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Faroarm or other digitisers

    
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cutter

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Message 1 of 24

 Faroarm or other digitisers
02-04-2008 07:10 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Just curious to know if any other VX users have digitisers. I have a Faroarm but cannot use it with VX and find I have to go back to Surfcam to create an IGES file do so. Now the reason for this post is two fold. If there is anyone out there that can tell me how to hookup the faroarm to directly input into VX I am all ears. My unit is a serial port Gold Faroarm. The other is that as far as Mike Lynch can remember there are only two people he has heard of that use Faroarms. VX will I am sure not work on a project that only effects two users out of their user base so if there are any others who use these I would suggest that you better let them know in a PCR that you have one and you want it. Hard for me to imagine that the concept of reverse engineering with something like a Faroarm is not in greater use among us so therefore this post and we will see.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 2 of 24

07-04-2008 05:15 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hello cutter

What sort of output do you use? Is it XYZ points or something more sophisticated?

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cutter

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Message 3 of 24

17-04-2008 07:05 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Chris, It is xyz points which can be collected by planes, every time you cross the plane a point is generated, or by streaming which means 3d points where you take the probe and run it over the part and you generate a point at specified distance intervals, or by selecting a plane such as xy to generate 2d outline geometry. The second is how I would generate a point cloud for instance.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 4 of 24

17-04-2008 10:44 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi cutter

Well, it is not looking so good but I'm waiting for Faro to get back to me.

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cutter

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Message 5 of 24

18-04-2008 10:18 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Chris, from what I have been told Faro was not all that cooperative with VX earlier in regards to this. There was some progress made about getting code from them but the real issue eventually became one of how many pcr's were turned in on this. If I remember right Mike Lynch said that there were two people that owned Faroarms and VX and that was not sufficient to turn over to the developers. And that is correct as much as I hate to see it be that way. The whole reason I had started this thread was to encourage anyone who has a Faroarm and is a VX user to turn in a PCR as there will not be an interface developed if there is not sufficient interest. I would assume at this time that there is indeed not any interest by VX users for such a thing as no one is responding. As an aside to all this, I saw the Faroarm people at a trade show last year and they were touting their Cam2Measure softeware. I allways look and ask as you never know. He demoed it to me and then told me the price--about $10.000. I had to bust out laughing as I told him that the caliper3d program that sets you up to measure is free, and that the interface with Surfcam 2d mill package that allows you to collect 2d data comes with Surfcam and does the majority of what he was showing me and allows me to machine to boot was all told significantly cheaper than Cam2Measure by itself. Faro may not be interested in creating more competitors for their own grossly overpriced software I guess and that may be why they were not so keen of helping VX.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 6 of 24

18-04-2008 10:52 . am   |   View his/her posts only

Hi cutter

That is basically the scenario. I don't wish to raise false hopes. However, I'm based in the UK and Faro UK are aware that they are losing potential customers - in the past, before CAM 2 (now CAM 2 Q) they did have an API to allow other programs to integrate. I would expect that old API to still work with their latest devices, the methods are in fact relatively simple. If this turns out to not be an option (e.g, Faro insist on everyone using their CAM 2 stuff), then all the PCRs in the world are not going to help


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Robert

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Message 7 of 24

21-04-2008 08:45 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Dave,

I'm interested in finding out how many people need the Faro interface. I'll keep checking this thread to see if more folks respond.

(by the way, you're right... Faro weren't cooperative)

thanks,

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cutter

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Message 8 of 24

21-04-2008 11:34 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Chris, Faro is between a rock and a hard place with their software. There are alternatives to the faro arm out there and when you add in the cost of their software as a part of a package deal they are a lot more expensive than other arms can be. And it is the software that makes them so expensive re the other good arms. They can insist on being difficult if they wish to promote their own software but I think it will cost them lots of sales of Faroarms by doing so. There are software developers that write stuff without cooperation from faroarm for their reverse engineering software and what they produce is much more usefull. Rhino for instance has a wonderfull capability for this and is 1/10 the price and is a modeler to boot so I am not sure what Faro thinks they are preserving income wise with their stiff necked attitude. I hope this will change and they would cooperate with companies like VX in the future.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 9 of 24

23-04-2008 07:52 . pm   |   View his/her posts only

Well, initially the Faro UK guys got back to enthusiastically inform me that the API still existed, which I thought was great news. However, the details they said they would send have yet to materialize.

