjusted square with table)

A pc microscope works too in there.. I'm rebuilding the mount for the stereo microscope to mount it in the spindle. (use brake on spindle so it does not black both my eyes) I used it for spark welding of tiny things I was once working on.

AS does a 90 degree viewer for a telescope and a Long eye relief pistol scope. I got one of them rigs "hot glued" together somewheres.. (for you guys who don't use computers in the shop)

60 convert
11-17-2011, 08:18 AM
This would probally be a great post over on the home shop machinist website. This being a sheet metal forum I believe off topic posts like this just drown out the good actual metalshaping posts.

11-17-2011, 09:16 AM
Topic description of "forum section"
Machine tools Lathes, mills, and other general machining tools used to make more sheetmetal shaping tools.

This would probally be a great post over on the home shop machinist website. This being a sheet metal forum I believe off topic posts like this just drown out the good actual metalshaping posts.

I totally understand "where you are coming from" AND WHY. Do you read the topic headings? or just "imagine" they are all written just for you? Perhaps they need to skin the headings down to a single end topic. "GOOD ACTUAL METALSHAPING POSTS THAT JESSE wants" would that make you happy?

There was talk once here about cutting the number of topics down. If I was you, I'd write a admin and complain like heck.. Perhaps the world will then start rotating around you. I posted this, along with other things to actually help others.

If the Admin say so I can be gone in a flash. AND.. as mentioned before.. just find the "ignore" button there and add me to it. I don't see you adding a thing here other than unhappiness. Contribute something other than foul thoughts.

I did post this idea over "there on HSM" around 2000-2001. It is a method to "center over punch marks and "make more sheetmetal shaping tools" by drilling precision holes. Lil tidbits like this can change people into actual fabricators who can make what they need. Or take a wad of cash and buy it from a "Real Fabricator".

11-17-2011, 09:17 AM
I can see where if you were lining up dies in a press how this would work, not sure if it would be beneficial in spinning metal. I'm interested in your thought process..... are you thinking of taking a pic of a tailgate, then adapting the pic to a cnc machining or cutting out of a die set, then switch to aligning it in your press? Fill me in on what you are thinking. tt;)

11-17-2011, 09:42 AM
TT... this has nothing to do with spinning metal, only jogging and "setting" a point under the spindle center cross hairs of a camera so you can "point" from that location to drill a precision hole. Remove the camera and put a bit in.. quick-hole in the cross hairs location.. or.. find the edge of stock.. or the center of a hole already there to drill radial holes in a circle around it.. or... (it adds a quick way to locate other than a wiggler point)

IT was used on the "spinning lathe faceplate thou".. to drill the 5 holes matching the car hub.. it spins 500rpm true so it must have worked. The spinning metal rig is waiting on the flu to subside.. I have been cleaning up and moving tools. I don't do anything dangerous while not feeling well.

(addem) I posted the Polar holes (radial points around a center) location calculator over on another site.. Anyone with a DRO can use it by "penciling" off the hole locations on the program calculator and moving the machine to those locations.

It too is a wizard on the mach3 cnc software that writes the gcode (movement code) for you. But you still need to locate the physical location on the part.. ie.. crosshairs, or wiggler, or edge finder or..

Marvin Klotz.. kinda a Saint who posted a lot of helpful machinist software..
When I entered the Polar holes program (radial hole locations) I authored, it is gone from google search, on Yahoo CheapAss DRO forum.. which I no longer admin. I saw it here the other day on a backup disc.. it runs in MS windows.. I'll upload it again somewheres.

11-17-2011, 10:20 PM
I was going to ask if that cam was located on or over the quill. I can see where it would be nice to have some kind of a visual confirmation of where you were on any given job, but does it involve yet another tool change?

Wonder if there was/is another way to mount such a "gun site" cam that would take into account the tool offset and yet give you confirmation of tool location prior to running the cycle.

11-18-2011, 02:50 AM
Extremely interesting post made by a muti faceted man that offers a good insight into an area I know nothing what so ever about and therefore would not have had a reason to go looking for.
Very stimulating, makes me want to look up more elsewhere.

11-18-2011, 03:42 AM
Yes.. with a cnc.. you can create a "known offset".. center with the cam, known to be exactly 1.75 inches X+ and known to be exactly 2" Y+ once you find center.. jog-motor over to the new location where you know the spindle center is. The other thought to this is... you offset the camera, put the laser back into the spindle at a known angle.. scan a 3d object into the computer. Math, known distance between camera and laser, known angle of laser.. now you count pixels up from the edge on the image and convert them to "reality" and you got height.. a curved laser line wrapped around the object... ie: scanned one set of points around the x axis. Yes.. I've tried the "no buck scanner" and shiny metal resists me.. we'll get there.. and I will make it available to all if I can.

Other applications.. how about a louver punch.. or a hole punch.. or a hammer blow on a dolly?? I saw a guy hang a laser up in the ceiling once, shot it at the dolly apex, then laid his part on top and put the part he wanted to stretch right under the red laser dot. A blow in the precise location is better than a hundred in the wrong. If you dislike a computer to view, how about a piece of scotch tape (ink crosshairs) on a cheapie television.. or lcd baby monitor?

Kit.. one guy beats me up, another guy thanks me.. I appreciate it. ( I dabble.. I built the neighbor a "steam whistle yesterday".. that big kid.. he was having a ball with it.)

12-27-2012, 09:49 PM
i found a program called centrecam,works with a cheapo usb camera.to just enlarge the centrepunch on a workpiece or overlay a grid to work with is very helpful,especially for those of us that dont look so good up close.
all too often i leave my glasses in the house or simply misplace them,having something to assist me or enlarge the area i'm working on is a must.

using it on the lathe to look in hole i'm boring is handy too.
it has many uses,i use it for looking into door cavitys and around corners i cant see where i dropped my tools.

with the camera and usb light,i find it handy for under dash work too.

gerry miller
12-28-2012, 12:20 AM
It's a little over my head but "Very nteresting" :D:D:D

12-28-2012, 05:43 AM

Thanks for taking the time to post your idea.

Jerry Jackson
12-28-2012, 06:08 AM
Diawa, thanks for posting


That site has some really good software.

Jerry Jackson
San Antonio

12-28-2012, 04:34 PM

Thanks for taking the time to post your idea.

I second that sentiment.

12-29-2012, 04:36 AM
Mee too.
I use the CNC mill and the manual mill to make hammerforms, Pullmax tools, punc+die for pressing blanking plates etc. And I used it for making ewheel parts.

I would say it have a strong connection with my sheet metal work.

This thread was brought back from the past, but I just find it a good place to thank David for sharing ideas.

Re the camera, I would mount it on the side of the mill head. Then do as explained but do a G0 to the offset camera/quill centre before entering coordinates (or zeroing out). Then it would be less of a hassle mounting and removing the camera.

Happy New Year.