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  • Adventures in shopping, bought a 3D Taster

    OK, so this comes under the heading of things I wanted not needed but will make a very useful addition to the shop.

    I decided to get one of the 3D Tasters and because everyone has been saying how expensive they are I decided on one of the Chinese copies. Production Tool in Detroit is the closest supplier that sells them, $259.00 US (Windsor Factory Supply is a reseller for them in Canada and sells them also, special order) or you can get a German made digital version for close to $600.00 US, way to expensive for me.

    At the last minute I decided to look into the real thing (Haimer), mostly out of curiosity but was unable to find anyone that sells them, so I e-mail the US office, I couldn’t find one in Canada, and they replied that the nearest distributor was Single Source Technologies in Auburn Hills Michigan. OK, not so bad, they are closer then Detroit from where I live so I called them up to find out what the price was and the sales rep quoted Haimers list price of $350.00 US for the analog 3D Universal Taster but that they usually discounted that. Now that didn’t seem to bad considering the cost of the Chinese version so I decided to bite the bullet and ordered one.

    Enter problem #1. They don’t sell retail, OK not a problem they said, I just had to fill out a account application form and it would be OK. The next day, Tuesday, I received an e-mail saying the account was a go and I could place an order which I did, delivery in a couple of days if Haimer has them in stock, SST doesn’t keep them on site. On Friday morning I received another e-mail saying that it was in their office ready for pick up, I didn’t have it shipped to me because of the brokerage fees that Fed Ex and others charge, hopped in the car and took off for Auburn Hills MI.

    Now for problem #2. How exactly does one get to Auburn hills, road maps are near useless no direct route by major roads without going along ways around but with determination I was able to get almost all of the way there before getting lost. At this point I did one of the worst thing a guy can do, I stop and asked for directions and to make matters worse it was from a woman. Her directions were good and it turned out that I was only a few miles away from my destination.

    After receiving my prize and picking up a few other purchases I headed back for the boarder, which presented problem #3. Since I was coming from Canada they routed the bill through there Canadian office, which I didn’t know they had, paid in Canadian dollars with the Canadian taxes already paid. Good, it saved me the Mi. Sales tax but at the boarder the custom agent zoned out.
    This does not compute!
    This does not compute!
    This does not compute!

    Simply put since it was originally coming from Germany I had to pay duty on it which meant that I first had to pay the taxes. At this point I reminded him for the third time that I had already paid the taxes and he couldn’t make me pay them twice (I hoped) so he had no idea on how to handle it. Eventually he waved me through without paying any duty, and forgot to collect the taxes on the other $125.00 worth of stuff I had, I’m assuming he just wanted to get rid of me.

    So the final bill came to $318.00 plus tax, a $32.00 discount off the list price, and only $59.00’s more than the Chinese copy. At that price difference it isn’t worth even considering the copy.

    I have no expectations that because I have this device that I will now be able to dial in parts to a tenth and perform other miracles but after calibrating it (I also picked up a Bison tool holder from Wholesale Tools to mount it permanently) which only took a few minutes it did prove itself most useful in accurately centering a round part on my mill.

    Anyone in the Ontario/Michigan area that is thinking about getting one should call SST, they did work very hard in getting me this little treasure at a good price.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

    Southwestern Ontario. Canada

  • #2
    What the Heck is a 3D taster????????
    Brian Rupnow
    Design engineer
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for posting. I too want to buy a 3d Taster. Bit harder for me because I live in Australia.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by brian Rupnow
        What the Heck is a 3D taster????????
        Watch this video: http://glacern.com/index.php?page=vi...course_mill_05

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a collection of 3D Tasters. I have the generic blue imported one that everybody seems to sell for around $250, a digital Haimer Zero Master and a Haimer analog model. I bought the import model and after 2 months of use it started reading .040" off for no reason. I contacted the company I bought the tool from, TSI Tool, and they said it only had a 30 day warranty and they didn't have a source for repairs. TSI Tool in Oregon has been a poor company to deal with on other purchases I have made with them. They sent me two defective tap guides and fought me about returning them. I called two local instrument repair shops and neither would touch repairing the import Taster. I then bought the Digital Zero Master Haimer. I did not like it for two reasons. The first reason is it only reads down to .0005" resolution and the second reason is it was hard to read the display in the VMC. I then bought the analog Haimer and I am very happy with that one. For the difference in price its just not worth buying the cheap one in this instance.
          Mark Hockett

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by brian Rupnow
            What the Heck is a 3D taster????????
            If Starrett and Mitutoyo are the Cadillac/BMW's of indicators then they are the Ferrari's.

            Check out these to sites the first shows the 3D Taster (It's German, means 3D sensor/feeler/edge finder depending on how you translate it). The second is a movie showing how it works.

            http://www.haimer-usa.com/usa/taster-universal.php

            http://www.haimer-usa.com/media/3Dsensors_DSL.mpg
            Last edited by loose nut; 05-19-2010, 07:22 PM.
            The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

            Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

            Southwestern Ontario. Canada

            Comment


            • #7
              Gosh, something else I didn't know I needed. LOL.

