While I’ve only had my V-One for just over a week, I’ve noticed some growing pains with the Probing step prior to printing, when using boards with drill holes. After reading another post related to probing I decided to post as a new feature request around the software for probing:
First, probing should follow the principle of ‘failing fast’: since the wizard will NOT let you proceed with printing if adjacent probe points exceed the ‘Maximum height difference’ of the Beta Setting 'Probing Error Detection. By ‘failing fast’, I’m suggesting the algorithm should:
- Prioritize probing points more likely to ‘fail’, specifically points around drill holes and/or on the extremes of the X and Y
- Stop probing and report the error when condition is detected, instead of completing the full pass just to tell the user that probing has failed
The above would at least reduce the failure/fix cycle, though it still leaves the user in a failed state.
Second suggestion would be to attempt to compensate for slight alignment issues by performing additional adjacent probes when a height failure is detected. In another post, it was mentioned that the alignment step takes two samples, the first to anchor the layout and the second to determine its rotation. Since hole sizes and human judgement in alignment are far from perfect, the software could compensate by either:
- Taking additional alignment samples, especially around a known drill hole, to compensate for human error
- During probing, if an unexpected depth gets probed ‘near’ a hole, add additional probe points around the hold to identify the discrepancy, compensate for the alignment error, and adjust the heatmap layout accordingly
The second suggestion is a larger software investment (particularly the second bullet), since I suspect that the alignment and probing routines are independent blocks of code. I think the first bullet would not take as much to fix, and it would go along way in addressing the inherent error variable introduced by the human alignment step.
The second bullet of the second suggestion would probably require a rewrite, since it would basically integrate alignment and probing as one operation.
Of all the steps I’ve taken with the V-One, the Alignment + Probing has been the only one that has been slow and frustrating, especially when you only need to reprint a single trace after testing a baked board.
One other note regarding the Alignment / Probe workflow: I’ve had several (almost 6?) occasions where the probe contacts accidentally disconnect in some cases stopping the workflow. While there’s no simple solution to this from the hardware perspective, the software could at least provide a ‘recovery’ option to raise the Z axis, home, re-mount the probe, and resume where it last errored (and perhaps try to re-probe around the area as suggested above to compensate for human error).