It’s not a secret, just an industrial logic: process fluctuations during the machining of a part are detrimental to competitiveness and profitability. They are a source of errors, machine stoppages, scrapping due to manual adjustments and controls, resulting in colossal time and material losses. As a result, quality and labor costs skyrocket, delivery delays occur, and poor traceability. A probing system allows us to understand these process variations and correct them to achieve consistent, automated, and productive machining.

Now, let’s go further and imagine a CAD/CAM solution that allows you to program and simulate your probing cycles – preparation, control, quality, safety – guarantees optimal reliability… This is the package offered by the TopSolid’Cam CAD/CAM solution, which we invite you to discover …

I – Machine probing: what are we talking about?


The touch probe is a tool that works mostly by switches, which, when activated by contacting a workpiece surface, allows for adjustments and control during machining operations. The geometric data returned is accurate and repeatable. This means that it shows any errors found by probing the workpiece in different directions and any deviations when examining a workpiece repeatedly in the same order.

The objective of probing on a machine is to obtain parts that conform to requirements and optimize the machining process. The probe is used, in general, for dimensional measurements (metrology) or on three-dimensional coordinate measuring machines (CMM) to calibrate parts or tools. However, it can also benefit the entire manufacturing process, as the dimensional information collected during machining is valuable. We are thinking of the automatic adaptation of machine tools for the entire machining process, the limitation of human interventions, increasingly precise production, and the possibility of dimensional control directly on the CNC machine tool. 

An obvious must-have, it would seem …



II- Machine probing with TopSolid’Cam: why?


In the era of (almost) manual operation, the operator would have to read the part print and enter coordinates for probing, inheriting all the risks of misinterpretation and typing errors that this manual process entails.

With TopSolid’Cam, the control and verification processes are carried out before and after the machining operations. The simulation and trajectory of the probe are carried out in the digital machine environment, safely and securely, using the part’s actual geometry as points to probe.

Efficiency and reliability meet!

III- What are the benefits of this feature?


The benefits of using TopSolid’Cam to program machine probing starts with preparation and control, both are definitely “quality” oriented.


During the preparation operation in the machine space, the part is precisely positioned within a zone of plus or minus ¼” from the position programmed in TopSolid’Cam. The software identifies the part and detects the presence of blank stock or fixtures, such as a screw or clamp, in order to avoid risk of collision. Finally, the location measurement is done automatically.

The generated machine output control report, identical to one produced by a CMM, considers the geometric defect of the latter: the tool is thus corrected dynamically. Therefore, the machine is dynamically corrected, and a correct dimension is obtained without interpretation, reading, or typing errors. With TopSolid’Cam, precision is at the heart of the control process.

Quality as a result: obtaining a conforming part in the geometric state of the machine is 100% guaranteed!


IV- More productive probing with TopSolid’Cam


Using the TopSolid’Cam solution, the operator avoids possible errors when defining part origins, the risks of crashes or collisions due to the presence of undesirable elements in the machine, or the scrapping of parts resulting from an erroneous tool offset correction, are all eliminated.


You stop wasting time.  Your material costs, direct labor and shop support costs, are all reduced – therefore you deliver – on time: your machine output is better, and your productivity is radically improved!






Because it combines programming and simulation and is perfectly integrated with the Post Processor, TopSolid’Cam represents a unique solution on the market to problems related to probing. Machining is more consistent, qualitative, and productive by reinforcing automation and minimizing human intervention during the process.

In short, TopSolid’Cam boosts your machining capacities, both in terms of quantity and quality, enabling you to respond better to the needs and requirements of your market. This means that you can accept new contracts, work on innovative concepts and possibly offer your teams more proactive technical roles. Think about all the possibilities!

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