TouchDRO Quick Start Guide

Setting up TouchDRO is pretty straightforward, but if you are new to the system or are used to a traditional DRO, some things might be a bit confusing. The goal of this quick start guide is to outline the necessary setup and configuration steps and cover some of the basic user interface concepts and functionality.

Setup and Configuration

Before you can start using TouchDRO, you will need to install the application from the Google Play Store, configure some settings, and calibrate the scales. The steps are outlined in the DRO Build Overview.

TouchDRO doesn't come bundled and pre-configured for specific scales; so, out of the box, the application will not be configured correctly for your specific setup. This can be quickly addressed by following the Initial Configuration Guide

Finally, the system has to be calibrated, so it can correctly converd position reading from native encoder resolution to human-readable units. Calibration is covered in the DRO Scale Calibration guide

It's very important to calibrate the scales before using the DRO. Calibration takes the case of any linear errors in the scales caused by manufacturing tolerances, cosine errors, etc. Furthermore, since TouchDRO stores coordinates in microns, if you have to change scale resolution at a later time, all stored measurements and coordinates will be affected.

User Interface Overview

TouchDRO offers a lot of flexibility and can easily adapt to various workflows. It's designed to have a simple and clean user interface that allows quick access to the most common functionality with a single click or long-press. Most advanced (and less frequently used) functions can be accessed from various dialogs and utility pages.

The system is not constrained by a small set of physical buttons and low-fidelity LED display. As a result, many common digital readout functions are implemented differently. If you are accustomed to a traditional DRO unit, TouchDRO's user interface might be confusing at first, so let's take a quick look at some of the main concepts.

Main Screen

TouchDRO v2.5 Main DRO Screen
TouchDRO v2.5 Main Readout Screen

TouchDRO's main screen contains the following major elements:

Application Title Bar

The title bar occupies a stip of space on the top of the screen and contains the following:

Axis Readouts

Each axis readout consists of the position display and the "Absolute/Incremental" mode buttons. Both elements are interactive and perform a few different functions:

Function Strip

Depending on the screen size and resolution of your Android device, the function strip will appear along the bottom of the screen in horizontal orientation, or to the right of the axis readout in vertical orientation. It contains functions that apply to all relevant axes.

TouchDRO Function Strip
TouchDRO Function Strip

They include:

In milling machine mode, the following additional functions appear:

In lathe mode, the following additional functions appear:

Note, if the function buttons can't fit on screen, the strip becomes scrollable.

Points Tab

Point/Saved Coordinate memory offers functionality that goes above and beyond the Saved Sub-Datum Memory of a traditional DRO unit. It is covered in more detail further down.

The panel includes the following elements:

Tools Tab

The tab shows the list of saved tool offsets.

New tools can be added by clicking "Add Tool" in the application menu or from the "Tool Commands" dialog.

Axis Details Dialog

Axis Details Dialog
Axis Details Dialog

Axis Details dialog provides access to the following per-axis functions:

Note, the "Near Zero" warning function might not work correctly on some devices. This is a known bug that has been addressed in the upcoming release of the application.

Common DRO Operations

TouchDRO is designed with the "working to zero" principle at its core. This approach requires less cognitive load during machining and is less error prone as a result. As such, most TouchDRO functions more-or-less simply provide a more convenient way to define a 0-point in various situations. This might seem too simplistic, but the combination of TouchDROs coordinate systems and datums offers a lot of power, flexibility and convenience.

Zeroing Axis Readouts

TouchDRO has several ways to set absolute and incremental zero point (origin) for all axes at once, or individually for each axis.

Pre-Setting Axis Dimension

To preset an axis to a specific dimension, long-press the axis readout and enter the desired dimension.

Checking the "Set absolute dimension" box will apply the preset to the absolute position.

Finding a Centerline

The Centerline function is called "1/2" in TouchDRO and is accessed from the Axis Details dialog. The dialog can be brought up by tapping the axis reading.

Centerline function affects only the incremental coordinate system. To set the center point as the absolute zero, you can move the axis to the 0 point and long-press "set zero" button in the axis readout dialog.

Using an Integrated Calculator

TouchDRO doesn't have a standalone Calculator function. Instead, most numeric input fields in TouchDRO accept arithmetic expressions. For example, you can enter "(1/32+7/64)*3" and the app will do the math. For more complex operations you can use the scientific calculator that comes pre-installed on the tablet.

Some tablets come with a simplified numeric keyboard that is not capable of diplaying arithmetic operator characters. This can be fixed by installing a standard keyboard grom Google Play Store. A good option is Google's own Gboard, for example.

Saved Coordinate Memory

TouchDRO comes with a robust and flexible saved coordinate memory that goes beyond the functionality of the Saved Subdatum memory of a traditional DRO unit. Therefore, it's important to keep in mind the following points:

Common Operations

TouchDRO v2.5 Graphical View Display
TouchDRO v2.5 Graphical View Display

When working with a complex layout, it might be more convenient to use the "Graphical View" that can be accessed by selecting the "Preview Workspace" option from the workspace meny.