VTube-LASER Cylinder Fit Tolerances

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Vtube-laser logo 1.96.png

Vtube-laser 1.89 mainscreen.png


Why Do We Need Cylinder Fit Tolerances?

VTube-LASER uses scanned surface points to calculate tube centerlines.

Regular tube scans assume that the primitive shape to solve for is a cylinder. But we also assume that no cylinder that we measure in the real world is a perfect cylinder.

VTube-LASER has to overcome this issue when measuring tube straights.

Also, because of this, it's important for you to know the estimated accuracy of the calculation when fitting to the centerline. The estimated accuracy helps you know how confident you can be with the centerline position.

Vtube-laser cylinder surfacepoints.png

The Cylinder Fit Data Window Reports How Well the Centerline Fits the Surface Data

After calculating a cylinder centerline from surface points, VTube-LASER reports how well the centerline FITS the surface points of the cylinder. These values are shown in the Cylinder Fit Data window.

The values reported are...

  • RADIUS: Estimate the precision of half the diameter.

  • X or Y POSITION: Estimate the precision the X or Y positions of the end points of the cylinder.

These estimate values are calculated using statistics. The values are standard deviation x 2, which means that it gives a 95% assurance that the these values are the precision of the positions.
Vtube-laser cylinderfitwindow.jpg

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Wobble illustration.png

Cylinder Wobble - The highest of the X or Y values

To simplify visualizing the X and Y positions, we say that the highest of the X and Y values is the "cylinder wobble". The cylinder wobble in the example on the right is 0.21 inches - because it is the higher of the two values.

If the centerline calculation is very good, then wobble deviation decreases. If the calculation or fit is poor, then the wobble deviation is too high.

This Cylinder Fit Data window is YELLOW because VTube-LASER found that the X and Y Position tolerances were exceeded in the cylinder centerline fit. In this case, VTube asked the operator to remeasure the straight because the cylinder wobble was too high as defined by the tolerances in System Options/Measure 1.

Vtube-laser wobbledeviation.png

Controlling Cylinder Fit Tolerance Values

VTube-LASER uses tolerance values to decide when to warn you about potentially poor cylinder measurements.

These values can be adjusted in the Measure 1 menu of System Options.

Default Tolerances

The default values are designed as a good starting point in the VTube-LASER setup. They are excellent for quick demonstrations of the software, and work great for tubes that have a lot of deformation in the straights.

Large-diameter applications (like exhaust pipes) are good candidates for this setup.

Vtube-laser default CylinderFitTolerances.png

Aerospace Tolerances

Aerospace-grade materials are more precise compared to other applications. For aerospace applications, we recommend that you use tighter tolerances like the ones shown here.

The XY Positions are set to 0.030" for longer straights, and 0.050" for shorter straights. ("Short" is also definable with the variable in the lower right corner. It is set to 2" length by default.)

Vtube-laser default CylinderFitTolerances aerospace.png

How to Test for and Use Cylinder Fit Tolerances for Your Application

You can adjust the tolerances in System Options to better fit your application and increase the assurance that your centerline is a good fit to the surface data.

Test for ideal cylinder fit tolerance settings by measuring tubes and watching the tolerance values in the Cylinder Fit window.

You will learn that your material regularly measures with certain maximum fit deviations.

As an example, if you never see deviations over 0.014" (like shown on the right), you could set the tolerance value to 0.030" (which is double the max observed). If a cylinder fit deviation exceeds double the norm, then you can safely assume that there is a problem in the measurement, and you should be warned.

When watching for these values during measurements, keep in mind that you need to consider both the longer straight and shorter straight tolerances. Short straights will nearly always need higher tolerances.

To change the default values, be sure to CLEAR the VTube-LASER project first, then press the "Set Project Default State to the current state" button. This will use the new default cylinder fit tolerances for all new projects.

Vtube-laser cylinderfitwindow.jpg

Vtube set default project state to the current state.png

Why Are There Separate Values for Shorter Straights?

Math engines cannot calculate short straights as accurately as long straights. This has to do with the nature of cylinder math. It's a common issue with all measuring centers. Because of this, we know that VTube needs to be more patient with when fitting a cylinder centerline when the straight length is below a certain value.

In the default setup for VTube-LASER, a straight is considered "short" when it is 2 inches (50.8 millimeters) or shorter.

Vtube-laser default CylinderFitTolerances short straight value.png

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