              Comment


              • #8
                A "sour taste(r?)"??

                Originally posted by Mark Hockett
                I have a collection of 3D Tasters. I have the generic blue imported one that everybody seems to sell for around $250, a digital Haimer Zero Master and a Haimer analog model. I bought the import model and after 2 months of use it started reading .040" off for no reason. I contacted the company I bought the tool from, TSI Tool, and they said it only had a 30 day warranty and they didn't have a source for repairs. TSI Tool in Oregon has been a poor company to deal with on other purchases I have made with them. They sent me two defective tap guides and fought me about returning them. I called two local instrument repair shops and neither would touch repairing the import Taster. I then bought the Digital Zero Master Haimer. I did not like it for two reasons. The first reason is it only reads down to .0005" resolution and the second reason is it was hard to read the display in the VMC. I then bought the analog Haimer and I am very happy with that one. For the difference in price its just not worth buying the cheap one in this instance.

                Mark,

                you've hit the big weakness of it right on the head.

                It is a bit much to ask that it always be 100% correct - and a dangerous assumption.

                Setting it up is one thing but checking that it is accurate is quite another.

                There is no mention of checking it anywhere in either the German or Chinese literature or web sites - but they need re-checking.

                The obvious way is to check a bore/hole/cylinder that is a known distance from two faces ("X" and "Y").

                As you've found out, setting the Taster to zero is a big enough PITA but finding out that there are "other (internal) problems" is event worse.

                The Haimer web site makes it very clear that the Taster needs to be checked at each time it is mounted/loaded unless you are VERY sure of the accuracy of the tool-holder/Taster combination.

                From the Haimer web site:
                3D Sensor Universal
                The Universal 3D-Sensor is a very precise and versatile edge-finding, measuring instrument for milling and EDM machines (insulated probe). Made entirely at the HAIMER Germany facility, it is an instrument that no shop can do without. The 3D-Sensor is clamped into a tool holder and inserted into a milling spindle. Once clamped into the machine spindle, the run-out (T.I.R) is fully adjustable to Zero. Then, you are able to find exact positioning of the spindle axis on the edges of the workpiece. This allows for zeros to be set and the length to be measured quickly and easily. You may approach in any direction (X-, Y-, Z- axis – hence the name „3D-Sensor“). When the dial gage shows zero, the spindle axis is exactly on the workpiece edge. Only the HAIMER 3D-Sensor allows for the edge to be found on the first attempt. No calculating of the probe’s ball diameter is necessary – just Zero it out!
                Problems with mathematics or calculations are eliminated, allowing for fewer operator errors. Our 3D-Sensor is quick and easy, reducing the extra time needed with most edge-finders, increasing the productivity and accuracy of the operator.
                Zero-ing/checking the Taster requires a pretty good Test Dial Indicator (TDI) with at least 0.0005" (0.01mm) - preferably better - and resetting can be a PITA as well.

                The main supplier in OZ has withdrawn it from sale as there were too many that found that there were better/cheaper/other ways of getting a similar result without the "Taster". I was shown one which had obviously been "crashed" and claimed as "faulty". The dealer replaced it at no cost. Others were refunded the money. It just was not a commercial proposition to keep them in stock. Other than the crashed one, there were no faults with the Tasters.

                I will comment further in a later post.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mark Hockett
                  I then bought the analog Haimer and I am very happy with that one. For the difference in price its just not worth buying the cheap one in this instance.
                  Agreed -- MickeyD and I got the Haff & Schneider (same manufacturer) and they're gorgeous. Right out of the box they were right on the hand-cert: .004 mm (1.5 tenths) in X and Y, and .005 mm in Z.

                  The Z-axis isn't very useful for a manual machine (Mike runs a VMC), but zeroing the DRO on X- and Y- is much quicker than using an edge finder.
                  "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Tasting good - or not?

                    I have the "import" (read: Chinese) 3-D Taster.



                    It is calibrated to 0.01mm (~0.0004") as per the "real" (German-made) item.

                    I prefer the better German-made item dial calibration as it is uniform throughout the dial range whereas my Chinese unit calibrations are very close for "X" and "Y" at and nearing zero:



                    (from the link provided by loose nut) at:
                    http://www.haimer-usa.com/usa/taster-universal.php

                    But other than that they are the same.