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cutter

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Message 10 of 24

28-04-2008 07:19 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Chris, what is the API? Do you think they might be interested in setting up VX to work with their stuff? Cutter

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 11 of 24

28-04-2008 08:29 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hello cutter

An API (Application Program Interface) is a code library that enables developers of software to "talk" to other software or devices like the FaroArm. So, Faro would supply their API to VX Corp so that we could write code that enabled VX to work with the FaroArm.

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cutter

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Message 12 of 24

09-05-2008 07:55 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hey Bob, looks like the interest in the Faroarm is zip. Is this true for reverse engineering tools in general that they are not in use in many places or is Faro just the odd man out?

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 13 of 24

09-05-2008 09:04 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi cutter

Not all customers actually visit the forum, and of those that do, only a minority make a contribution. The forum front page used to display number of viewings in addition to number of messages per thread

There is a growing trend towards the use of 3D scanners, devices that have markedly improved in the last 2-3 years. I can't help feeling that people can get trapped by this "fashion" and never even consider a digitising arm, yet for many an arm would serve their purpose better.

Faro have a reputation for high-end quality, so perhaps they see their main sales target as being the larger corporations and specialists. They never did get back to me about their API.

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Robert

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Message 14 of 24

09-05-2008 11:02 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Dave,

I don't know about Faro but possibly another technology such as Laser-scanning will become more effective as their prices drop. Certainly the interest in 3D printers like Solido et al is way, way up.

Have a great weekend!

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cutter

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Message 15 of 24

12-05-2008 08:59 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi Bob, The scanners are cute and good for lots of things but for reverse engineering they are a real problem if you have a smooth reflective surface and if you have an undercut feature where the scanner can't reflect directly off the surface. These are more common than you think and as of yet there is no substitute for a probe.

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cutter

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Message 16 of 24

12-05-2008 09:24 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Chris, I had not intended to post again here so soon but I got to thinking about what you said re how few people post here or come here relative to the actual number of VX users. I am not sure what makes other forums so popular but I do have some ideas. I see that SE, SW, and Alibre have forums that are in constant use. One of the things that I believe that makes them well used is the links provided. Gobs of tips and tutorials on youtube and other places for instance. Alibre and Onecnc I am certain have someone who monitors new postings and there is an answer to problems forthcoming pretty fast in most cases. I was at one of my friends machine shops where he uses Onecnc recently and he was showing me a part with about a hundred holes of various size and bemoaning the fact it was hard to pick profiles and all similar holes reliably. This was after 4:30 PM by the way. I mentioned projecting profiles onto plane to do this with but could not tell him how to do it with his program. He went to the Onecnc forum, posted the question and had an answer within 20 minutes. I see on the VX forums questions that are not addressed for quite some time and when you need an answer this is a real irritation. We are finally going to have another users group meeting here in Tennessee tomorrow but it is the first one in ages. The providing of usefull information compelling enough to generate interest in users creates customer loyalty and new buyers and is one of the things that almost convinced me to buy SW last year as I could not get support for VX quickly when the VX home office was not open but I could post a question on forums and get a quick answer with SW. I can't tell you guys how to create good interesting value added sites to improve user experience and what should exactly be there but I can tell you that for me some of these other places your competitors have, if I were a new buyer in particular, would be the difference and you would lose a sale.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 17 of 24

12-05-2008 10:47 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi cutter

I sincerely believe that our speed of response on the VX Forum is at least as good as our competitors, if not better. Don't judge by just the date-time stamp, people monitoring the forum are literally all around the world. That said, there are plenty of times when questions have been posed and answered over the weekend, something that is not seen on every forum.

