Inspection system for coordinate positioning machine

  • US 6,012,230 A
  • Filed: 05/03/1999
  • Issued: 01/11/2000
  • Est. Priority Date: 03/16/1996
  • Status: Expired due to Term
First Claim
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1. A touch probe for use on a movable arm of a coordinate positioning machine, having a retaining module which may be mounted to the movable arm, and a stylus module which is releasably engageable with the retaining module thereby to enable exchange of one stylus module for another, the retaining module comprising:

  • a substantially cylindrical housing;

    an electrical connector which projects from one end of the housing, and which has a pair of coaxial electrical terminals;

    three kinematic engagement elements, substantially equispaced about the axis of the housing, and situated at an open end of the housing distal to the electrical connector;

    a pair of axially projecting electrical contact pins, axially biased toward the open end of the housing, each of the contact pins being electrically connected to one of the coaxial terminals;

    a pair of axially projecting locating pins, situated at the open end of the housing;

    the stylus module comprising;

    a substantially cylindrical casing having an aperture at one end through which a stylus projects;

    a stylus holder within the casing, the stylus holder having at least one seating element which is engageable with a corresponding seating element to locate the stylus holder within the casing;

    biasing means for applying an axial biasing force to the stylus holder, thereby to bias the seating elements into mutual engagement;

    an electrical circuit which incorporates the elements of the seating, having a pair of axially facing output terminals situated at an end of the casing distal to the aperture and which are engageable with the spring loaded contact pins on the retaining module;

    three further kinematic elements situated at the distal end of the casing, being substantially equispaced about the axis, all the kinematic elements being mutually engageable to locate the stylus module on the retaining module;

    a pair of axially extending recesses situated at the distal end of the casing, and into which the locating pins on the retaining module extend when the stylus module is engaged with the retaining module;

    wherein when the stylus module and retaining module are engaged the distal end of the stylus module casing projects into the open end of the retaining module housing.

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