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Hubbs Machine and Manufacturing Inc.


Hubbs Develops Precision Scan Sphere

Innovative workaround makes possible accurate locations for large-radius spheres

Published: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 11:21

(Hubbs Machine and Manufacturing Inc.: Cedar Hill, MO) -- As successful business innovators across industry know, customers drive markets. Renowned innovator Hubbs Machine and Manufacturing offers another example of this truism with an impressive new product born directly from a customer request.

Recently, Hubbs was afforded the opportunity by Direct Dimensions Inc. to design, create, and manufacture a unique, spherically configured target. The task involved positioning a much larger spherically featured target into existing sphere mounts that normally accept various smaller, partially spherical targets.

At first glance, this project seemed like a hard nut to crack—kind of like accurately stuffing 15 lb of potatoes into a 10-lb bag. It just doesn’t fit.

However, like many projects in the past, it didn’t take long for the Hubbs team to take the new product from initial request to prototype to production. As is common at Hubbs, team members take a personal, “hands-on” approach to many aspects of product development.

The new Precision Scan Sphere is the latest in Hubbs’ targeting arsenal. This new target allows for the same offset and centerline values as other commonly used partial spherical targets when located within their respective, conventional Hubbs SM series of sphere-mounted target holders.

Some laser scanners require a much larger surface area radius than sphere targets that are widely used. A larger radius, relative to a complete sphere, makes it impossible to locate the sphere accurately within existing supportive sphere mounts. Again, Hubbs provides a viable alternative.

This patent-pending design employs a much larger initial precision spherical shape, using composite material for weight reduction, along with a ferrous metallic insert in the lower partial hemisphere to allow for normal magnetic attraction into the sphere mount. The upper two-thirds of the target provides the much larger spherical radius for scanning purposes, while the lower portion provides the mechanical spherical radius to locate properly within the Hubbs SM series sphere mount.

The larger scanning radius and the smaller locating radius, although differing greatly in size, share the same center point origin. This shared center point, in turn, allows users the option of interchangeability and transparencies from one measurement technology to the next, consistent with the Hubbs’ flexible metrology support systems.

It’s exciting to see technologies grow and, along with their respective targeting, become more widely accepted. That’s the case with the Precision Scan Sphere. Given the product’s good targeting, accessories, and service, customer confidence increases and everyone benefits.

The Precision Scan Sphere is available through Hubbs Machine and Manufacturing Inc., its authorized distributors, and Direct Dimensions Inc.


About The Author

Hubbs Machine and Manufacturing Inc.’s picture

Hubbs Machine and Manufacturing Inc.

Hubbs Machine & Manufacturing Inc. was started in 1984 to manufacture and distribute targeting and accessories for support of computer-aided theodolite systems. The company now supports not only theodolites, but also photogrammetry, laser trackers, laser scanners, and other emerging coordinate measurement systems.