Often we can help to solve a technical problem via the forum. When we can do so, that is good if the answer helps other customers too. Sometimes the request requires knowledge of the task in hand and is a Technical Support issue that could be better addressed by the VX Reseller's Technical Support Engineer as he/she will already be familiar with the company and their processes. Not forgetting that VX, especially CAD, is much more sophisticated than most of our rivals - if one command cannot meet a requirement, there is often another that can, so many customers find themselves answering their own questions

In Europe, companies are generally strict about internet access and usually therefore the customer's first port of call is a Support Engineer, but one of the great benefits of the forum are the customer-to-customer answers - the real world.

Hints and Tips links are a good idea.

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OldForumPost

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Message 18 of 24

12-05-2008 11:57 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi cutter

I think your local support guy should be able to help you in 'emergencies.' I also believe that is better to get a well though out and in-depth answer than a quick fix. Not saying that the other guys only do that. Locally I can tell you the support is not that hot for the opposition. I move around industry and hear the complaints.

When I had emergencies (by that I mean a male engineer who does not read manuals, wanting an answer right away) on a weekend and it was atough one, I always received an answer from a VX employee. My sincere thanks to those engineers who always provided more options than required.

By the way, I have seen user forums that have questions unanswered for weeks. But the that is a product called ...

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cutter

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Message 19 of 24

13-05-2008 12:23 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi all, not trying to start a controversial thread here just giving you feedback from myself and other users in the area as to what attracts us and it is my intent to try and help this thing become more popular. Sometimes when you work for a company it is easy to get your defenses up about what someone says and that is not my purpose. Has anyone with VX ever polled their user base about these kinds of things to get feedback? It could provide you with a general consensus as to what users are looking for and what their perceptions of things like the forum are and why. I will be at the Tenn user group meeting tommorow and I will pose these questions to the users and let us see what they have to say.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 20 of 24

13-05-2008 06:01 . am   |   View his/her posts only
Hi cutter

The User Groups are a great way to exchange ideas, for VX Corp to learn more about what the customers want and for the customers to un-earth lesser known commands - as the PCR Administrator, I do sometimes receive requests for functions that VX already has

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Paul

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Message 21 of 24

29-05-2008 01:41 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
Presently our company doesn't have VX support. We are very financially strained and quite frankly we haven't seen very much reason to stay up to date with the VX software. (The big exception will be when solid filleting gets perfected).

Anyways I got on the forum because we received the bulletin that 13.55 was released, and I just was curious what was going on in the VX forum world.

We do own the Faro arm and it is intriguing that the topic of having a direct interface to VX is being pursued. Presently we are using the Polyworks software to import all of our point clouds. A direct interface to Faro may be another reason to look at upgrading our support in the future.

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warren

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Message 22 of 24

15-12-2008 10:45 . pm   |   View his/her posts only
I've used FARO and own a microscribe that I use for reversing. I find any interface rather clumsy and prefer just dealing with XYZ coordinates in an Excel spreadsheet. I think it's an old habit I got in to when I was trained to use a Leica laser tracker. To use a larger digitizing arm it is incredibly clunky to walk back and forth to your software to create geometry using software commands. Especially a laser tracker with a 150ft range. I'd love to see an inspection system built in to VX using a digitizer but not enough to pay the bucks required.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 23 of 24

16-12-2008 04:36 . am   |   View his/her posts only
FARO present a difficulty, they no longer offer an API to enable their arms to feed data directly into a CAD system, they want their customers to use FARO software. We do have built-in support for Romer CimCore and Microscribe.

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ChrisWard2k2

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Message 24 of 24

16-12-2008 07:47 . am   |   View his/her posts only
What a shame that is, the Microscribe in particular is a nice device and popular too. It is possible that someone will buy the business.
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