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MicroScribe 3D

MicroScribe 3D

MicroScribe 3D

Good evening all,

Ihave purchased a MicroScribe 3D (i know it's the older model, i wanted to learn a bit about reverse engineering etc.) Trouble is i cannot for the life of me get it working.

Firstly, anyone who may have one, am I right in saying that once you load the MicroScribe Utility Software (MUS) you should be able to move the arm around and see the figures change in the display?

I wanted to try and set up and do some absolute basics in excel, just record some points, and see what's what.

Any help, pointers, guidance would be great.

I've now tried the arm on Windows 7 (with USB adaptors), 32 Bit Windows XP with USB adaptors, just now have reloaded my server with Windows XP home and plugged it straight in to the serial socket, and although the software sees it, the figures aren't moving when I move the arm. The figures seem to be stuck on x 298.4538 y 13.4762 z-157.7893

Any help would be magic,


RE: MicroScribe 3D

<working from distant memory>

My unit didn't have a standalone piece of software of its own, at all.
It fed coordinates to the serial port, <when you pressed the button>, only.

It was usable with AutoCAD (14-ish, I think), by starting a polyline or other command and then pressing the button for each touch.

Mine came with a 1.0 copy of Rhino, which had a special command for initializing the digitizer, but otherwise worked pretty much like AutoCAD, i.e., start a command, say for a 3 point circle, then pushing the button for each point, etc.

Rhino, by the way, was the most useful part of the purchase. It provided a very fast way of modeling surfaces, and of great interest to us, could unroll a developable surface into a flat pattern, something AutoCAD could not do at the time.

The digitizer itself was basically crap; not repeatable nor accurate anywhere near the claimed specifications (we bought the larger arm with enhanced accuracy, might as well have burned the money, except for Rhino).

Maybe they've gotten better since then...

We tried to use it for 'as-built' checking of complicated tube elbows and tees as used in marine exhaust systems. Building a model by clicking points for circular and cylindrical features, never mind arbitrary surfaces, was _extremely_ tedious and boring. Using a tape measure and a magnetic angle finder was much faster.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: MicroScribe 3D


Thanks for the reply. I'll try and track down either an older version of Rhino or AutoCAD. Thanks for the pointers!


RE: MicroScribe 3D


I purchased a MS Arm (M class, .002" accuracy) in 2015 with original intention of using it to do GDT training (so I can show people how to apply GDT in real CMM world in classroom). Amazingly I used it to validate quite a few welding tooling fixture last year and it worked out very well. You can use this arm without any software then it becomes just a digitizer to record xyz of probe centre (non-compensated points). You can record it in notepad then post-process these points in other software. Or it can be used with cad software, more importantly with some CMM software such as Open Dmis, which allows you to use the arm to do real inspection and reverse engineering.

If you're not familiar with CMM software, please visit my website for more info.: www.rxmetrology.com

Best Regards,

Ray Xing
GDTP S-0605 (ASME Y14.5)
CGP Certified (ITAR equivalent)
CMM Application Specialist
RX Metrology Solutions Inc.
One stop solution for CMM and GDT training

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