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How to use a Spindle Camera and SpindleView

CNC Spindle Cameras Part IV

SpindleView v1

How to get Accurate Readings

  • Lens Linearity — Inexpensive lenses have distortions and mounting issues.
  • Resolution off — You can spend forever re-measuring resolution or just leave it really close and never touch it. I know where I fall in that.
  • Machine Position drift — based on limit switch and other physical things that change a tiny bit
  • Nonlinear motor systems — motor systems have imperfections in gearing and belt stretching and …

How to Check Vise Placement with a Camera

Scan a vise for parallel to X

Installation and Setup

Tighten the Camera


Calibration Order

  1. Set the Focus Height
  2. Determine the Camera Center (optional)
  3. Set the Resolution
  4. Find the Spindle Distance
  5. Save the options

Focus Height

  1. Move the spindle to where you can see the bed (or fixture plate) with the camera.
  2. Raise/lower the height until the bed/plate is in perfect focus.
  3. Look at the machine Z position and that’s what should be the Focus Height value.

Camera Center

Spindle Distance

A spindle spot made by hand-rotating a 1/8" mill-drill at .01" depth. The blue splotch is a sharpie line.
  1. Move to a convenient drill point and drill a tiny hole, perhaps just the tip of a drill rotated by hand, or… place a rectangular stock in the vise and probe one corner of it.
  2. Set X,Y workspace zero (0,0) here for reference.
  3. Set the program Spindle Distance to (0,0) in Settings, as a help.
  4. Move the CNC so that the center of the camera is over the center of the drilled hole or the corner of the stock.
  5. The value shown in the Center’s position display (in Workspace coordinate mode) is the negative Spindle Distance.
  6. Change the Spindle Distance and watch the Center display — it should change to (0,0) Workspace.


  1. Place a ruler horizontally on the stock. You can check horizontal by moving X back and forth while watching the camera.
  2. Use the “Move to Click” button or the CNC controller move buttons to get the camera exactly on an Inch marker (or something easy). When resolution is wrong the moves will not be accurate.
  3. Set the location display mode to distance.
  4. Move the mouse to either side and see if when the mouse is 1/2" away the distance is shown as 1/2".
  5. Change the resolution (use (reading/actual reading) * old-resolution) until the distance shown is accurate. The farther away you go from the center the more error a lens will introduce so don’t overdo the range.
  6. To test, use the “Move to Click” button. If the resolution is correct the move will be right. If the resolution is too low then it will move too far.

Camera URL

Camera Rotation

Machine URL

Saving Options



Home automation in the wireless IOT era

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Mark Zachmann

Entrepreneur, software architect, electrical engineer. Ex-academic.