                    The calibrations on the Taster are 0.0005" (or 0.01mm ~0.0004" metric). The dial indicator for setting "X" and "Y" to zero should be at least as accurate - calibrated to 0.0005"/0.01mm - and preferably better. Using that level of indicator and adjusting to better than 0.0002" (2 tenths ~ 0.005mm) is or can be a PITA. At that point there is a built-in error if the "zero" on the Taster is to be relied upon. If the Taster is used in conjunction with either of the normally found digital read-outs (DRO's) used here (the normal DRO is +/- 0.0002" ~ 0.005mm and the "Digital caliper" type which has a reading tolerance of +/- 0.001" ~ 0.025mm) there is more potential for error ie the tolerance of the Taster plus the tolerance of the DRO. So the potential for what some may regard as significant potential error is getting to be a problem.

                    The video for the Taster that showed a possibility (inferred probability) of "1 micrometer" (ie = 1 micron = 1um = 0.001mm ~ 0.00004" - just less than "half a tenth") is not likely unless a very accurate DRO of the order of +/- 0.5um ~ 0.00002" is used. The mill shown looks very like a laboratory quality machine in a laboratory-level controlled environment.

                    If the Taster was set up permanently in a CNC NMTB holder I would believe that it was highly probable that it would retain its accuracy between times of setting, removal of the tool-holder and replacement of the tool-holder. This applies to a very good CNC work-station - not a standard mill using any sort or type of collets whether in a tool-holder or not - and especially so for say ER collets in a collet-holder.

                    The run-out of the collets is by-passed or negated by "zero-ing" the ball at the end of the Taster stylus as the ball is set to be concentric with the mill spindle axis.

                    I prefer this unit:
                    https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Pr...stockCode=M690



                    as I can rely on the visual (light) and audible (sound - "beeping") to alert me and with an accuracy of 0.005mm (~0.0002") it is twice as accurate as the Taster. I just put it in my 20mm ER-32 collet, no adjusting, and use a good TDI to read the "run-out" at "X" and "Y" and allow for the run-out and the ball diameter. It is much faster and more accurate than the Taster - and more robust and reliable and is much cheaper too.

                    The Taster is excellent for "blue-printing" in "X", "Y" and "Z" but it is only as accurate as any errors in setting it and the tolerance limits of any DRO used.

                    The Taster is of use in a CNC work-station/mill in "X" and "Y" but is of no use in "Z" as the reference must be to the under-side of the cutting tool/s for which these are required:
                    https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Pr...stockCode=M691

                    https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/Pr...ockCode=M6935#

                    If I want to centre over a bore or a cylinder I prefer either my 0.01mm TDI:


                    or my "Fake" (made in China) "Blake" (made in the USA) co-axial indicator:
                    http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...indicator5.jpg

                    as both are as accurate as the 3-D Taster and both work quite well just held in a "Jacob's" drill chuck as well as collets - and they are robust, reliable and cheaper than the Taster.

                    So my Taster rarely gets out of its box - but it is handy when it is needed.

                    I think that in retrospect that the Taster is over-hyped and over-priced for what is can do.

                    I bought mine to see what it was capable of and in that case I thought that it was money well spent, but having done that I would not miss or need it if I didn't have it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My 3-D Taster is my favorite indicator by far. I use it in the cnc machines and it makes setups insanely easy. Do a quick touchoff in X, Y, and Z and enter the values in your work offsets table and away you go. I also set use it as the master tool for setting height offsets and it makes the tool offsets table so much easier to manage. Once you have used one (especially doing cnc work) you will NEVER want to be without one again.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Pre-set for "Z"?

                        Micky.

                        Many thanks.

                        As I said, I can see that the settings for "X", "Y" and "Z" will stay set in a CNC tool-holder.

                        I am curious as to how you relate the zero on the Taster to the under-side of the cutting tool in "Z" unless the tool is in a tool-holder and has been pre-set in "Z". Or are you using the Taster to set the entire tool-head which uses pre-set tool-holders?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The Taster is of use in a CNC work-station/mill in "X" and "Y" but is of no use in "Z" as the reference must be to the under-side of the cutting tool/s for which these are required:
                          Re the "no use in Z":
                          It is absolutely useful, but your tools have to be preset (known tool length).

                          There is one very neat feature of the Taster that those who don't have one might not be aware of. It automagically subtracts the ball's radius in X and Y. So you don't have to adjust for its diameter.

                          And re the centering:
                          With an DRO, the Taster is fast (left side, righ side -> first CL; front/back -> second CL). On a manual mill without DRO, the "centricator" or similar setups are clearly faster and by far cheaper.


                          Nick

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                          • #14
                            Taster, a funny sounding name.
                            German for feeler.
                            Build it, bodge it, but dont buy it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MuellerNick
                              With an DRO, the Taster is fast (left side, righ side -> first CL; front/back -> second CL). On a manual mill without DRO, the "centricator" or similar setups are clearly faster and by far cheaper.
                              I've said that before, but it was unpopular with some
                              The Z-setting would be great if you had quick-change tooling like the Tormach.

                              Be careful with the Centricator recommendation Nick -- a Centricator == a Blake Co-Axial Indicator
                              "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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