A device has been constructed to facilitate fast probing and real-time error compensation on CNC machine tools without intrusion into the machine-tool controller. This device, interfaced to a PC computer, is inserted between the position-feedback elements and the controller. Fast probing using a touch-trigger probe is achieved by providing high-speed access by the PC to the probe-trip positions. The device performs error-compensation by modifying the position-feedback signals going to the controller. Pulses from the encoder are added or subtracted to alter the position count in the controller. The correction values are calculated by the PC using a model previously developed at NIST for predicting, in real time, machine-tool geometric and thermally errors.
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