Inspec Insights

Styli - One Size Doesn't Fit All

By Joe Brant, Inspec Vice President

Being a Renishaw distributor, we receive several phone calls every day from people looking to purchase styli.  Many times the one requested ends up not being correct for the application.   We can suggest alternatives, however without knowing all of the variables, all we can do is give our best guess. 

When thinking about a styli purchase you should consider...

  • Ball Material
  • Stem rigidity
  • Thermal Stability
  • Length material
  • Part Material Wear factor
  • Touch or scanning

Without careful consideration of all these items plus others, your measurement results could be affected. The sensor that you are using should also be taken into account since this could also affect your stylus selection from Touch Trigger Probing (TTP) to scanning.  Getting the correct thread size can be an obstacle as well, causing you to have to purchase an adapter just to get that one probe configuration you wanted.

Styli (or tips) length and accuracy will come into play while using TTP.  For example, the commonly used TP-20, and should only utilize a longer styli when needed, just because your tip is convenient and ready for use on your TTP, using a long tip will not provide you the most accurate measurement.  Changing tips can be done quite often by taking advantage of a Stylus Changing Rack.   

The attached white paper from Renishaw looks at four main aspects of stylus choice that affect overall CMM accuracy.  The next time you’re in need of a new stylus give it a read then give us a call or drop us a line, we can talk about which options are best for your application.  Happy stylus shopping!


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